Four Traps for Obama

2010 is do-or-die time for the Obama Administration. Bill Clinton lost a majority in Congress two years after he came into office. Enough voters switched against the Democrats to bring the Gingrich-led GOP Congress into majority status for the first time in 40 years. Voters wanted to restrain the Clintons' socialist ambitions.

Two fiascos punctuated the first Clinton years.

First, the Democrats' drive for openly practiced homosexuality in the military. The voters didn't like the idea of US Marines openly sleeping together.

The second fiasco was HillaryCare, which looked like a massive power-grab, not a modest medical insurance program.

Barack  Obama is preparing to step into those two hornets' nests even now. 

But there's more.

Trap Number Three:  Obama wants to make his mark domestically, and keep foreign policy stable and at a distance, at least in the first few years. That's why he brought in Hillary and her merry band to run foreign policy. But this won't work. Foreign challenges started to emerge as soon as Obama was elected. Vladimir Putin is threatening Ukraine's gas supplies. He has no compunction about invading neighboring countries, as he did with Georgia. The Europeans, in their usual shameful and cowardly way, will immediately call on the US to respond.

Ahmadinejad will explode his first nuke in the next two years. The Arabs oil countries will look to the US to protect them. Add the North Koreans and lots of pressure from Arabs who have apparently invested money in the Obama campaign.

Obama will have to respond, or back down.

Trap Number  Four. The economy is the worst trap of all, because it affects every voter's well-being. We are in an unprecedented debt crisis, with no clear way out. What gets us out of trouble -- the Carter Malaise, the Great Depression, the business cycles -- is improved productivity. The productive sector of the economy creates goods and services that people want. The computer revolution has immensely increased productivity. The Green Revolution in crops and the coming biotech revolution will improve genuine productivity.

But none of those are under Federal control. They happen at their own pace, as products, opportunities and markets open up.

Obama's Green supporters are fanatically blocking the most obvious improvements in economic productivity: nuclear power plants and better use of domestic oil supplies.

All four Traps for Obama interact. Thus a market-based Health Savings Account for the uninsured is a sensible investment, with minimal impact on the health care sector. But a central planning authority, ObamaCare instead of HillaryCare, will create even more uncertainty in one-seventh of the  US economy. It will depress the economy as long as things remain unpredictable, which will be years.

Likewise, if we cannot protect the oil-producing countries and navigation channels -- like the Persian Gulf -- the Saudis will not use their reserve production capacity to at least partially stabilize oil prices. If it were up to Iran and Chavez, oil would be four times what it is today, and the world economic crisis would be much, much worse.

The media will be full of excuses for Obama in 2009 and 2010. But the voters likely will be hurting. Obama either has to shaft his supporters -- the Gay Left, the anti-military, the corrupt Democrat city machines, the Greens -- or he will lose in 2010.