Is it the Beginning of the End for Obama?

June 4, 2010

On the campaign trail, Obama was portrayed as a moderate, willing to extend the olive branch of bipartisanship. Then he became known for his views on the redistribution of wealth, revealing himself to be a liberal. Next, he was branded a socialist. But was he ever thought to be scandal-ridden and incompetent? Not until now.

In a time where Obama would do well to seem calm, collected, and in charge after a knock-down, drag-out fight over healthcare, the chinks in his armor are beginning to show.

BP and Barack: A Love Story

Despite what Ken Salazar, Obama’s Secretary of the Interior, has said about keeping a “boot on the neck” of BP, Obama’s actual dealings with BP seem to indicate otherwise. In fact, out of all of BP’s contributions to federal candidates, the President ranks #1 among its recipients. I suppose this conflict of interest might make it more difficult for him to apply pressure with that size 13 1/2 heel. Oh, why do we always hurt the ones we love?

His hesitance to do anything at all in the midst of this crisis (besides hang out with the Duke basketball team and Bill Clinton) bears a strong resemblance to the left’s caricature of a supposedly uncaring President Bush in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. However, while Bush only took a mere four days to physically arrive at the scene, Obama’s arrival to Louisiana took nearly two weeks.

Is it a lack of compassion? Is it incompetence? What is it that keeps Obama at the point of being so stupefied? At any rate, something needs to happen before James Carville blows a gasket over this.

I’ll Have Mine Chicago-style, Please

At press time, there are two scandals on the horizon where the White House has dangled the carrot of federal jobs to Democrats in primary races for political reasons. Apparently, Obama didn’t learn much from the Blago scandal, but I suppose the Chicago culture is so ingrained in the mindset of the White House that it’s difficult to resist.

The first case involves Joe Sestak, a Democrat who challenged and prevailed over the Obama-backed Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania. Supposedly, the White House via Bill Clinton offered Sestak the position of Secretary of the Navy if he would drop out of the race. He probably should’ve taken it, considering that he could still lose to Pat Toomey in November.

The second instance involves Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff being offered an unknown position if he would drop his challenge to Senator Michael Bennet. Apparently, it’s pretty lucrative to challenge sitting Democratic congressmen in the primaries. Are there any other positions open that you’d like to tell us about, Mr. President?

From FDR and JFK to Carter and Nixon?

Obama was supposed to be a legendary president in the mold of FDR and JFK. After all, BHO does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Instead, he has taken up the policies of Carter with the transparency of Nixon. Will “I’m not an ideologue” become the next “I am not a crook”?

In record time, Obama’s presidency has taken a turn for the worse. Between a massive oil spill (resulting from a rig that won a Safety Award from his administration) and two back room deals, will the Obama administration survive politically until 2012? Some don’t think so.

This November could simply be the last nail in the coffin for his hopes of a two-term presidency unless he significantly alters course.

Article first published as Is it the Beginning of the End for Obama? on Blogcritics.


Obama: The Worst President Since FDR

March 11, 2010

I know what many of you are thinking: “But FDR got us out of the Great Depression. FDR signed the Social Security act. FDR helped us win World War II. He was a good president!”

A good president? Yes and no.

Now while I would not be one to discount his leadership in World War II or many of the other positive things he accomplished, instead what I intend to look at is the result of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s economic policies, specifically the ones he implemented to get us out of the Great Depression in comparison to Obama’s economic policies today.

Certainly there are parallels between the two presidents from the outset. Both began their administrations after an unpopular Republican president. Both faced dire economic circumstances in the early parts of their administrations (though for FDR, the problems were arguably much greater than they are today). And both of them sought to bring about major social change through their respective government programs.

One thing that is interesting to note about FDR’s administration is that he actually implemented some of the policies of his predecessor, Republican president Herbert Hoover. How can that be? FDR bringing about the same things as the dreaded Herbert Hoover? It’s true. Just ask FDR’s advisor Rexford Guy Tugwell:

We didn’t admit it at the time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started.”

