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Townhall.com ^ | January 13, 2009 | Mona Charen

Posted on 01/13/2009 4:56:08 AM PST by Kaslin

My city, Washington, D.C., is going bonkers for Obama. So is yours no doubt. Shopping for party favors, I came across -- in addition to key chains and light-up necklaces -- T-shirts and coffee mugs emblazoned with the Anointed One's photograph. Jan. 12's Washington Post carries a story about Obama attorney Greg Craig. He took the job imagining he'd be confronting knotty separation of powers issues. And he may. But for now, he's "charged with stopping the commercial exploitation of his client's image -- the Obama can openers, Obama chocolate chip cookies, Obama chocolate bars and the like now on sale just about everywhere."

I've never witnessed enthusiasm like this for an incoming president. There's always a degree of giddiness on the part of those who supported the president-elect, whoever he is, but today's excitement borders on worship. It's an interesting contrast. Times are pretty tough. Our economy is struggling. Unemployment is exploding. Once iconic American manufacturers, to say nothing of banks, insurance companies, and securities firms, are lining up for federal handouts. The greatest terror-sponsoring nation on the face of the globe is about to acquire nuclear weapons. And yet people are thrilled with Obama and convinced that he can tackle these complex problems.

I hope he can. But honestly, the noises he is making so far and his proposal for a trillion dollars in new federal spending are scary. Admittedly and sadly, this isn't much of a departure from the Bush administration's death throes, when the president -- terrified of being tagged forever with the Hoover label -- reversed a lifetime of adherence to free market principles to bail out a conga line of supplicants. (The irony is rich because Hoover himself doubled federal spending during the Great Depression. He became a Hoover anyway.) For the record, it should be noted that this was President Bush's self-description ("I'm a free market guy"), not a dispassionate assessment of his administration's economic philosophy, which was hardly small government.

The Democrats are in the driver's seat now. And with the exception of a brief period in the 1990s after Ross Perot made everyone deficit conscious, Democrats are the party of government -- that is, the party of domestic spending. Every indicator of economic decline seems to them a green light to do what they would have done anyway -- party like it's 1933! It's not that they are buying votes. No, the times demand extreme measures.

But before the first mortgage defaulted, we were already on a fast train to fiscal insolvency. The problem of the aging baby boomers and the Social Security/Medicare obligations we've undertaken but cannot pay for has not gone away. It crouches just around the bend.

And if the Obama "stimulus" bill passes, our federal deficit will top $1.7 trillion next year! As Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute has observed, "If government spending provided such a wonderful boost to the economy, we would be in Nirvana already." Or, as a cartoonist rendered it, our economy is in a hole and the Obama solution is "shovel ready." The first rule of getting out of holes is to quit digging. So the spending, while cheering a variety of contractors, unions, "green" companies, mayors and governors in the blue regions of the country is very unlikely to affect the recession at all.

Meanwhile, that murderous debt just keeps piling up and piling up. How will we pay it back and maintain America's credit rating in the world? Raise taxes? In a recession? No school of economic thought favors that. Are we going the way of Argentina?

This is a country that has adamantly declined to face fiscal reality when it comes to entitlements. We want health care reform that expands coverage and reduces costs. We acquired mortgages on the hope that housing prices would rise forever.

It's no wonder that we want to spend/borrow our way out of a deep recession.

Obama will have a few weeks or months of maximum political influence. If ever there were a time to do the really hard things -- reduce spending, increase the retirement age, introduce real competition to the health care system, cut corporate tax rates, balance our books -- this is it. If Obama used his popularity to achieve those critical goals for our nation's future, he would deserve to be on all those T-shirts and coffee mugs. He might even be a candidate for Mount Rushmore. As it is, he and we are headed in the wrong direction.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: coronation; obama; obamatransitionfile; stimulus

1 posted on 01/13/2009 4:56:08 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
After your Obama cookie, have a cupcake!


2 posted on 01/13/2009 5:04:23 AM PST by billorites
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To: Kaslin
Spotted in my local CVS:

"Collector's edition" of WHAT, you might ask? So did I. And after flipping through the magazine and getting gushing treacle all over my hands, I could only conclude that it was the "collector's edition" of the "America's Hope: Barack Obama" magazine.

