Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Clinton Plus Putin

According to our most brilliant columnist, Obama has the brains of Bill and the self-discipline of Vlad. And that points to great leadership on the model of Reagan. Contrary to his rhetorical lullabies, Obama (and "Rahmbo") probably isn’t going be as nice as the Gipper when it comes to getting things done. It’s a scary thing to think that when Barack looks into Putin’s eyes, he may well see himself. The upside might possibly be that Putin himself might be a little afraid.

Discussions - 12 Comments

I surely do hope Obama has the steely toughness of Putin. I cannot imagine how he is going to resist the blandishments of his party. If he gives in, what a jackpot the nation will be in. Aren't Democrats, especially those in Congress who came in on the coattails, going to insist on all the campaign promises coming true? Not to mention whatever goodies Obama hinted at or outright promised in the effort to do in the Clintons in the primary will come due in the next year.

The GOP spent like drunken sailors and they are the putative party of financial discipline. This offended so many conservatives, myself included. If the Democratic Party becomes the one that actually demonstrates fiscal responsibility, reins in government spending, comes through on the tax cut promises and actually shrinks government, well,...

Either I will eat my laptop, or I will become a member of the Democratic Party as they will have earned my sympathy.

Calling all left-turners on No Left Turns, is that actually going to happen? Honestly, if Obama is all that intelligent, he can't do what he promised. Yet, won't his party make him keep his promises? A brilliant man of steel? Boy, I hope so. I love my laptop and I love my country.

Kate,

I am happy (though not surprised) to read that you have a somewhat open set of expectations about Obama. Others, Peter included, seem to know exactly how the next 4 years will go. And, it is hard to resist repeating: These are the same experts who supported Bush so energetically until even they couldn't fail to see the depth of the hole that he had put us in, while they cheered and defended him.

In my field, the inability to assess and adjust our unsuccessful constructs is referred to as "pathology." Why would anyone take the modal NLT prediction seriously, at this point? The conservative movement was going to re-shape the nation! Democrats were done! Bush was a visionary!

Peter, who do you all think is listening, now that you are making predictions about Obama?

I am not even close to an economist, but it is easy to perceive what has happened to the US economy as we go from Republican to Democrat to Republican administration since the Reagan "revolution."

Here is my prediction: Obama will at the very least slow down the rate of our economic destruction, and will more likely reverse this trend within 2 years.

What's more, I would suggest that he will not only do different things, but he will do things differently. He will lead honestly, and he will openly confront and discuss America's challenges, and he will respect civil rights and the dignity of individuals in the middle and poorer classes. In short, I predict that he will embody the "high moral tone" that Bush lied about in his own campaign promises.

Fung, first off, I was trying to think thru the opinion of CK and actually praise BO. Leading like Reagan could hardly be a criticism from an NLT writer. And CK himself says straight out he was admiring the president-elect. Clinton, with more self-discipline, might have been a great prez.

Peter,

Well, alright then. Forgive me for responding to a bit of hyperbole, wich is often used in the service of sarcasm. In my defense, even CK acknowledged the need to re-assert his admiration in parentheses, in case his readers failed to sense his unbridled enthusiasm.

Obama may get credit for reversing the economic meltdown, but the best thing he could do is for the most part let it run its course. If he tries to "fix" it, we run the danger of a very long and deep recession, with recovery actually prevented by the very measures that were implemented to save us from so-called destruction.

Yes, there should be some safety nets, but for people, not for CEOs. Jobs, not handouts... rebuilding infrastructure, not becoming the lender of first resort.

Just my $.02

Fung,


According to my resident expert's favorite experts, the stock market will probably bottom out soon, and then, yes, the whole mess will begin to right itself. What I am told is "just a little lower" and then people will begin buying in again.

America's economy really is basically sound, and as DaveK says, the less politicians tinker with it, the sooner it will right itself. Of course, politicians cannot appear to be doing nothing. Yet if Obama can resist doing much but a lot of gaudy nothing, economic destruction will run its course and we can see economic "restruction" happen all on its own. Actually, I do not much cre if we see it happen on its own. Obama can take all the credit he likes, roughly like Clinton did.

I almost, not quite, I really can't, hope that some other matter comes up that is so big Obama and especially his "Progressive" friends do not have time to "change" the American economy with the tools of government too very much. The New New Deal stuff makes me very nervous. I hope that is not what you mean by doing different things differently.

But honestly, my worry is that for Obama do see what he sees when he takes office - what is really there in being president and knowing what he has to know - he will NOT be able to be honest about all of it, because that is the nature of the matter. It is the nature of politics. It is the nature of America as a nation independent of the world and yet so very much of it, because of what we have become to the world.

