Πέμπτη, 21 Ιανουαρίου 2010

Obama's first year

Obama's first year was a complete failure. "Democracy came into the Western World to the tune of sweet, soft music," wrote H.L. Menken as the opening to his Notes on Democracy. With the ascent of rabblerouser Barack Obama, the music was triumphant and loud, captivating the entire center-left media establishment, the nation's youth, the official counterculture, the legions of professional victimologists, the mainstream antiwar movement, the civil bureaucracy, the legal profession, the unions, most traditional Democrats and the young and old members of American academia.

Basil Venitis points out that every democracy is eventually hijacked by rabblerousers, pullpeddlers, clans of kleptocrats, bumptious bugaboos, busybodies, butterbabies, nabobs of nepotism, cranks of cronyism, pusillanimous pussyfooters, riffraffs of rascals, socialist sophists, and machiavellian mafiosi. Democracy tends to kleptocracy. Venitism should replace democracy.

Venitist Anthony Gregory points out that for the lion's share of Obama's loyal supporters, his ascent to the throne marked something nearly as significant as the entrance of democracy itself onto the Western scene. It signaled a turning point to one day be listed on a short list of American victories for the modern world -- a watershed to appear on timelines featuring the Emancipation Proclamation, women's suffrage and the Civil Rights movement.

Meanwhile, although in Mencken's account there was, at the start, no harsh bawling from below when democracy made its appearance, Obama was met early on by loud protest from much of the grassroots right, much of which had backed Bush until the twilight of his own reign of power and who agreed with Obama's supporters that the man represented a great shift in American governance, only disagreeing on whether this dramatic transformation was one to be celebrated rather than feared.

Anthony Gregory notes that a year has passed since the maligned and lame-duck Bush presidency gave way to the hope and change of the Obama administration. For the first couple months last year, criticism of Obama was regarded as premature. We had to give him the benefit of the doubt for the obligatory although arbitrary 100 days. When that period passed, Obama was shielded from criticism on the grounds that his predecessor had made such a disastrous mess of domestic and foreign policy that the new president would need yet more time before he could be fairly evaluated. That isolation from criticism did give way eventually, and few today have the temerity to insist that we delay our scrutiny until the president is reelected in 2012.

A fundamental element in a meaningful critique of Obama's first year must take account of whether his policies have succeeded on his own terms. Has he represented the hope and change that he promised, that became the rallying cry of tens of millions and swept the internet in youtube videos showcasing artists and celebrities at once pleading and predicting that America would usher in the political reform of a lifetime?

We must remember why the Republicans were so roundly defeated in November 2008. McCain was seen as a continuation of the Bush legacy, about which many conservatives by that time had become visibly embarrassed. Throughout the seemingly interminable campaign season, all the way up until Autumn, John McCain ran on a platform of staying the course in foreign policy and being more reform-minded than Bush in the domestic arena, while somehow being at the same time more fiscally conservative so as to offer a meaningful alternative to the Democrats.

The alleged expertise and experience brought by Republicans to the realm of national security had suffered due to widespread public fatigue about Iraq, dozens of scandals concerning Republican executive power that made headlines for about four solid years, and a growing sense that Bush and by corollary McCain demonstrated a crass hubris concerning the projection of American power that was hurting the country's image and not keeping us the least bit safer. Of course, venitist Ron Paul's presence on the GOP primary stage, through the presentation of a truly diametrically opposed alternative, revealed the limits of the Republicans' monotone attachment to the foreign policy status quo.

Running on the supposed success of the Iraq surge was doing better than it should have. With McCain's pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate, he seemed for a week to have a real chance at victory. The choice had secured the Republican grassroots and much of middle America, while cutting into the Democrats' dominance among independent-minded women. But then amidst growing concerns about the financial and mortgage markets, McCain, who had admitted that he did not know much about venitism and yet had the boldness to challenge Ron Paul to read Adam Smith, spoke the words that sealed his political fate: The fundamentals of the economy are still strong. By September the consensus turned decisively against this foolish remark.

Anthony Gregory points out that in the wake of financial collapse, with both McCain and Obama stepping over themselves to rush to Washington and approve the Bush-Paulson bailouts, the premier political question was one that hit voters' wallets hard, and Obama swept into the White House. A change in foreign policy and economic policy became more attractive to enough swing votes to give Obama an unambiguous electoral victory, even if nobody could show just what Obama knew about the recession that had just culminated into a huge crash and how he was supposed to fix it.

Obama failed miserably, because instead of lowering taxes he drastically increased spending. Basil Venitis has proven that for each percent of lower taxes, the economy grows by at least four percent more, and the government gets more revenue. Raising tax rates is masochism. Smart stimulus is to cut tax rates. Stupidus stimulus is to increase spending, which stimulates the cancer of socialism! The most efficient political system is venitism, where everything is private, there are no taxes at all, there is no parliament, and a powerless infinitesimal government is chosen and supported not by hoi polloi, but by the most generous benefactors.


Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια:

Δημοσίευση σχολίου