Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lead, Follow, Or Get The Heck Out Of The Way

But don't just stand there like a deer caught in the headlights.

At West Point we were taught that a leader takes more than his fair share of the blame and less than his fair share of the credit. How does President Obama act?
In the world of Barack Obama, inflating tires and “tuning up” modern car engines precludes off-shore drilling. Four-dollar-a-gallon gas prices can be ameliorated by having the average consumer trade in his 8-mpg clunker. Medical bills soar because doctors unnecessarily rip out tonsils and lop off limbs. “Skyrocketing” power bills and bankrupt coal companies are abstractions, and do not involve personal tragedies. One third of the border fenced means that the fence is “basically” completed. Nine percent unemployment is due in part to automation like ATMs, which apparently first came on the scene during the Obama administration to eliminate jobs. Shovel-ready jobs were not so shovel-ready. Criticism is dismissed as “enemies” deserving “punishment” or opponents relegated to the “back seat” or adversaries caricatured with “moats and alligators.” And so on.

Two themes predominate: a cluelessness about how things work outside the Ivy League–Chicago–D.C. political nexus, and a sense that nothing is ever Barack Obama’s fault.
Not being a liberal, I'm not one who believes that government in general, or the president in particular, is capable of effecting immediate, major change in an economy. When run well government can help an economy along, otherwise it can burden an economy and distort markets. It's much easier to do the latter than the former! I've said it so many times before: government should clear out the bumps and let the markets, and the people, thrive in an environment of freedom. When government does that, prosperity ensues.

Right now we're not thriving. Part of this is the cyclical nature of economies--they get big, they bust, they correct--but part of it is the president, his policies, and the Congress' actions since 2006. Their actions aren't geared towards improvement, towards clearing out the bumps; no, they're geared to more government control, more uncertainty, and higher costs. So in that regard, President Obama does have some responsibility for the current state of the economy. UCLA economists state that Roosevelt's policies extended the Great Depression by 7 years, and this president and the liberal policies of 2006-2010 are harming this economy--look at the president's own chart, augmented to show what actually happened, despite his administration's promises, to see that this is true. And we are over 700 days without even having a federal budget, a clear shirking of constitutional duty.

President Obama is in so far over his head that if he weren't so smug and obnoxious I'd almost feel sorry for him. By any standard except an ideologue's he's a horrible leader, a weak executive, and a lousy president.

Something else we used to say in the army: Hope is not a battle plan. Well, neither is hope and change. It shouldn't be hard to beat this man in the next election. That the Republicans don't have someone already all but elected speaks volumes about that party's organization, or rather the lack thereof.

But that isn't a good enough reason to stick with "the devil we know", because it's hard to imagine a Republican who would do a worse job than this president.

Update: What does this 2009 Obama have to say about today's "it's going to take some time" Obama?

And do we expect things to get better when the president rewards his friends with taxpayer money and sinecures--the very definition of crony capitalism?
Telecom executive Donald H. Gips raised a big bundle of cash to help finance his friend Barack Obama’s run for the presidency.

Gips, a vice president of Colorado-based Level 3 Communications, delivered more than $500,000 in contributions for the Obama war chest, while two other company executives collected at least $150,000 more.

After the election, Gips was put in charge of hiring in the Obama White House, helping to place loyalists and fundraisers in many key positions. Then, in mid-2009, Obama named him ambassador to South Africa. Meanwhile, Level 3 Communications, in which Gips retained stock, received millions of dollars of government stimulus contracts for broadband projects in six states — though Gips said he had been “completely unaware” that the company had received the contracts.

More than two years after Obama took office vowing to banish “special interests” from his administration, nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events, an investigation by iWatch News has found.

These “bundlers” raised at least $50,000 — and sometimes more than $500,000 — in campaign donations for Obama’s campaign. Many of those in the “Class of 2008” are now being asked to bundle contributions for Obama’s reelection, an effort that could cost $1 billion.
I would never have thought an American president could be so incapable and yet so corrupt, and I never thought I'd see the day when a president could loot the treasury and do so out in the open--and be supported by the media as he does it. As a country we are falling too far, too fast, if we allow this.

Update #2, 6/16/11: Remember the Misery Index?
Conceived by economist Arthur Okun in the early 1970s, the Misery Index simply adds together the inflation and unemployment rates to create an effective indicator of real-world suffering.

It gained notoriety under President Carter, whose growth-choking, easy-money policies pushed the index to its post-World War II high. Now, under President Obama's equally disastrous economic policies, the Misery Index is making its return.

The annual inflation rate for May climbed to 3.6% as price spikes spread beyond oil and food. At the same time, May's unemployment rate edged up to 9.1%, yielding a Misery Index of 12.7.

That marks the fourth straight monthly increase in the index, which is now 62% higher than it was when Obama took office, and 57% higher than it was when the recession officially ended.
Heckuva job, Obammie.


Anonymous said...

"Not Obama" isn't on the ballot. Who's your candidate?

Stop bellyaching about Obama and tell us who sends a thrill up your leg.

Darren said...

I'll write what I like here, thank you. You can write about what a great president Obama is on *your* blog.

Anonymous said...

"Not Obama" is on the ballot in Nevada.

You also have to vote against all the other candidates to vote "Not Obama", but you do have that choice.

-Mark Roulo

MikeAT said...

I'm not a Romney supporter but this a powerful ad

Ellen K said...

It's interesting how on various blogs and column everywhere from the LA Times to the New York Times to the Washington Post, conservatives are becoming more outspoken and more prevalent. They are still outnumbered, but even Chicago Trib has a broad swath of people who absolutely are not going to support Obama the next time around. This seems to really upset liberals. And it makes them post stupid anonymous commentary like what you are experiencing. My theory is that all those anonymous posts are from individuals paid to post disinformation and they only get paid when the blogs and their owners back down. So don't back down Darren. Keep fighting the good fight. Excellent post by the way.

Darren said...

And you should see the troll-y comments I don't publish.

Ellen K said...

I've seen them on my own various blogs. They seem scripted. That is until they just break down and resort to profanity.

ChrisA said...

Both hand clapping Darren. Well said.