But never mind. Fung, I hope you are right. I hope you are right because we all have to live with the nasty consequences if you are wrong.

Kate,

Again, my economic observations are informed mostly by my own, subjective experience, and not from any training, but I perceive a correlation between the current extreme variability in the stock market and the conservatives' penchant for "getting the government off of peoples' (banks' and corporations') backs.

This was agreeable to everyone, as long as banks and insurance and oil companies increased their profits, and the median family income stagnated, but it was not agreeable when the fat cats suddenly met their victims on their own way down.

And so I don't think that it is a coincidence that our budget deficit increases with Reagan/Bush, and reverses with Clinton, then reverses again with Bush. And, I won't call it a coincidence if it reverses again with Obama. To insist that this ABAB confirmation is some kind of magic reminds of the Beverly Hillbillies, and how they would go check the front door just for grins, when they heard that "funny music."

When you express your fears about the potential consequences of an Obama administration, I can't help but wonder: "What could he do? Start a war? Rape the earth? Set the stage for a Depression? Alienate our allies? Commit our children to poverty?

Even McCain would have been better than the last 8 years! Obama HAS to be better, yet! And I hope I'm right, too.

If I were Putin, I don't think I would be all that worried about Obama. Alot of times the politicians who are the most ruthlessly efficient at domestic politics are also not that strong when faced with international evil. Chamberlain is a case in point. He was great at crushing and marginalizing his domestic opponents (as Churchill would have been the first to tell you), but he was alot less steely in the face of evil backed by power. Its not that I think that Obama will weak (though I have my worries), it is that running and governing are too different things. Obama's well managed and tough campaign don't tell us that he will be either a good mananger or tough diplomat and commander. After all, George W. Bush ran two well managed campaigns, but not even his supporters will tell you that his administration was run well.

Man this is nuts. Nothing big happens overnight. Obama had a broad but quite shallow victory. Narrow margins in most of the key states hardly show anything major happening. There's no "Fourth Republic" and no Clinton/Putin creature running around.

Will Obama be successful? Much of this depends on his fiscal policies. If he can balance the budget w/o a significant tax increase, I'll support his reelection. If he goes through with big government promises that continue to mire the U.S. in financial problems, then I expect his other liberal views will catch up with him. As proved by even California passing a gay marriage ban, this country remains center-right even in an Obama year. Unless Obama fixes the economy, this country won't put up with four more years of his otherwise leftist views. If he succeeds in righting the country's fiscal ship, we all will thank him.

Is striking fear in the enemy really a key part of diplomacy, and for that matter why is russia suddenly our enemy again. Is it because they want to remake Red Dawn? Obama and Putin are not Balboa and Drago. With the nukes both countries have do we really need to be playing Dr. Strangelove style crap all over again. There is such a double standard at work. We complain about Putin cracking down and say nothing about free speach zones, patriot act spying, ect. The only good that can come from fighting the reds is more military spending. I don't look for Obama to be much different from Bush because he will stock up on CRF people to run diplomacy so we will get more exotic proxy wars, destabilizations, and full scale invasions.

Brutus what are you smoking? As someone who live near Russia and Putin's regime, I got to ask you... how many Reporters have the Patriot ACT has arrested or have killed? How many TV networks were taken over by the BUSH admin? And how many Oil Companies and businesses W took over and then filled with his friends and supporters? Now if you can't see the difference here, I feel very very sorry for you.




No one is propping up a new Red threat. And to be honest, there is very little here in Russia to threaten the West. What it can do its huff and puff and play with it what it has (gas and oil) which the West Europeans need bad and will roll over and pay dead to keep getting. Their military is little more than what they had in 91/89, most of it underfunded and under repaired. Much of Russian bluster is for internal consumption and to bully her neighbors and get the West to keep their hands off all of the above.




BO's hollowness will lead Putin to see what he can get. And friends tell me that Russians are prepositioning armor and mech infantry in the Crimea and passing out passports in great number waiting for the outcome of the upcoming Ukrainain elections. W, listening to Rice on Putin, has led to the botching of helping Russia transition into a democracy, instead its marching once again to thugary, both internal and against her neighbors. And looking at the Foreign Policy voices advising BO, I am not at all hopeful more of the same is not forthcoming, if not pure appeasment of Putin to get the US out of the issue.. isolationism in the guise of multilateralism.

The Democrats and their liberal illuminati tax-and-spenders finally have Obama and now comes payback for all those promises he made before the election. Will he be very successful? If he balances the budget without tax increases, he will be, but I think this is impossible. He has to fix the economy or else he'll be booted out of office after four years.

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