This is unusual considering that FDR ran on a platform of cutting taxes, cutting government, and balancing the budget. In contrast to Hoover’s Revenue Act in 1932, which doubled the income tax rate and was the largest tax increase in peacetime history.  The ideas that FDR campaigned on were actually quite good. However, just like with Obama, campaign promises and actual policies were two different things to FDR. He raised the top income tax rate as high as 90 percent. In the same vein, just last year, Obama has proposed to increase the top income tax rate as well, although fortunately not to 90 percent like FDR did!

And just as FDR followed Hoover’s bad policies, Steve Forbes points out that Obama is following Bush’s bad economic policies, which ironically run counter to that of FDR’s:

What is most astounding about President Barack Obama’s radical economic recovery program isn’t its breadth, but its continuation of the most destructive policies of the Bush administration. These Bush policies were in themselves repudiations of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mr. Obama’s hero.

Both presidents also share a fondness of elevating the public sector. InThe Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, Amity Shlaes points out that the New Deal eroded the private sector, while lifting the public sector:

Evidence from that period suggest that government was crowding out the private sector. The Tennessee Valley Authority, for example, dealt mortal blows to a private employer that wanted to electrify the South… For every state-relief job created, about half a private-sector job was lost.”

Since Obama has taken office, private sector jobs have decreased and public sector jobs have increased.

A few interesting excerpts from the diary of Henry Morgenthau Jr., Secretary of the Treasury under FDR, are also very revealing:

“…we have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work… We have never made good on our promises…. I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… and an enormous debt to boot!

That sounds eerily familiar, doesn’t it? A 2004 study by Harold Cole & Lee Ohanian at UCLA concludes that FDR’s “ill-conceived stimulus policies” prolonged the Depression by seven years. They also said that the New Deal “short-circuited the market’s self-correcting forces.”

But back to Morgenthau’s comment on unemployment. In spite of the New Deal, the unemployment rate during the Great Depression never got below 14%. Obviously, the New Deal had little to no effect on the staggering unemployment that faced our country. Just like the New Deal, Obama’s stimulus has failed to affect unemployment. In fact, unemployment numbers have gone up since the stimulus, despite the White House’s predictions.

Just like FDR, Obama is prolonging our recession. Now personally, I think Barack Obama is more like Jimmy Carter: a miserable failure of a president that needed to be ousted after 4 years of dreadful economic policies. But perhaps like Carter, the American people will find themselves repeating history by voting Obama out in 2012. Only time will tell.

-Originally posted on BlogCritics.org


Analysis of the Scott Brown Victory in MA

January 20, 2010

Could anyone have ever dreamed of a more unusual scenario? The seat held by Ted Kennedy for over 40 years has now been replaced by a Republican in Massachusetts.

The Stage was Set

Let’s rewind to 1994. In the midst of a surge sweeping across the nation against the Democratic majority after a Clinton victory in 1992, in Massachusetts, a man named Mitt Romney dared to challenge the lion of the Senate himself: Ted Kennedy. But while Romney managed to lose by the second smallest margin in Kennedy’s nine elections, the score was a 17-point difference: 58 to 41.

By 2004, Romney was governor of Massachusetts. In an effort to avoid a Romney-chosen senator should Senator John Kerry win the White House, the Democratic majority of the Massachusetts state senate passed legislation that would keep the governor from being able to appoint a U.S. Senator until a special election was held.

But in 2009, with a Democratic governor in place, the Democrats reversed the legislation to allow a Democrat to be appointed to replace Ted Kennedy after he died. Before his death, Kennedy had even requested the reversal himself. After Kennedy’s death, Paul Kirk was appointed to replace him. The seat remained in the hands of the Democratic party.

On November 3rd of that year, GOP candidates Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie won the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, respectively. Both states had Democratic governors.

