The first seven days

Barack Obama now has a full week as Chief Executive behind him. Based on what Obama promised as a candidate and what he has implemented so far, here is where we seem to be headed during the next four years:

  • Senior advisers and cabinet members will be long-time DC insiders and hold-overs from the Bush and Clinton Administrations
  • The unchecked powers of the executive branch will be greatly strengthened (I thought this was a bad thing?) by the appointment of “czars” who are not Cabinet members and who are not vetted by Congress
  • Tax cheats will be welcome, as long as they are smart and are team players
  • Lobbyists will be welcome, as long as they are smart and are team players — despite Obama’s promises to the contrary
  • The current recession will be used as an excuse to enact the most expensive and powerful leftist power grab since the New Deal. Most of the “stimulus” items will simply be progressive agenda items aimed at strengthening the Democratic party’s power base. Very few of them will do anything to actually stimulate the economy
  • Obama seems at least willing to listen to Republicans. This is tricky, since his hard left base expects a liberal juggernaut with zero compromises. On the other hand, Obama promised to bring both sides together. For now though, it seems that his domestic agenda compromises will be on generally insignificant items
  • A handful of hard-left policies that opponents have been powerless to stop in the past will be re-implemented by executive order
  • Many big liberal agenda items (e.g. closing Guantanamo and ending military tribunals for captured terrorists) will be granted, but mainly for dramatic effect
  • Similarly, many controversial national security policies will be publicly denounced, but secretly kept in place, nearly intact
  • The War On Terror will continue, more or less unabated. US military personnel will continue to die. Civilians, over 140 of them, died during the first week of the Obama presidency in incidents related to Islamic terror. Al Qaeda and other forces of evil will continue to flex their muscles.
  • While the administration may make a show of winding down operations in Iraq (most of which were already in the process of being wound down), there will probably be an escalation of operations in Afghanistan, perhaps reaching into Pakistan
  • The majority of the mainstream press will all but abandon its “acountability” mission and serve as lapdogs, rather than watchdogs, of the Obama administration

“Centrism” for the Obama administration (for now at least) seems to be a massive liberal social agenda combined with a “stay the course” approach to the War On Terror. This is interesting, since the biggest source of “BUSH=HITLER!!!” hysteria stemmed from his handling of the War On Terror. But Obama is making an unusual effort to reach out and touch the Islamic world starting with rogue nations, in contrast to the Bush Administration’s policy of only working with nations that were willing, up front, to work with us. It remains to be seen if this policy will be successful, or if it will be abandoned after enough push-back and unreasonable demands from Iran and her ideological allies.

Instapundit recently published an email from a reader who likened the current Obama Stimulus Package to the Patriot Act, in the sense that both were hyped with such an incredible sense of urgency that lawmakers failed to read or understand most of what they were voting on. After the Patriot Act passed, Democrats caught hell from civil liberties and anti-war groups.

Despite the claims of hysterical progressives, the Patriot Act didn’t include an immediate trillion-dollar spending boondoggle, nor did it have the potential to greatly affect the livelihood and freedom of virtually American. Obama’s trillion-dollar pork spending and regulatory expansion plans do. While I am generally satisfied with the practical realization of his policies involving national security and the War on Terror, his spend-spend-spend/borrow/borrow/borrow attitude with regard to his domestic agenda is positively frightening, especially considering the tremendous amount of hot air exhausted by his party over “pay as you go” fiscal responsibility just two years ago.

Opposing President Obama’s pork-laden domestic agenda looks to be a fight worth fighting. Democrats have always been leaders in terms of no-holds-barred party line opposition to Republican policy proposals. Remember their victory, as a minority party, over President Bush’s attempt to reform Social Security with private investment accounts? I hope that Republicans can find the same kind of strength as a minority party and successfully keep our economy from sinking into debt-induced inflation and higher taxes.

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PS – HughS seems to be thinking along the same lines I am.

Double Standards and Doors
A Test For Boehner
  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net/ Marc

    pea[brain]3000 – “the last thing i’ll do is launch into a debate over points tossed up by people such as yourself without substantiation”

    Now isn’t that just hypocrisy in it’s highest form. He who provides nothing but unsubstantiated shit on a stick and hardly ever links to any damn thing.

    P.S. as to your misguided belief the “2-year delay issue” hasn’t been shown to be true,… no one less than the CBO has shown that (You know the CBO is the Congressional Gold Standard and how they determine the worth of legislature) AND linked to in some the threads on this topic

  • JLawson

    JMC -

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, I agree with you on the infrastructure improvements. Roads and bridges and the like are always going to need maintenance and upkeep.

    But according to page 215 of the stimulus package, the amount in the bill for transportation improvements (roads&bridges) is going to run about $50 billion.

    Also, in many cases the city, county, and state governments are already obligated to do the improvements with funds from federal highway tax (IE gas tax) revenue.

    I never thought I’d get to a point where I’d think $50 bil wasn’t enough money for something – but if this bill is about infrastructure, that ain’t enough.

    Maybe you’ve got some other info – is there a few hundred billion tucked away elsewhere in this pig that isn’t quickly visible?

  • JLawson

    So the end belief seems to be that because Obama says it’s needed, it’s needed. Political payback, baby – who cares how badly it further screws things up down the road if you can score political points with it? It’s all the Republicans fault anyway, right?

