From a conservative perspective, Greg Carter offers his views on the reality that has followed Obama’s presidential victory in 2008. Read on, as John Hardy offers his view from the left of what Greg has to say.
For a background on John and Greg please click here.
Oobaaamaa, Oobaaamaa, Oobaaamaa
The glaze was in their eyes as the chant rolled off their lips. Millions of Americans bought into the undefined mantra of “Hope and Change” only to vote more for a cult leader than an experienced political figure. A feel good vote for a person very few people knew anything about. Those who had studied Obama were shouting from the mountain tops only to be called Crazy – Right Wing and Extremists.
That was the fall of 2008.
At the time I predicted that people would sober up and come to their senses but I honestly thought it would take at least a year. Then, Barack Obama, with the assistance of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi began to push their agenda. It’s amazing how quickly the citizens of America can come around when confronted with a Hard Core Radical Socialist leading this once great country. We will see what happens in November of 2010, but I will go on record stating that Barack Obama will see the greatest loss of Congressional seats that any President has ever seen. A pounding for the history books as Americans reinforce our vastly Conservative principles.
To be certain, those who threw the tide to Obama can be forgiven for their foolishness, so long as they repent and sin no more! His predecessor, George W. Bush had endured an unmerciful beating within most of the domestic press outlets. Despite his unwavering stance toward dealing with those seeking to wreak death and destruction (here in after referred to as RIT, or Radical Islamic Terrorists), despite a rebounding and growing economy for 7 years of his administration following the attacks on our country, despite leading the effort to keep our country free from attack following September 11th, 2001, President Bush was routinely vilified in the press as an incapable idiot. If there’s one benefit to the election cycle of 2008 it’s that no single media outlet in the United States can claim any sort of unbiased journalism. Assuming that Fox News is on one side, that puts them up against ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, PBS, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and on, and on, and on.
As the bulk of the media in this country worked as advertising agents and cheerleaders, then candidate Obama only had to say “Hope and Change”. To be fair, he did sometimes seek variety. He would sometimes alter his approach to a different theme of “Change and Hope”. No specifics, no details….he knew all too well he wouldn’t be accepted if he did. And then…Holy Shit…he won the election. Granted he was up against a lifeless, hapless, pitiful candidate in John McCain. (It should be noted however, that even though George Bush was a whipping boy for the press, and John McCain simply sucked as a candidate, Barack Hussein Obama only won 52.9% of the popular vote) McCain won more states and vastly more land mass, but I value our electoral college process and Obama won that without issue.
Barack Obama then took office. (In the texting world I think the proper expression is OMG!) Within a few short months, the country sat up straight and took notice. Much like a wild party that got out of hand, with a little too much drinking and a few date-rape drugs, many Americans woke up and said, “What the hell happened?!? I did what?? With who?? Oh dear God!!”
What has clearly come to the forefront is that this is a battle between Conservative Principles and Progressive Politics. It’s been a long time in the works, 100 years plus as a matter of fact, extending back to the turn of the last century. Progressives within both the Democratic and Republican parties have relentlessly moved our country away from the founding principles that gave us such a great foundation for success. As the decades moved on we moved away from a two party system into what became a 11/4 party system. Until this year we basically evolved into the Progressive/Liberal Democrats and the spineless, gutless, slightly less Progressive Republican party. It has been a recipe for disaster.
Now we have reached a point of political sobriety. After witnessing government bailouts of numerous business entities, government takeover of key elements of the auto industry, government takeover of our health care system and most recently, a financial regulation package that is sure to create further problems, Americans in droves have said enough is enough.
The TEA Party movement in America is not seeking the establishment of another political party to muddy the waters. Rather, the effect of the TEA Party is to ‘clean house on the right and defeat the left’. TEA Party participants are leading the charge for Political Sobriety. It’s a fight for freedom over serfdom, a battle for the heart and soul of America. As Americans, we generally are a happy and welcoming people. We don’t seek to pick fights and we just want to have a good time for the most part. The problem is sometimes we get a little too stupid and a little too lazy for our own good.
No single Federal welfare program in this country is more important than the freedoms we were bestowed with and the heritage our country had. In my lifetime, we last had such a jolt of reality when Jimmy Carter was President. I said before the elections that I thought Barack Obama would make Jimmy Carter look like a genius. It sucks to be right about such things. We had to endure Carter in order to get to Ronald Reagan, and we have to survive Obama in order to get back on the right path this time. I can only hope that the resources now available to people; the Internet, Social Networking, Email, Talk Radio, Satellite Radio, etc…can help sustain the level of interest and awareness within our society. It will be a fight to the death to defend some of these outlets of information and communication, but it’s a fight worth fighting.
November 2010 will be a test to see how sober we’ve become, but it’s only midway through what amounts to a 12 step process. We know we have a problem; we’ve begun to deal with it, now we need to see it through and NEVER let it happen again.
Greg, it’s shocking but I’m about to agree with you on a number of points. You’re correct; the American people did buy the mantra of hope and change, big time. They bought it in spite of the puerile suggestion that Obama is more of a cult figure than an experienced politician. So what does this tell us? Well, it suggests to me that people were fed up of one of the most conservative presidents in US history. The American people demanded change and they got it!