That same month in Massachusetts, Democratic candidate Martha Coakley led Republican Scott Brown by as much as 31 points. The Kennedy family endorsed Coakley to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat. At that point, it appeared obvious that the seat will continue to be in Democratic control.  After all, in Massachusetts, Democrats outnumber Republicans by as much as 3 to 1. But independents outnumber Democrats in the Bay State. And the hypocrisy of the Democratic party had worn down the respect of their constituents.

The Meteoric Rise of Scott Brown

Through a series of gaffes by Coakley herself, Scott Brown began to rise. Coakley’s numbers started to drop. Whether it was the pointless sparring with Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling or the arrogant and elitist opposition to schmoozing with hockey fans at Fenway Park, Coakley couldn’t seem to keep her mouth shut. If that wasn’t bad enough, her claim that terrorists no longer reside in Afghanistan certainly didn’t buy her any foreign policy points.

But in spite of Coakley’s best efforts to sink her own campaign, it still seemed unlikely that a Republican would be the one to replace Ted Kennedy. However, in early January, a Rasmussen poll revealed that Coakley’s lead narrowed to a single digit margin, albeit a 9 point margin.

In a debate with Coakley, Brown was asked how he could sit in Ted Kennedy’s seat and vote against the healthcare legislation that Kennedy had fought so hard for in his career. Brown responded, “With all due respect, it is not Ted Kennedy’s seat. It is not the Democrats’ seat. It is the people’s seat.”

For some reason, the wind was suddenly at Brown’s back. Perhaps even to the surprise of some Republicans, Brown was gaining momentum. Rasmussen’s next poll had him losing by only 2 points. A Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll had him up by 1. Coakley’s lead was vanishing before her very eyes. In the latter polls of the campaign, it was fully erased, replaced by as much as a 15 point margin of victory for Brown according to PJM/CrossTarget.

On the night of January 19th, Coakley delivered her concession speech. Brown had won 52 to 47.

Is Brown the New Face of the GOP?

Perhaps it’s a bit early to say that Brown is the face for the GOP brand. Typically, Republicans require dues to be paid before its leaders are rewarded with a  higher status. It took Ronald Reagan several years to become a major voice in the party, having lost to Ford in 1976 before winning the nomination in 1980. But if there’s one politician whose own meteoric rise could provide Brown a pathway for an early entry into the presidential fray, it would be none other than Barack Obama.

Obama was  still a state senator in Illinois back in 2004 when he delivered the keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. He was elected as a U.S. Senator later that year. By February 2007, he had declared himself a candidate for the White House.

Brown was also a state senator when he won his U.S. Senate seat. While it may seem the least bit unlikely, Brown could very well be among the names floated for the 2012 GOP nomination.

But even if Brown did find himself amidst the field of candidates in the GOP primary, he would probably not win the support of many social conservatives. While Brown remains to the right of most Democrats on abortion, he is still essentially pro-choice. This would prove to be a rather difficult hurdle to overcome should Brown have loftier aspirations.

An Unusual Victory, A Glimmer of Hope

To say that Brown’s victory is historic would be an understatement. The Bay State has not had a Republican U.S. senator since 1978. Kennedy’s seat hasn’t been held by a Republican since 1952.

If he is seated soon, Scott Brown will bring a screeching halt to the Democratic supermajority in the U.S. Senate, thus being the one man who can dissolve the liberal dream of Obamacare.

It seems evident that there is a trend in America towards the right. A trend towards smaller government. A trend towards fiscal responsibility. A trend against runaway spending. A trend towards transparency in government.

Last night, the people of Massachusetts spoke to the nation about the kind of government they want. If this type of sentiment is displayed there, in the bluest of blue states, it will not end with them.

Finally, it seems that America may be correcting its course.


