Obama and the CounterrevolutionBy Richard Winchester
Just before the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama said, "We're five days away from the fundamental transformation of the United States." Immediately after he became president, Obama began fulfilling that prediction. Five-and-one-half years later, the U. S. is well on the way toward becoming a European-style welfare state, just as some European countries -- the latest being Holland -- are moving away from hideously expensive welfare-state programs.
The central government's budget consumes almost a quarter of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, and ObamaCare means government takeover of another one-sixth of our economy. Add state and local government spending to Washington, DC's outlays, and the percentage of GDP now going to the public sector tops 40. Once ObamaCare fully kicks in, well over half of America's GDP will go in to the public till.
The U.S. national deficit is over $17 trillion, which is a tad more than 100% of GDP. (If Congress votes to increase the national debt limit in October, the nation's debt as a percentage of GDP will go up.)
The Obamians are forging a hollow military, and the U.S. has become a laughingstock in the international arena. America surrendered in Iraq and Afghanistan, "led from behind" when Gaddafi was overthrown in Libya, could not, or would not, protect its diplomatic facilities and personnel in Benghazi, stood by while Vladimir Putin seized center stage on the issue of chemical weapons in Syria, and cannot, or will not, prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Yes, the U.S. -- employing tools developed during George W. Bush's presidency -- killed Osama bin Laden, and used drones to murder American citizens in Yemen, but the nation faces a very bleak future given its much weakened military and lack of backbone in the White House.
The changes the Obamians have inflicted on America since January 20, 2009 are little short of revolutionary -- absent the violence usually associated with profound, rapid, alterations of a nation's socio-political order. This process is sometimes referred to as a "silent revolution," and although it did not begin with Obama -- some date it back to FDR's New Deal, others as long ago as the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson -- it has been substantially accelerated since Obama was first inaugurated.
We may be seeing signs of a nascent counterrevolution against Obama and the Obamians. The Tea Parties' emergence in 2009 and the Republican successes in the 2010 off-year elections may have been harbingers of a conservative swing in the nation's mood.
Unhappily, country club Republicans, who aspire to ally with the Democrat ruling class, were able to blunt, and even somewhat reverse, gains made in 2010.
After a period of relative quiescence -- following Obama's reelection and Democrat retention of the Senate in 2012 -- Tea Partiers and unaffiliated conservatives appear once again to be on the march.
Obamacare remains unpopular. The most recent poll (9-4-8/13) for the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press shows that 53% of the respondents disapproved of Obamacare, 42% approved, and 5% said they did not know. Several recent polls of "likely voters" by Rasmussen Reports also show majorities (of varying size) dislike this or that facet of Obamacare. Similarly, polls listed by Pollingreport.com also show larger percentages dislike the law than like it.
During the month of September, ten of the twelve major polling organizations listed by PollingReport.com reported larger percentages disapproved of how Obama was handling his job than approved. Not one of the twelve organizations that asked for approval or disapprove of Obama's job performance found him "above water" in September.
Virtually all of the major polls listed by PollingReport.com have shown him "below water" throughout most of the summer. His job approval rating was last (barely) above 50% last May.
Although most reelected presidents have a "honeymoon" period of several months after they are reinaugurated, Obama appears to be an exception.
When pollsters ask if people like or approve of Obama personally, his ratings are generally higher than his job approval ratings, but recent polls listed by Pollingreport.com show slippage of opinions about him as a person. Some of us have known for some time that Obama is not "a nice guy."
We've already seen gun-grabbing Democrats in Colorado sent packing, and -- inspired by Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and other conservatives in Congress -- the GOP leadership has refused to fund Obamacare, at least for now. Looking ahead to 2016, the Republican "bench" is loaded with young talent. (Democrats seem to be limited to Hillary Clinton [who will be 69] or Joe Biden [who will be 74].)
One could point to polls plumbing other topics that also seem to show more public backing for what most of us would recognize as "conservative" opinions. For now, let just one suffice.
A recent (9/4-8/13) poll conducted for the Pew Research Center asked the following question: "If you had to choose, would you prefer a smaller government providing fewer services, or a larger government providing more services?" Fifty-one percent of the respondents opted for a smaller government, 40% wanted a bigger one, two percent replied "it depends," and seven percent either said "don't know" or refused to answer.
The rightward tilt of responses to this query continues a pattern to public opinion manifested on polls for Pew since 2009.
The apparent public rejection of some of Obama's favorite policies isn't the first time a sizable slice -- amounting probably to a majority -- of the populace reacted against a Chief Executive's attempts to move America to the Left.
After he was elected -- albeit with only 43% of the popular vote -- Bill Clinton sought to govern from the Left. (Remember "Hillarycare?") After the GOP captured both houses of Congress in the 1994 off-year elections, Clinton grudgingly tacked to the center, and began the Dick Morris-inspired practice of "triangulation," designed to locate the Clinton Administration between the Democrat Left and the Republican "Right." Clinton went so far as to declare "the era of big government is over" during his State-of-the-Nation address in 1996. After vetoing it twice, Clinton reluctantly signed the Newt Gingrich-inspired welfare reform bill in 1996.
Clinton's shift toward the political center helped get him reelected in 1996, although -- again -- with less than 50% of the popular vote.
So far, Obama displays no political dexterity à la Clinton. Rather, he has continued rigidly to cling to ultra Left-wing policies. (Is Obama a "bitter clinger?") During the run-up to the imbroglio over congressional passage of the latest Continuing Resolution, and during the ensuing government shutdown, Obama has used the most uncivil language to characterize conservatives generally, and Tea Partiers specifically.
In retrospect -- like him or not -- Clinton should be viewed as a crafty politician, one who "knows when to hold 'em, and knows when to fold 'em." (Clinton makes my skin crawl, but give the devil his due.)
Obama is a rigid ideologue, wedded to his ultra Left-wing view of the world, and completely unwilling to compromise. And the U.S. is stuck with him until January 20, 2017.
It is absolutely essential that he be turned into a lame duck.
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