February 4, 2009
Obama may become a disasterBy James Lewis
By their actions ye shall know them. By now we are seeing an ominous pattern of actions by the O administration. We know that President Obama is a very slick liar indeed, but then so was Bill Clinton. But Clinton had a smaller majority in Congress, and was forced to compromise after the Gingrich Congress was elected in 1994. It is still possible that Obama may turn toward the mainstream. But the early omens look dark.
Foreign and military affairs
There is a reason why Israel s voters are suddenly turning to the center-Right Netanyahu and Likud. They fear that for the first time since Harry Truman, an American administration is turning against the Jewish State. Obama s first phone call after the election was made to Mahmoud Abbas. His first television interview was with Al Arabiya. The appointments of Samantha Power and Susan Rice bode ill for the entire Middle East. A meeting with Hugo Chavez -- to negotiate what, exactly? Forthcoming recognition of radical Islamofascist Iran on their terms, not ours, are all ominous straws in the wind. Richard Holbrooke has just infuriated two crucial governments in Pakistan and Afghanistan, by predicting their doom, and still was appointed special envoy to those governments.
The O's just announced a 10% cut in the planned increase* in the defense budget, while the overall budget deficit has just risen by two trillion dollars. That may signal a Carteresque drawdown in our burdened military. This is not the time to lower our guard, but like Jimmy Carter, the O administration is betting against history.
We now know that in violation of Federal law, the Obama campaign started negotiations with Iran, Syria and perhaps Hugo Chavez long before American voters elected O. That flagrant disregard for the law and for simple propriety signals a radical turn Left. If that is accurate, expect the Obama administration to start a scapegoating campaign against Binyamin Netanyahu if he becomes Prime Minister. That would be the first time that any American administration has turned against an elected leader of a vigorous, pro-American democratic ally. The voters in Israel may be preparing to go it alone if necessary. It would be difficult, but it can be done.
Flunking Econ 101
The O administration has some sensible economic voices, but they don't seem to carry much clout. Larry Summers is fairly mainstream, Robert Reich is turning radical, and Paul Krugman is a hair-pulling wild man. The so-called stimulus bill is pure political payoff to Democrat city machines, the teachers' unions, and faithful leftwing armies like ACORN. Those 1.17 trillion dollars are not designed to stimulate normal economic activity, defined as products and services that Americans want and will work for -- which is what "supply and demand" really means, after all.
The economy is one gigantic incentive machine. Take away the incentive value of work and buying things, and yes, you will get a very bad recession. And no, Nancy Pelosi has it wildly wrong by arguing that more subsidized birth control means more wealth per person, for those who are actually born. The administration is even ignoring the first-grade lessons of the Smooth-Hawley with its buy-American provisions in the House bill. Suddenly alarmist headlines are appearing in the worshipful European press. Will the US turn protectionist under Obama? Watch what the Senate does with the outlandish House bill, and we will know the answer.
Future generations are being burdened with this second trillion dollar payoff in a few months -- after the first trillion bucks for TARP. But fear not. The O administration is promising yet more trillions in spending, under the mad delusion that the New Deal didn't spend enough on things people didn't want. The stock market is signaling fear and doubt. So far, the market looks to be right.
A Commissar style of governance
Vladimir Lenin pioneered a double-layered style of control by Soviet Party Commissars. Every government official and military officer was doubled by a Party Commissar, who wielded the real power. The result was wild swings between radicalization and stagnation in the USSR. Nobody could act without worrying about the local Commissars, who owed their real allegiances to the Kremlin. Obama is using a similar strategy by directing Samantha Power to go wherever new SecState Hillary Clinton goes.
Those two ladies hate each other, even before Power called Hillary "a monster" during the primaries. Power will report on Hillary to the White House. The Obamas are introducing a parallel staff for the major departments in the White House, to keep a jealous eye on its own appointees. The Clintons did this with the Justice Department, where Jamie Gorelick was the real power at Justice, and Janet Reno became the PR front. We know about the results in a suicidal anti-terror policy, the cynical return of the little refugee boy Elian Gonzalez to the Castro tyranny, and the Waco massacre.
A Government-Media fusion
Karl Marx told his followers "First, conquer the Organs of Propaganda." In Marx's Germany there was no free press. Britain was one of the few examples of relative freedom in Europe, which is why Marx ended up being a foreign correspondent in London, as a ferocious public enemy of capitalism and elected governments.
Last week we found out that Rahm Emmanuel, George Stephanopoulos, James Carville and Paul Begala have been carrying on daily, hour-long conference calls for the last 17 years, even while they were hopping from one top job to another in the White House, ABC News, and various liberal political campaigns. If you think all the big media sound oddly similar, we now now why.
A lockstep alliance between government and the big media is a marker of radical Leftist rulers. Putin just had a couple of more journalists murdered in Moscow. That is not likely to happen here, but then, it wont be necessary. The big media are already PR flacks for the Left. Well, just to make that relationship of buyer and bought explicit, a Boston Globe journalist has just proposed a special Federal bailout for newsies who have utterly destroyed their own audiences. Somewhere in Hell Jozef Goebbels is smiling.
Appointing openly corrupt officials
Obama's no-lobbyist rule is now a public joke. Confessed tax cheaters were propopsed for top positions, like Tom Daschle and Timothy Geithner. Big lobbyist power couples in Washington are being drawn in, including the Daschles. And of course we have the endless Congressional show of Democrat corruption by Charlie Rangel, Chris Dodd and far too many others.
The appointment of radical Greenies to positions like the "Science Czar" -- a huge self-contradiction -- are sending very bad signals to the giant Federal research establishment.
Moving against conservative media
Immediately after the election, Fox News and Washington Times reporters were thrown off the Obama campaign plane. Obama's first television interview just took place with terror-supporting Al-Arabiya TV, an Islamist riff on CNN. A Republican FCC member has warned that a disguised censorship rule giving local leftist groups additional "community input" into radio license renewals may become law by administrative fiat.
That's what we are seeing so far. Keep a sharp eye out in the coming weeks and months. Let's hope the O's will see reason somehow. But so far, the signals sent by their actions are ominous.
*Hat tip to reader Melisa C. Hubbard for clairdying this point.