Romney vs. Palin: A Quasi-Rift That Should Not Exist

May 13, 2009

We’re hearing a lot about division in the Republican party these days. The mainstream media loves to point out how weakened they are due to their back-to-back losses in 2006 and 2008. However, they seem to ignore how Americans are beginning to trend towards Republicans near the close of Obama’s first 100 days according to current Rasmussen polling. At any rate, I find it silly that such squabbling is going on in the GOP. Rush Limbaugh said this. Mitt Romney says that. Sarah Palin says this. Michael Steele says that. It’s childish. Can’t I like all these people and share the majority of their collective viewpoints without having to pit them against each other?

A lot of this stemmed from a CNN interview that Romney had in which he was asked about the fact that Time Magazine’s World’s Most Influential People list only included two Republicans: Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. So in response to that, Romney said “I think there are a lot more influential Republicans than that would suggest.” Many took this as a jab at Palin. I tend to disagree. Keep in mind that the question was about how few Republicans made the list. Romney was simply stating that there should’ve been more that made the list like perhaps Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Eric Cantor, or even Michele Bachmann. So to say this is an attack against Palin is really being a bit disingenuous.

Rush Limbaugh has also attacked Romney and Jeb Bush for conducting their “listening tour,” claiming that instead, they should be conducting a “teaching tour.” Okay Rush, I agree. The American people, by and large, do need to be educated on what Republicans can do (or at least, should be doing) for this country. But isn’t that what you’re on the air for? Would it not be a good to at least listen to the American people and find out why they voted for Barack Obama? Or even better, would it not be good to listen to conservative Americans and find out why many of them didn’t vote for John McCain? I guarantee you that most of the Ron Paul crowd didn’t vote for McCain.

It’s ridiculous for this infighting to be going on. For the most part, we agree on the same basic principles. Granted, I will say that John McCain was definitely not a true champion of those principles and that’s why many conservatives didn’t support him. But we need to band together. There’s no reason for these little skirmishes. Personally, I think a Romney-Palin ticket in 2012 would be a dynamic force that could defeat Obama. Who knows? This could be the biggest kiss-and-make-up since Reagan and Bush in 1980.

 

Romney and Palin campaign for McCain

Romney and Palin campaign for McCain

For example, I think that for the most part, Romney and Palin agree more with each other than Palin and McCain did in 2008. Both are pro-life. Both oppose gay marriage. Both support drilling in Alaska (unlike McCain). Neither of them support the FairTax. Economically, they’re generally the same although Romney is much more experienced. Both of them take strong immigration stances.  I’d being willing to say that they generally line up on the majority of the principles and values that conservatives hold dear. Both of them are worthy of carrying the Reagan banner. So let’s not beat each other up too bad. We’re going to need all the help we can get in 2012.


Thoughts on President Obama’s First Few Days

January 24, 2009

Most people know what I think of Barack Obama. He’s a liberal Democrat with a record to prove it. So obviously, he and I will disagree on a host of issues. However, I just thought I’d lay out some random observations that I’ve had over the past few days. 

I’m seeing a lot of Bill Clinton in Obama. A lot of his cabinet choices are Clintonian (i.e. Hillary Clinton herself). Like Clinton, I think he, in some ways, tried to campaign as a centrist that reaches across the aisle; not unlike John McCain who did that as a conservative and failed miserably. But I think he will also turn out to be just as liberal as Clinton, if not more so. 

Quite frankly, I see almost a sense of genuineness in Barack Obama. That may come as a shock to those of you who know me. But I get the impression that he truly loves his wife and family. With Bill Clinton, everything about his marriage seemed politically motivated to me. It was like watching two leech-like creatures living in some type of strange symbiotic political relationship. Obama’s not like that at all. If it’s all an act, he’s sure got me fooled. 

As much as I loathe many of the things that President Obama stands for, I have to remind myself that he is in a position of authority. He holds one of the most important offices in the world. As an American, I must respect that office. As a Christian, I must respect and honor his authority. 

