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The Winter of Our Discontent

Daniel J. Kelley 25 February 2010 6 Comments

Sometimes, a president has to adjust his priorities based upon current events. Carefully designed programs and plans have to be shelved, dreams deferred.

For better or worse, George W. Bush will always be evaluated by historians in terms of how his administration responded to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. While the memory of that terrible day is forever etched upon my memory, some people seem to have forgotten it as if it were simply another automobile collision along a crowded highway. To his credit, Bush recognized the threats posed by Islamic terrorism and attempted to safeguard the nation. Some may criticize his methods, some will question the effectiveness of his responses, but I cannot find fault with his intentions.

Have you ever stopped to wonder what Bush’s presidency would have been like if he were free to focus upon domestic issues for eight years? After September 11th, however, Bush never had the luxury of looking back at his original plans. He had to change course and military and national security matters preoccupied the Bush White House for the remainder of his two terms. Publicly, Bush has been respectful to his successor, but one published report indicated that he made a rare criticism of Obama before leaving office. Bush supposedly complained to his staff that Obama simply did not “get it” on security matters.

Whatever his myriad personal faults, William J. Clinton was a far better politician than Barack H. Obama. He adapted after his failure to implement healthcare legislation stalled. He reshuffled the White House staff and tried to moderate his approach. He went to great lengths to appear to be a centrist after the Republicans took control of both houses of the Congress in 1994.

In comparison, Barack H. Obama seems to be positively oblivious to reality. Despite growing dissatisfaction with the dismal prospects for the American economy, Obama remains married to promoting “cap and trade” legislation, even after so much global warming research has been ridiculed as a hoax, and creating a government dictated national healthcare system. Obama seems entirely unmoved by the unpopularity of his proposals. If he did not learn anything from the election results in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia, I am uncertain if anything will cause him to reconsider his priorities.

Obama is far more of an ideologue than any chief executive in recent memory. This is unfortunate since so many of the principle tenets of his discredited ideology appear to be at odds with the American tradition. In face of a worsening economic climate, Obama intends to forge ahead with new regulatory schemes and calls for increased taxation that threaten to prolong the recession. His inflexibility is so pronounced that he has already signaled his willingness to be a one term president, provided that he can proceed to enact his socialist agenda. The American public be damned if they disagree with him.

Obama has failed to grasp that America cannot afford to create a new entitlement program administered by a massive new tax eating bureaucracy now. And there is the rub: for Obama to succeed as president, he must become a champion of job creation and rescue American manufacturing. In essence, he needs to defend capitalism. Promoting Windmills and environmentally healthy fluorescent light bulbs will not do the trick. No one wants to hear another word about global warming for the next decade if ever again.

When the word “austerity” should be returned to the American political lexicon, something that is readily grasped by many American citizens, if not their elected officials, Obama wants to soak the rich and create new entitlement programs. I would be fascinated to learn if the most economically illiterate occupant of the Oval Office in modern times (the much reviled Bush had a Harvard MBA degree in contrast) ever cast a vote as a legislator in favor of lower taxes and spending cuts? Some scholar will have to decipher the Illinois State Senate journals to find out. Obama never spent enough time in the US Senate to accomplish anything of substance, so the examination ought not to begin there.

Pillorying businesses and handicapping the manufacturing sector are not prescriptions for success in a time when many Americans are either unemployed or underemployed. The wildly publicized stimulus plan has failed. If the Bureau of Engraving continues to print dollars morning, noon and night, we can begin worrying about double digit inflation in the near future.

The triumphant coronation of Obama as a transformational leader proved to be premature. Based upon recent polls from trustworthy sources, the upcoming elections may produce a different transformation than the milling throngs in Grant Park had anticipated in 2008. For the first time, pollsters are predicting the possibility of the Republican party gaining enough Congressional seats in the mid-term election to actually depose House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2011.

That would represent over forty lost Democratic House seats.

The US Senate remains a toss up. Vice President Biden ought not make any plans to be absent from the upper chamber: he may be needed to cast tie breaking votes.

Never send a community organizer to do an excecutive’s job.


Daniel J. Kelley is a regular contributor to “The Chicago Daily Observer.”


  • rje said:

    The deregulation of insurance companies will vastly improve our health care crisis. Simply allow the insurance companies to offer a general interstate “pooling” option that will facilitate individuals to “group” themselves allowing premiums to be much more affordable in most cases. This simple solution will save the taxpayers a fortune.

    If you over-tax the rich, they will take their ball and go home. It will result in a spiral of even higher unemployment, higher taxes, and more entitlements. The rich people will trump the politicians almost all the time.

  • ed hourican said:

    WOW – someone needs to lay off the caffeine and take a deep breath.

    1. yeah bush sure was good for this country – take a look at the horsepile(s) left behind for a good whiff.

    2. you find a way to give clinton a big hug for changing course 2 years into his first term.

    3. you trash obama after one year in office.

    what exactly qualifies a Daniel J. Kelly to write with such hysteria and hyperbole and horse bleep???

  • Johnny D. said:

    Well said, Dan. Absolutely right on all points.

    Just two comments for Ed Hourican: There’s no hysteria or hyperbole in this article. I know… I do use hyperbole regularly, and Dan didn’t here! It’s all reasonable, logical, and calm.

    And what qualifies him to write? What qualifies any journalist to write in America: research, an understanding of the topic, a scrivener’s talent, and the first amendment to the Constitution.

    A better question would be: what qualifies the president to hold his office? a few years as a community organizer, a few years as a part time lecturer at a law school, a few years as a an inactive part time state senator followed by a couple years as an even more inactive part time US senator…

    Half the politicians in America – of both parties – are better qualified than Obama to be president, so don’t challenge the qualifications of a columnist to write an op/ed!


  • John Powers said:

    “what exactly qualifies a Daniel J. Kelly to write..”

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The First Amendment…irritating politicians and their flaks since 1791.

  • Paul McGrath said:

    It is a truly frightening thought to think of what Bush’s presidency might be like had he been free to concntrate on domestic issues.

  • Pat Hickey said:

    Paul, you had better stay in-doors. There’s some really scary things out there and you do not need to summon up all that imagination.

    Take a breath there, Cupcake.

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