Monday, November 12, 2012

QOTD: It worked

Charles C. W. Cooke at NR ("Why I Despair"):
But, consider this: A president of the United States just ran a reelection campaign based on the promise of government largess, exploitation of class division, the demonization of success, the glorification of identity politics, and the presumption that women are a helpless interest group; and he did so while steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the looming — potentially fatal — crisis that the country faces. And it worked.
Alas, there is nothing written in the stars that says that America will always be America. “Rome,” as Joseph Heller brutally reminded us, “was destroyed, Greece was destroyed, Persia was destroyed, Spain was destroyed. All great countries are destroyed. Why not yours? How much longer do you really think your own country will last? Forever? Keep in mind that the earth itself is destined to be destroyed by the sun in 25 million years or so.” There will be little virtue in America if it becomes a larger version of Britain, but with free speech and the right to bear arms.

 My natural inclination is towards despair. However, I must acknowledge that this is not a fruitful sentiment, even if it may be true.

More constructive thoughts to come...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Obligatory Post-Election Remarks

I usually post predictions before elections.  I didn't this time.  On the standard view, Obama was destined to win.  We had reasons to doubt the standard view, but it's standard for a reason.  In my private emails to friends I said my probability curve was barbell shaped, and that we'd likely have an early night... I just didn't know who would come out on top.

So now we know.  And it's not good.  I'm trying to sort through exactly how "not good" it is, and attempting to avoid being alarmist.

But it's hard.  There's a debt crisis coming.  Yes, the "fiscal cliff" too, which is a big deal, but that's just a symptom of the debt.  Things would have been tough with Romney. I don't see how things work at all with Obama.

So how fast will the debt crisis bite us in the rear?  Good question.  Could be years, perhaps after Obama is out of office.  Or it could be next year.  Given tepid economic news here and discouraging economic news from Europe, I'm reasonably certain that a double-dip recession is in the cards.

When Greeks rioted over governmental austerity, the world raised a serious eyebrow. Frankly, Europe still isn't out of its troubles.  But if the US starts to look like Greece (and by certain measures we're worse than Greece already)... the entire global political, economic, and military/defense system begins to warp.

I'm still sorting out what this means, but it's not a good sign that the country re-elected a President who has done literally almost nothing right except fail to close Gitmo as he promised.  The man has absolutely no grasp of economic reality.  The ability of the electorate to self-correct when faced with an existential crisis is in very serious doubt.

As to who is at fault, or how Conservatives can rebuild, I'm still sorting that out too.  But here are a few of the more reasonable responses to those questions:

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The continuous October Surprise

This was linked in the AoS overnight thread, but it warrants repeating.

What October Surprise could possibly top everything we've already been through? (Related: "Obama fatigue" as early as March of 2009)

"Zombie" at PJM:
But in Barack Obama’s case, the situation is reversed: Everything he’s ever done is scandalous. The reason there was no October Surprise for Obama is that we’re all scandaled out. Anyone’s who been paying attention since 2008 has literally been in paralytic shock every single day. We spent October 2012 exactly as we’ve spent every month of the last four years: Our jaws on the floor, aghast, stupefied, unable to breathe. Almost every single thing Obama has done since he’s been in the national spotlight could have been and should have been a career-ending October Surprise. But the mainstream media, as we all know, has devoted itself to protecting him.

Not a day has gone by since Obama took office when I didn’t learn of some fresh outrage and say Oh. My. God. But we’ve been traumatized so often that over time the scandals have all blurred together and fused into a single red-hot thought: Please let this nightmare end.

Zombie goes on to list numerous incidents, many of which would have ended the careers of less-worshiped Presidents.  The list is quite extensive, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • Operation Fast & Furious ...
  • Militarily intervened in Libya in 2011 without the Congressional approval required by the War Powers Act — technically an impeachable offense. (** - ed.- Zombie is saying this is impeachable.  I'm not so quick to the draw on that. It was certainly scandalous.)
  • Before he entered politics, Obama worked as a lawyer suing banks in landmark cases, forcing them to give home loans to unqualified minority borrowers — a practice now understood as one of the primary initial causes of the eventual housing bubble and market collapse.
  • Proposed in 2008 to intentionally bankrupt the coal industry — and now lies to voters and workers in coal-producing regions about his true intent.
  • During the 2008 campaign, Obama repeatedly promised that if he was elected “No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase.” This promise was broken over and over again once he was elected.
  • Cash for Clunkers, which doled out taxpayer money to anyone who wanted to replace their old cars, but which mostly only ended up subsidizing the puchase of foreign-made cars by people who could have afforded them on their own anyway; meanwhile, the traded-in cars were all destroyed, creating a shortage and thereby increasing the cost of used cars, hurting the pocketbooks of poor people.
  • Was caught on a “hot mike” promising the President of Russia that he would cave in to their demands for a weaker missile shield — after he was re-elected and no longer had to keep up the pretense that he sought to defend America.
  • Blocked continued construction of the Keystone Pipeline, thereby intentionally reducing energy resources for the US and forcing Canada to sell more of its oil to China.
  • In the GM bailout, he illegally shortchanged investors who according to bankruptcy laws were first in line to be recompensed; instead, he gave their share to the unions.
  • Canceled plans to complete a missile defense shield in Poland, a move which was highly praised by Russia and Iran — the very nations whose missile threats would have been neutralized if the shield had been completed. (** - ed. - Not only did he cancel this project, but he got nothing in exchange from Russia, and he sold out Polish politicians who had previously stuck out their necks to approve the project.)
  • Twisted the arms of defense contractors to not issue layoff notices in early November, so as to avoid causing bad news for Obama right before the election — even though federal law (the “WARN Act”) requires such notices.
  • Sided with Hugo Chavez and the Castro regime regarding the Honduran Constitutional Crisis of 2009, the first time ever that the U.S. formed a political alliance with socialist governments in Latin America.
  • More than once Obama made so-called “recess appointments” when the Senate was not actually in recess, which directly violates Constitutional rules about how appointments must be made; in each case it was his way of getting his political allies into certain key positions without them being vetted or approved by the Senate, as required.
  • Despite the fact that the Falklands Islands have been part of Great Britain since 1833 and that Great Britain is supposed to be our strongest ally, Obama essentially sided with Argentina in its new claim on the Falklands, not only by adopting the Argentine position that their status is open to negotiation, but even by (attempting to) refer to the islands by their Spanish name (Malvinas).

In summation, folks who vote for Obama are out of their bleedin' minds.  When you hear conservatives shake their heads at the fact that the race is even close at all, these are some of the reasons why.

Few of these were reported by the major media, and when they were reported, they were reported lightly and with key facts omitted.