    Don’t analyze.

    Don’t think.

    Don’t question.

    Don’t look at specific items and wonder where they fit into stimulating the private sector economy.

    Don’t look at money being allocated that won’t be spent for years.

    Don’t listen to any doubts.

    Don’t think about how much this is going to cost in the future.

    Well – about all I can say is I hope you folks who want this package enjoy what we’re all gonna get. Because the hangover from that party is gonna be a killer…

  • jmc

    1So the end belief seems to be that because Obama says it’s needed, it’s needed.

    No, because monetary policy has failed to alleviate the crisis and spending is all the Government has left. Google Keynseian economics for an explaantion of the theory.

    Political payback, baby – who cares how badly it further screws things up down the road if you can score political points with it? It’s all the Republicans fault anyway, right?

    Actually, I think it is a philsophy of irresposible tax cuts, deregulation, terrible managment of at the fed, and a policy of essentially going from the world’s biggest creditor (1980) to the world’s biggest debtor (today) I think the philsophy has in essence orginated with Reagan and voodoo economics, but Clinton was more than happy to carry on with that mantle if it scored him political points and certianly George Bush wasn’t going to go in and start regulating things.

    Don’t analyze.

    Don’t think.

    Don’t question.

    Don’t look at specific items and wonder where they fit into stimulating the private sector economy.

    What is this the republican mantra?

    Don’t look at money being allocated that won’t be spent for years.

    Why, would I care about the money not being spent immedietly? short term thinking is what got us into this and more tax cuts for the wealthy will not get us out of it.

    Don’t listen to any doubts.

    Well, I’m pretty sure you won’t. I have given my doubts their due and decided they are wrong. Have you given your doubts their due?

    Don’t think about how much this is going to cost in the future.

    Don’t think about the consequences of cutting spending when their is no money in circulation.

    Well – about all I can say is I hope you folks who want this package enjoy what we’re all gonna get. Because the hangover from that party is gonna be a killer…

    We are already experiencing the hangover of failed Econmic policy that began with Ronald Reagan’s voodoo economics that took us from a credit giving nation to a debtor nation while changing us from a country that once had 8% of the nation’s wealth owned by the richest 1% to a nation in which 23% of the nation’s wealth is now owned by the richest 1%. Don’t worry I don’t expect you to think about this.

    Well, there we go. I guess we are going to have this discussion. I assume now you wil ask for documentation on my figures. I’ll provide them (not that it will change you your mind) After that you will ask me to justify things line by line, sure I will do it if it makes you happy You will of course prove intractable in your postion after I do so. But what the hell lets waste each others time. I wanted to avoid biting because I have more pressing things (like picking lint out of my belly button) but why not, Show me line but line why you hate the package then I’ll go in and show you line by line why I like it. I have already done this for myself but for some reason you seem to want my reasoning on record.

  • jmc

    pea[brain]3000 – “the last thing i’ll do is launch into a debate over points tossed up by people such as yourself without substantiation”

    Conservatives sure are a nasty bunch that jumps right into the name calling aren’t they?

  • JLawson

    JMC -

    I think we’ve reached an impasse. I don’t have hardly any more time I can spend on this myself. Our philosophies are different, we both see justifications for our points of view, but I don’t think we’ll reconcile them. Our discussion on this board isn’t going to affect things one way or the other anyhow, and I’d hate to tear you away from your navel lint. (Um. That visual isn’t a pretty one, is it?)

    Thanks for being civil – and I sincerely hope if this thing is passed that YOUR take on it is right, and that it DOES perform like it says on the package.

  • http://www.madeofawesome.net JimK

    “Conservatives sure are a nasty bunch that jumps right into the name calling aren’t they? “

    Really? You didn’t see the Wizbang Lefty Squad leap directly to name calling in this very thread?

    This comment was extraordinarily hypocritical. I’m sure you are much more intellectually honest than this, right?

    Right?

  • jmc

    Thanks for being civil – and I sincerely hope if this thing is passed that YOUR take on it is right, and that it DOES perform like it says on the package.

    You were being far more civil than I was and I do appreciate that. So thanks. Perhaps someday when we both have time, we can really dig into the details.

    In the meantime, lets just hope one way another we somehow stumble out of this mess.

  • jmc

    This comment was extraordinarily hypocritical. I’m sure you are much more intellectually honest than this, right?

    I’m willing to admit some on the left here will name call. People on the right do it just as often, as marc demonstrated. You are intellectualy honest enough to admit that, right?

  • JLawson

    JMC -

    In the meantime, lets just hope one way another we somehow stumble out of this mess.

    Amen to that! Think we should send a flashlight to Washington?

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net/ Marc

    jmc – “I’m willing to admit some on the left here will name call. People on the right do it just as often, as marc demonstrated.”

    Yepper I damn sure do jmc.

    I would suggest you spend some time researching on just who I use it against. Without exception it’s to people (in some cases I use the term people lightly) that use childish name calling first or have from their first appearance here done nothing but toss idiotic invective around.

    Do put yourself on my list.

  • jmc

    Amen to that! Think we should send a flashlight to Washington?

    It probably wouldn’t hurt. :)

  • jmc

    Do put yourself on my list.

    With pleasure.

  • hyperbolist

    lol @ Zelsdorf indeed.

    Trogdor!!!!!! I mean… Zelsdorf!!!!!!

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