In Britain, a country where ironically I feel a greater sense of freedom than in the self-proclaimed ‘land of the free’, we are allowed to gamble. You can go to a bookmaker (betting shop) or online and bet on pretty much anything; elections, sporting events, even your newborn child one day winning Olympic gold – you name it, they’ll give you odds (probability) and take your wager. They make their money by being damn good at predicting the likelihood of these outcomes. In 2008 the ‘bookies’ said an Obama victory was almost certain. When I told you this however, you remained so confident McCain could still win we had a small wager of our own, one bookmaker paid out a week before the election took place. In January when Brown and Coakley competed for Ted Kennedy’s former senate seat in Massachusetts, while you guys were no doubt keenly following the election, over here the bookmakers were so convinced the contest was over they paid out on a Brown victory 24 hours before the election even took place. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jan/19/bookie-pays-off-early-predicts-brown-win/
My point being, while I believe the democrats may lose seats in November, I think your suggestion that the Democrats will receive a pounding for the history books is based more on wishful thinking than reality. After all the bookmakers currently have Obama as favourite (just) to win the 2012 election so his support can’t have fallen as much as perhaps a diet of Fox news and talk radio would have their audience believe.
That brings me neatly to another point where we are in agreement; the United States media is most definitely biased. We are privileged in Britain to have the BBC which is constitutionally neutral. While those on the political right like to suggest it has a liberal bias, they clearly have never been subjected to the appalling and unashamed partiality endured by our American cousins. As a conservative you will no doubt be horrified to discover that the BBC is funded by a ‘licence fee’, essentially a compulsory tax of £149.50 ($210) paid annually to the BBC for the right to view any television programming within that household. The BBC, however, is one of the most popular institutions in Britain and one I feel makes a great case for government intervention: all the commercial networks have to compete with the high quality, unbiased and commercial-free output it produces. Consequently, in my biased opinion, the commercial networks here are of a much higher standard than they would otherwise be as they are forced to compete with what the BBCs produces. A great example of how a public option can force the private sector to produce higher quality output, more efficiently, except of course for the fact that in this instance the licence fee is not optional (if you want to watch TV).
You are correct also, that George W. Bush was vilified by certain elements of the media… but so was Obama. When you suggest “those who had studied Obama… [were called] crazy – right wing and extremists”, are these the same people who suggested he was a Muslim, and not even American? If so I’d say those extremist labels were probably accurate, fortunately most of the media did not participate in this vile scare-mongering that the ignorant so willingly bought into. If you are referring to this ‘card carrying socialist Obama’ that’s another entirely pointless debate, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter; I don’t consider Obama a socialist, you don’t consider Bush an “incapable idiot”. But why must everything be polarised? Politicians and the media all seem to be labelled as being on one extreme or the other, where is the middle ground? I fear the 2-party politics of America has much to do with this; I was amazed to discover that in the US election campaigns are offered government funding based on criteria which usually benefit only the Republican and Democratic parties. This strikes me as undemocratic and in my view amounts to a state-sponsored duopoly! The consequence is that every political issue becomes polarised and all the shades of grey are overlooked.
I welcome the TEA party movement. I had hoped it would begin a move away from traditional 2-party politics where more diverse views can be represented. Sadly, this is not the case, and contrary to yourself I view the goal of shifting the Republicans further to the right as a move away from the ideals of mainstream America. The best thing that can happen to the Democrats is for a Palin-esqe figure to win the Republican nomination. Not only would this provide slapstick we haven’t seen since Bush was in office but she is unappealing and unelectable to all but the most staunch of conservatives.
We just elected the Conservative party in Britain after 13 years out of office. Well, actually we didn’t elect them; they failed to achieve a majority and had to find support from the Liberal Democrat party, something I never thought possible. The conservatives only managed to regain power after realignment away from the right, they even redesigned their logo as a tree to show they care about the environment. You clearly yearn for the Republican party to be move even further towards the right, and I’m sure surrounded by vocal and like-minded individuals at tea party rallies it feels like lots of people do, but I feel this isn’t a true reflection of the American people and you’ll end up pushing yourselves away from power, the opposite of what the British Conservatives have achieved. Ultimately, time will tell.
You criticise Obama for intervening in the failing auto industry. Would you offer the same criticism to Bush for intervening when the banking system, and with it, the basic premise of the free market failed? On that occasion the bankers
requested demanded $700bn of public money to be saved.
I’d like to take a moment to point out this conveniently took place 8 weeks before the election, with the bill rushed through a congress terrified by how the vote would affect the outcome of the upcoming election.
So who were biggest benefactors from this panicked frenzy? I’ll give you a clue; it’s the smartest minds your nation produces. After graduating in physics and mathematics from Harvard and the like, these great minds choose not to further the medical and scientific endeavours of mankind but to instead opt for a career of unrivalled greed. While the global economy collapsed around them their great minds were not looking for solutions to the crisis they created. Instead their thoughts were consumed by the one thought allowed in a free market system: how can they make a profit! And profit they did, while everyone else continues to struggle, the bankers are once again raking in massive profits and contributing nothing of value to humanity. Easy when you’ve been given $700bn as a parting gift from George W. Bush!