But, as Christ commanded us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (Matthew 22:21) and Peter tells us to honor the emperor (1st Peter 2:17), I am also reminded that unlike the first century A.D., we live in a democratic society where people are allowed to choose the highest office in the land. 

You see, Barack Obama would exist with his political stances whether or not people chose to vote for him. There will always be people that hold viewpoints like his. So in the U.S.A., perhaps my frustration should not be with Barack Obama as much as it is the people that voted him into office: the people that were swayed by the sweet notions of “Change You Can Believe In” and the mindless, incessant chanting of “Yes We Can!” 

Honestly, Barack Obama will bring change. That’s a fact. He has already signed an executive order to lift the ban on funding for abortions performed overseas. He has promised to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. Military, which is something that Bill Clinton would not even do. And should it pass, Obama has vowed to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, giving women the right to terminate their pregnancy at any stage.

So, Obama voters, you’re getting your change…and much earlier than I had expected. I must say, I even agreed with the President’s decision to freeze the salaries of White House workers making over $100,000 a year. 

Like I said, I respect the office of the President. I respect the authority that goes with it. I respect President Barack Obama as a fellow human being and as the leader of our great nation. I would even say that his Presidency has already brought a strong sense of optimism to this country. 

But…

I believe that if I have every right to support the good he has brought, I also have the right to oppose the evil that he brings to America. That’s right, I said evil. I believe that the murder of an unborn child for the sake of convenience is nothing but wrong and ungodly. I believe that the practice of homosexuality is unnatural and opposed by God. 

I will not forget what his man stands for. No matter what wonders he works for our country in other areas, and I do truly hope he does, I will not sweep these moral issues under the rug. I will not abandon my principles because some politician managed to win an election based on style over substance, ignorance over issues and eloquence over ideals. 

So as Christ and Peter honored and acknowledged a morally reprehensible Caesar as leader of the land, I honor and acknowledge Barack Obama as President of the United States. But unlike them, I have the opportunity to vote out my leader in four years.


Can You Afford the Obama Gas Hike?

November 4, 2008

Over the past 4 years, gas prices have risen to absurd levels across the nation. Granted, we generally have cheaper prices than the U.K. does, but it hasn’t been too long since most of us in the USA felt like 2.00 for a gallon of gas was ridiculously expensive. Many would like to attribute this to the Bush administration. Some want to point the finger at oil companies, claiming that their profits have been going up. Still, others would say that catastrophic events like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina are the ones to blame.

While certainly some of those factors may have played a part in why our gas prices are so high, most would agree that a large part of our problem is our dependence on foreign sources of oil. This is terribly troubling when you consider that the USA as a nation consumes 25.2% of the world’s oil. But before we start hugging trees and throwing cinder blocks at gas-guzzling SUV’s, we have to keep in mind that there are several other products that are made from petroleum including: ink, crayons, bubble gum, dishwashing liquids, deodorant, eyeglasses, records, tires, ammonia, and heart valves. Needless to say, oil is important for making many different things we make in this country, not just gasoline.

We must understand that while it is very important to reduce our oil consumption and aggressively pursue alternative sources of energy, we still need oil. But instead of getting it from countries that hate us like Iran and Venezuela, we need to have our own, which is why we need to drill for it domestically.

So where does Senator Barack Obama fit into all of this?

Obama claims that the problem is not that gas prices are so high, but it’s that the American people should have had a more gradual adjustment to them. In a way, I could give him the benefit of the doubt in pointing this out. However, when you consider that gas prices have risen faster in the past 6 years than they have in the past 30, I believe that Senator Obama is largely understating the problem.

It is no secret that Senator Obama wants to increase taxes on oil companies. Fair enough. But who really pays for that increase in taxes? Do the oil companies generously agree to pay those taxes without raising the price of gas for the average consumer? Hardly! An increase in taxes on oil companies will definitely increase the price at the pump for you and I.

