June 19, 2010
The Novel Presidency
"I know there's been a lot of talk around town lately about the value-added tax -- that is something that has worked for some countries. It's something that would be novel -- for the United States."- President Barack Obama
As Obama ponders the title for his next memoir, he should consider calling it The Novel Presidency. Because as novel as the idea of exorbitantly high tax rates to address Obama's record-setting growth of government and spending would be to the American citizenry, it is Obama's entire ideologically driven policy agenda that is "novel -- for the United States." And it is Obama's perception that his socialized economic policies have "worked for some countries" that illustrates just how ignorant and out of touch this president is with reality.
Obama may be the first black president in the history of the U.S., but he will be remembered more for his policies that have initiated the decline of American's exceptional nature -- his stated goal, which was more than apparent a few months back when he announced that "whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower." Now that is a novel statement from the leader of the free world. Sadly, the president's obvious disdain for America's superpower status is not the only example of his novel ideas for America's future.
While those on the far left who support Obama's domestic policies enjoy comparing him to FDR, upon closer scrutiny, a more appropriate comparison would be Hugo Chávez or Vladimir Putin. His takeover of private enterprises such as General Motors, the student loan industry, the health care industry, and the financial sector are certainly novel for the world's oldest and most respected democracy and bastion of free enterprise and entrepreneurial success. His intimidation tactics that force business executives to give up paychecks, bonuses, and dividend payments to public shareholders, and his scapegoating of everyone from insurance companies to Wall Street executives, sound a lot like tactics employed more by dictators than by U.S. presidents. For it is clear that while Obama's domestic policies are unique to American values and will deter the country's future prosperity, they are certainly not new to socialist and totalitarian regimes, whose citizens fester under policies meant to keep them submissive, not equal.
Beginning with his petulant attacks on Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, his assault on middle-class Americans and tea party protesters, and his rejection of any input on his health care legislation, Obama has acted more like a bully than a president. Obama promised to reach across the aisle as the first post-partisan president, yet he has shown complete intolerance and total contempt for dissenting opinions. In just eighteen months, he has divided the country in a way not seen since the Civil War.
Obama has usurped the Constitution, defied the will of the people, moved partisan politics into the back rooms of Chicago-style wheeling and dealing, and expanded government to levels never before seen in the history of the country. His socialist policies have failed across the globe, and yet he pursues them with zeal. And while the world's economies are failing and oil pours into the Gulf of Mexico, causing environmental destruction at a disastrous rate, Obama has found an exorbitant amount of time to spend in indulging in dalliances and leisure activities on the taxpayers' dime, including concerts, date nights, and more rounds of golf in his first months in office than any of his predecessors during each of their respective terms.
On the foreign policy front, Obama's goal of reducing America's standing in the world as superpower, defender of human rights, and supporter of democracy and freedom is certainly novel. How many U.S. presidents have genuflected before the world's leading dictators and shunned the country's allies? How many U.S. presidents have been so obsessed with reversing course with their predecessors that they throw freedom-fighters, dissidents, dignitaries, and democratic leaders under the bus for the purpose of appeasing enemies and undermining well-established and accepted U.S. doctrines and principles? And how many U.S. presidents have traveled the globe on an apology tour promising that America's greatness will never again be something that the world will have to face?
Honduras, Poland, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, and Israel are at the top of the list of America's allies who have faced the wrath of Obama. Yet Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, China, and Russia consistently face Obama's outstretched arms, notwithstanding the threats, intimidation, human rights abuses, and terrorism which pervade these countries' politics and which U.S. presidents have customarily shunned.
But the most harmful and long-lasting effects of Obama's novel foreign policy plans involve his isolation of, and turn against, Israel, America's strongest and most strategic ally in the Mideast -- the frontline of the War on Terror. For no other U.S. president has used the word "condemn" to admonish an ally for announcing the receipt of a building permit for the future development of housing units in its capital city. No other U.S. president has ever signed onto a U.N. resolution that condemns Israel or isolates it for doing what every sovereign nation has a right and an obligation to do -- defend its borders and its citizens. No other U.S. president has jumped on the never-ending international bandwagon of "Blame Israel" as Obama recently did in response to Israel's legal blockade of Gaza. And no other U.S. president has ever taken part in, let alone initiated and organized, an international meeting to "out" Israel's nuclear weapons and force it to give up its only real means of deterrence and defense that ensures its survival.
Perhaps the analogy to FDR is apt as we watch apathetic Americans, and in particular American Jews, quietly sit back without attempting to prevent the possibility of another Holocaust. However, FDR did not actively take steps to ensure the death of millions of Jews as Obama is now doing. As Obama likes to say, "The buck stops here." And when Iran goes nuclear and aims its weapons first at Israel, next at Europe, and lastly at the United States, it will certainly be a new feeling for Americans to realize that they could have prevented the catastrophe but chose instead to support the novel president and his policies based on hope and change.
Yes, these are certainly novel times for the United States. But they are also catastrophic. And if the American people do not prevent these policies from implementation, The Novel Presidency may top the New York Times bestseller list at some point in the future. However, American citizens may find themselves reading Obama's third memoir while sitting in a jail cell facing accusations of breaching Sharia law, standing in an unemployment line waiting for the latest government handout, lying in an emergency room in the hopes of seeing a doctor before an illness becomes untreatable, or sitting in a nuclear bunker awaiting the next Iranian attack.