Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Do the Democrats Know What They’re Doing?

Mr. South Dakota Politics says the preponderance of evidence is that they don’t. The stimulus is a dud because it wasn’t designed to stimulate. Health care reform is floundering because the president doesn’t really know what he wants to accomplish and refuses to make hard choices. The real reform of ending or reducing the tax break to employers is off the table, and so is any realistic discussion of affordability. The huge deficit, meanwhile, is weighing down everything and keeping investors of all kinds from betting on our country. Nobody is facing up to how big it is going to get. The good news for Republicans is that, despite their own astounding incompetence and lack of leadership, a Democratic president working with a Democratic Congress with experienced leadership can’t seem to get much done. Barack is no LBJ, and it’s not really good news that he sounds better than he is as our chief executive.

Discussions - 6 Comments

I am not sure that he does "sound" any better as POTUS than he is as POTUS . . . at least not since the death of TOTUS. Take a look at these two paragraphs from today's speech on healthcare:

I just want to be clear: We are going to get this done. Becky and I were talking in the Oval Office. Becky just pointed out, we need to buck up people a little bit here. (Laughter.) And that's what nurses do all the time -- they buck up patients, sometimes they buck up some young resident who doesn't quite know what they're doing. (Laughter.) You look at Becky, you can tell she knows what she's doing. And what she's saying is it's time for us to buck up -- Congress, this administration, the entire federal government -- to be clear that we've got to get this done.

Our nurses are on board. The American people are on board. It's now up to us. We can do what we've done for so long and defer tough decisions for another day -- or we can step up and meet our responsibilities. In other words, we can lead. We can look beyond the next news cycle and the next election to the next generation, and come together to build a system that works not just for these nurses, but for the patients they care for; for doctors and hospitals; for families and businesses -- and for our very future as a nation.

Buck up? Trotting out some nurse and telling the American people to "buck up." The manufactured "laughter" is only going to last so long with stuff like that. Bucking up is all the American people have been doing since this bunch came to town. The only thing missing from that speech was some fist pounding on the desk inside the Oval office and him in a sweater. That was Jimmah all over again . . . with a twist of W. Shaken or stirred, I'll pass.

I would not be so quick to make conclusions about the POLITICAL effects of the stimulus. Of course it isn't going to turn the economy around and of course it is wasteful and a payoff to Democratic interest groups - especially municipal employees. Of course many arguments Obama used were dishonest (We don't have time to read the bill! Pass it or unemployment will go up to 8%!) All of this was clear when the bill was passed. But we are still at the stage when unemployment is still going up and that is dragging down both Obama's poll ratings and that of the stimulus. At some point in the next few years unemployment (hopefully) will start going in the opposite direction. Maybe not very fast, but somewhat. Obama will then point at the stimulus as having prevented the next Great Depression. He will not only have expanded the government, but will use whatever economic growth there is to argue that expanding the government is the key to even more growth. It won't be any more honest than his last set of arguments, but I fear many people will be willing to listen. That won't mean he is unbeatable, but conservatives will have to be on their game to win that argument.

On healthcare: conservatives better hope that a public plan doesn't escape Congress. It isn't just that a public plan that destroys the private market would hurt the quality of healthcare services, it is that it would make people risk averse to changing from a government run system. Switching back from a government to a private system is tough because the working and middle-classes fear that their existing services will be replaced by nothing at all. They are dependent on the state (even if they are unsatisfied) and cannot be reasonably certain that a private market will come into existence to serve their needs. It is devilish. I've seen it with my relatives in Greece. I worry that this is a fight Obama only has to win once.

As always, good (and sobering) comments from Pete. The rub in this for Obama may be that if he gets his win on healthcare, the expected turnaround in unemployment won't come about as we all hope it will. Of course, there's a rub in that for all of us.

The preponderance? What the hell kind of stupid argument is that?! Why don't you actually take a stand oh great lawler and tell us the truth. You don't know anymore that Obama or myself so don't pretend like you do. How about offering some form of solution other than they don't know what their doing because it makes you sound pathetic.

Brutal grammar error in Comment #4. Bummer.

That whole comment is a bummer. The truth is that Pete is right, I hate to beat the old drum but what happened to self interest? This health care reform while not only costly flies in the face if self interest. It saddens me that our federal government lives under the pretense of spend money not for reinvestment but for "sustainability".

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