Catching that fast train to anywhere!
By Allan Erickson
What is striking about this new Presidency is the contrast between television image making and the off-camera conversations outside the ‘circle of power.’ Out front, a Smiley Face. Behind the scenes: Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Exchange giving voice to millions of alienated citizens.
President Obama plays well on television. The broad smiles, cheers and applause welcoming him at various events testify the euphoria over his ascension still holds. People seem genuinely glad he is in power, in a bipartisan way of course. The White House is working at a rapid pace to assure everyone the job is being handled by a competent and highly engaged professional.
Yet, critics rightly point out the ‘stimulus’ is more pork that economic development. More and more people appear to believe constituencies are being rewarded. When transparency is promised, and obfuscation appears, people suspect they are being railroaded. And when the most ethical administration in history is guaranteed, only to be marked by multiple ethics challenges in only the first five weeks, folks rightly suspect we’ve made a mistake: executive experience is important after all. (Lobbyists have no place here! Waiver, waiver, waiver.)
Hope, change, unity, transparency and integrity—all promised daily for two years during the campaign—seem to be fading like mist under the hot sun. Even the press corps is getting itchy, everyone except Helen Thomas and Ed Schultz of course: ‘so-called terrorism.’ Robert Gibbs won’t last a year as press secretary: too arrogant, glib and uninformed.
These are only a few of the signs things are already wearing thin. Ominously, gun sales have rocketed.
If the back channel chatter is any indication, growing numbers of people from Right and Left, and the Middle, are nervous, and even outright furious, while several lawsuits continue challenging the President’s eligibility, raising the citizenship question.
So far, the financial markets here and abroad are not impressed by the ‘stimulus package.’ Loads of people think the crisis was manufactured to provide an excuse to move the country toward centralized control of the economy: socialism by any definition.
Yesterday, on HuffPo of all places, an editorial accusing Treasury Sec. Tim ‘TaxBack’ Geithner of breaking the law. Bailing out banks instead of ushering them into receivership is apparently unlawful. Who knew?!
Obama’s first two executive orders—allowing taxpayer money to fund abortion overseas, and ordering Gitmo closed—were seriously unpopular, although he made it clear during the campaign he would do these things. Thus voters have only themselves to blame. The first detainee released from Gitmo by the Obama administration is already causing a stir in Britain, and being used for propaganda purposes. Long Al Qaeda history. Now claims we tortured him. One wonders how long it will be before his picture hits the front page in the wake of some atrocious attack.
Welcome to the UK!
In other developments . . . did you know illegal aliens can apply for mortgage relief?
Most Americans oppose bailouts. Americans are very angry about the stimulus package. Solid majorities oppose the home mortgage bailout. (To hell with the Will of the People: we won!)
Immediately following the giant arm twist to force us into generational theft and insurmountable debt, the President holds a ‘Fiscal Responsibility Summit,’ taking advice from people like Charles Rangel, which is a bit like robbing the stagecoach, then offering to help Wells Fargo become profitable.
Many on the Left are dismayed the President is continuing many of Bush’s war on terror policies, including rendition, and some forms of ‘enhanced’ interrogation, escalation in Afghanistan, not granting Constitutional rights to detainees there, and drone attacks in the Pakistani tribal regions.
This is Change?
A number of military brass are nervous about early with drawl from Iraq.
And that glowing military strategist Bill Ayers tells Fox News he is greatly concerning this “hopeful and brilliant President’ will be consumed in the fires of war. (If bombs start going off at The Pentagon perhaps the FBI will inquire in Chicago, and the judicial system won’t screw it up this time.) Bill says he is ‘willing to rethink’ his violent past. Let’s hope he doesn’t decide to replay it. But hey! All things are permissible when the quest is social justice, right Mr. President?
