home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |

Where Obamanomics Went Wrong The Dirty Secret of Economics

print view

We're Not In 1995 Any More

by Christopher Chantrill
July 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm

|

THE FEAR in the back of every Republican mind is that the American people will blame John Boehner and Republicans for shutting down the government. Just like they blamed Newt Gingrich in 1995 when President Clinton shut down the government in a budget battle with Newt and the first Republican Congress in 40 years.

Could the Republicans get blamed again? Of course they could. But I don’t think they will.

For sure, the president and the Democrats and their bribed apologists in the mainstream media will give it one more college try. But don’t forget Marx’s memorable line. He was comparing Napoleon III to the first Napoleon.

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

In the current debt crisis it might end up the other way around. The farce of 1995 could very well be the tragedy of 2011. In any case, I think that the words of Lloyd Bentsen apply to Barack Obama: “Mr. President; you’re no Bill Clinton.” There was something of the brilliance of Napoleon I in the political footwork of Bill Clinton, and we will never see his like again, certainly not in a president who’s careful to keep to the script on the TelePrompTer.

The likeliest outcome of the debt-ceiling debate, I suspect, will be “a pox on both their houses.” That would be a win for Republicans. Maybe Speaker Boehner can persuade the American people that he tried, he really tried to put together a package that would cut spending and revive the economy. But the president just couldn’t buck his Democratic wire-pullers. So now it would be up to the voters in November 2012 to put America back on the road to prosperity.

There’s another difference between now and 1995. President Obama just doesn’t look and doesn’t act like a leader. Leaders don’t whine, and leaders don’t point fingers. Leaders crack heads together, they get Congress to agree on a bi-partisan package, and then boldly lead their people into a future of hope and opportunity.

Some people fear the president as an adept of Saul Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals. But don’t forget that Alinsky’s advice was not for presidents; it was for activist insurgents trying to embarrass the system and The Man. It’s one thing to run for president as the Washington outsider; it’s another thing to make like the outsider while actually running the government. Mr. President, I’ve got news for you. You’re not the outsider any more. Today you are The Man.

One thing The Man never does is make empty threats, as in:

“Well, when it comes to all the checks, not just Social Security — veterans, people with disabilities — about 70 million checks are sent out each month — if we default then we’re going to have to make adjustments. And I’m already consulting with Secretary Geithner in terms of what the consequences would be.” Earlier he said in an interview on CBS News: “I cannot guarantee that those [Social Security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”

There’s only one problem with that. Social Security is supposed to have $2.4 trillion in the Social Security trust fund, as Stanford Law Professor Michael McConnell has pointed out. What happened to all that money? And now the president has started making veiled threats about chaos in the financial markets:

I think it’s very important that the leadership understands that Wall Street will be opening on Monday, and we better have some answers during the course of the next several days.

Talking down the markets, Mr. President? But suppose the Treasury market opened on Monday without any problem? What empty threat would you come up with then?

No, it isn’t 1995, or 2008, or 1960 or 1936 or any year that looks good to a Democrat. To return to Marx and Napoleon, 2011 looks more like 1814. After the debacle of the 1812 retreat from Moscow and the 1813 defeat at the Battle of Leipzig, Napoleon was still the best army commander in Europe, and he could still beat the uncoordinated allies in battle. But it didn’t matter any more. The game was up.

Democrats are still good at calling for “balanced packages” and “revenue enhancements” and “shared sacrifice” and blaming millionaires and billionaires. But it just doesn’t matter any more.

The old game is up. We still don’t know what the new game will be. The American people will decide that next year in 2012. It won’t be another 1996.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

print view

To comment on this article at American Thinker click here.

To email the author, click here.

 

 TAGS


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


Never Trust Experts

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, “Letter to Lord Lytton”


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


presented by Christopher Chantrill

Data Sources  •   •  Contact