What about drilling? As I said earlier, we must reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil. In addition to pursuing alternative sources of energy, one of the ways we can acheive energy independence is by drilling here in America. No wonder 67% of Americans support offshore drilling and 64% believe it will reduce gas prices. Besides, basic economic principles teach us that if the supply of oil increases, demand goes down, and therefore the price goes down.

But does Obama support offshore drilling here in America? No.

Sure, it’d be nice to immediately have all hydrogen-powered cars and 100% eco-friendly homes that run on clean energy. And of course, this is definitely the ultimate goal that we all strive towards. But until we are comfortably able to make that transition, we need to keep gas prices low by drilling domestically. We can also pursue alternative sources of energy that are readily available like nuclear power. We simply cannot afford the high gas prices that will result from Senator Obama’s energy plan.


Barack Obama is Pro-Abortion

October 28, 2008

Contrary to what some may believe about Barack Obama, it is a known fact that he is pro-choice. His record and his platform clearly demonstrate that. There is no sense of ambiguity. There should be no doubt. Barack Obama is a staunch supporter of a woman’s right to take the life of her unborn child.

But in an effort to remove all misconception or any form of doubt you may have, allow me to address Senator Obama’s stance on this topic.

Direct Quotes

This is a direct quote from his website: “[Senator Obama] has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in that case.” From this statement, it’s very clear that Obama stands by Roe v. Wade and does not want it to be overturned.

When speaking about the importance of sex education, he said “look, I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” I’ll try not to interject too much into this statement, but it seems obvious to me that he considers unplanned pregnancies to be some type of punishment to the mother of the child.

Infanticide in Illinois

I personally find this part of Senator Obama’s record to be extremely troubling. As a State Senator in Illinois, a bill known as the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA) was first introduced in 2001. This legislation was designed to protect the lives of infants who were born alive after failed abortions. Obama opposed this measure in 2001 and in 2002, claiming that the language used in the bill could have the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade.

However in 2003, the bill was proposed again, with language that addressed the concern that many pro-abortion groups had about it potentially overturning Roe v. Wade. Obama voted against it again, even after NARAL had dropped their opposition to it. A federal version of this bill containing much of the exact same language passed through the U.S. Senate 98-0 in 2002. Obama claims he would have supported the federal bill, but if actually he stood against the same bill at a state level, can you really trust that statement?

When aborted babies were being born alive and left to die alone in soiled utility rooms and there was legislation proposed in Illinois which would have stopped it, Barack Obama opposed it three times in a row. Fortunately, the bill passed through the Illinois Congress in 2005, after Obama had left to become a U.S. Senator.

The Freedom of Choice Act

Barack Obama has voiced ardent support of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). In fact, he has said that one of the first things he’ll do in office is to sign it into law as soon as it passes through Congress.

Pro-Choice Organizations complain that after Roe v. Wade, many of the federal and state laws that have passed since then have “eroded” the “fundamental right” to abortion. However, they firmly believe that FOCA will ensure abortion rights in spite of the possibility that Roe v. Wade could be reversed. It has been estimated that FOCA would result in 125,000 more abortions per year due to the nullification of certain state and federal abortion laws caused by its passage.

On top of all that, FOCA would allow for taxpayer-funded abortions at any stage of pregnancy. Just imagine our taxes actually paying for virtually every kind of abortion at any time during the pregnancy. If that’s not contrary to the nature of American values, I don’t know what is.

Conclusion

Speaking for myself as a Christian and as a pro-life conservative, I cannot morally condone voting for anyone who supports abortion. But throughout Senator Barack Obama’s career, he has adamantly, by his own admission, supported abortion rights. Not only that, he has supported the right to abortion at practically every stage of a pregnancy. I cannot fathom how anyone who considers themselves pro-life could support a candidate like Senator Obama. If you believe in the sanctity of human life, I strongly urge you to consider this information when you vote on November 4th.