Speaking of morality, there are the serial ethics problems Obama has faced in trying to fill key positions in his administration: from Geithner, to Emanuel, and on to Daschle, Richardson, Killefer, and Solis. Then, the real head scratchers as well: Holder [\”you cowards\”], Panetta, Napolitano, Salazar, Duncan, Ogden, Sunstein, Munoz, Clinton—all either radical, unqualified or downright goofy: Ogden for #2 at DOJ-‘porn good,’ and Sunstein ‘eating steak, murder,’ and Munoz, ‘give California to Mexico,’ and universal amnesty for illegal aliens. Napolitano has no law enforcement, military or security experience yet she heads Homeland Security, all the while denying Mexican incursions. Panetta has no intelligence experience yet he now heads the largest intelligence-gathering agency in the world. Holder, supposedly the chief law enforcement officer, is more concerned with releasing terrorists, dropping charges, and aggravating racial tensions.
And then there’s Hillary.
Speaking of Clinton, human rights folks are all in a lather she didn’t stick it to the Chinese on that topic, but rather groveled and begged them to lend us even more money while they boldly stated: “We hate you.” Earlier the North Koreans had told her they are full on ready for war. Before that diplomatic triumph, the Indonesians demonstrated in the streets yelling “Hillary Go Home.” (The shoe throwing was off camera apparently.) Well, maybe she’ll do better in Iraq, or in Tehran. (‘If Iran attacks Israel, we’ll obliterate them.’ Ah. Madam Secretary, I think Congress might have something to say first?) Speaking of Israel, Clinton is critical of our dear ally for delaying Gaza humanitarian aid (the U.S. is sending $900M and guess what a good chunck of that money will be used for . . . ). Israel started sending aid the day hostilities commenced. Hamas is still shooting rockets into Israel. Israeli aid is hampered by the fact Hamas kidnapped another Israeli soldier. It’s a tough situation, and complex. But our Sec. of State decides it’s good policy to publically criticize our dearest ally in the region. Geez.
Otherwise on the foreign policy front, how nice to see us cozy up to Chavez and Ahmadinejad: both moves causing Americans to grind their teeth. We’ve managed to alienate Pakistan (and thanks for your contribution Sen. Feinstein), and other allies, and at the same time encourage our enemies, all in a couple weeks. Now that’s change we can believe in!
Biden? He was supposed to help with foreign policy. He has gone from irritating to embarrassing in just a couple weeks. He can’t seem to remember things. Here are his Top Five Gaffes.
Looking forward: a plan for the WH to take control of the census which has huge political ramifications, the Fairness Doctrine and government control of free speech and freedom of the press, universal healthcare, gun control, tax increases and more social engineering leveraging climate change, nationalizing entire industries, followed by the insistence we all learn Swedish, embrace homosexuality (figuratively of course), and continue feeling deep shame and guilt that Al Sharpton and Sean Penn are forever angry and alienated and outraged, along with most Hollywood elites. (Weren’t they supposed to be happy now?)
Salon’s Joan Walsh is still effusive, but Camille Paglia, while supportive, isn’t so willing to ignore the facts and the foolishness.
“The administration’s coercive rush toward instant action (on the ‘stimulus’), accompanied by apocalyptic pronouncements of imminent catastrophe, has put its own credibility on the line.”
Yes. That troublesome ‘politics of fear’ business again. Credibility problems in only five weeks? My, how time flies.
Meanwhile, Slick Willy*, gleeful Obama has hired his entire administration, sidles up to the President urging him to inject hope, perhaps by channeling Norman Vincent Peale? Maybe a little riff on the sax will help.
One can only imagine the private conversations among high ranking military as the President prepares to cut defense, cancel development of new weapons systems, take nukes off trigger alert, cut missile defense, and then send our boys to war.
‘Make up Mr. President! Twenty five minutes to air!’
All that really matters is perception. Blow smoke, twist another arm, and rearrange the mirrors.
(At least Harry Reid caught the fast train from Disneyland to Vegas: from one fantasy to another!)