3 posted on 01/13/2009 5:04:57 AM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: Kaslin
or some pie?


4 posted on 01/13/2009 5:07:39 AM PST by billorites
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To: Kaslin
Washington DC = Forbidden City
5 posted on 01/13/2009 5:12:27 AM PST by bmwcyle (I have no President as of Jan 20th 2009. No Congress either.)
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To: Kaslin
I've never witnessed enthusiasm like this for an incoming president. There's always a degree of giddiness on the part of those who supported the president-elect, whoever he is, but today's excitement borders on worship. It's an interesting contrast. Times are pretty tough. Our economy is struggling. Unemployment is exploding. Once iconic American manufacturers, to say nothing of banks, insurance companies, and securities firms, are lining up for federal handouts. The greatest terror-sponsoring nation on the face of the globe is about to acquire nuclear weapons. And yet people are thrilled with Obama and convinced that he can tackle these complex problems.

Mass hysteria is the only explanation I can come up with....

6 posted on 01/13/2009 5:14:21 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Kaslin
This is a country that has adamantly declined to face fiscal reality when it comes to entitlements. We want health care reform that expands coverage and reduces costs. We acquired mortgages on the hope that housing prices would rise forever. It's no wonder that we want to spend/borrow our way out of a deep recession.

A little too free with the we there Mona....

7 posted on 01/13/2009 5:17:12 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Kaslin

Where is the gravitas?


8 posted on 01/13/2009 5:35:35 AM PST by Lion Den Dan
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To: Kaslin
...Obama chocolate bars and the like now on sale just about everywhere."

.Why aren't the liberals going on about how this is racist?

9 posted on 01/13/2009 5:49:26 AM PST by highlander_UW (The only difference between the MSM and the DNC is the MSM sells ad space in their propaganda)
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To: Kaslin

What is the one glaring difference in Barack Obama and any of the prior Presidents?

The people who are “race based” are giddy with happiness.

Obama could be any black person and they would be the same way. Well, not Condi Rice, Ken Blackwell, Alan Keyes, Michael Steele or any other right thinking American who is an American that happens to be black.


10 posted on 01/13/2009 5:52:35 AM PST by reaganator
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To: Kaslin

My SIL gave everyone in the family, except me, an Obama mug and framed poster size photo.

I received a mug with a rose on it. I didn’t get a poster of any kind:-( And no pony!


11 posted on 01/13/2009 5:57:01 AM PST by whatshotandwhatsnot
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To: whatshotandwhatsnot

“I received a mug with a rose on it. I didn’t get a poster of any kind:-( And no pony!”

You were the lucky one.


12 posted on 01/13/2009 6:04:47 AM PST by Old Grumpy
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To: whatshotandwhatsnot
My SIL gave everyone in the family, except me, an Obama mug and framed poster size photo.

Just wow. Were the family members thrilled to be bestowed upon with such a "gift"?

13 posted on 01/13/2009 6:09:12 AM PST by OB1kNOb (Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.)
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To: Kaslin

I want Obama the Toilet Paper...


14 posted on 01/13/2009 6:23:53 AM PST by dware (3 prohibited topics in mixed company: politics, religion and operating systems...)
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To: dware

I want a BO urnial target!


15 posted on 01/13/2009 6:27:48 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (The main stream media lied - America died.)
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To: Rummyfan

FNC showed a clip of the One during the campaign.

He was not going to be like George Bush and run up deficits that our children would have to pay.

oooppss. Not that anyone else in the media is going to call him on his bullship.


16 posted on 01/13/2009 6:28:20 AM PST by Carley
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To: whatshotandwhatsnot

I would have demanded a poster of Sean Cassidy or The Bay City Rollers... What is your sister in law, 12 years old? cutting pictures out of Tiger Beat magazine?


17 posted on 01/13/2009 6:33:16 AM PST by Holicheese (Get up Tom Brady, get up! PLEASE!!)
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To: Kaslin
Barnes and Nobels has a table just inside the front door with a huge number of nObama books. It was so big that it made several of the customers sick and they were attempting to upchuck on it. Myself included but then I found Ann Coulters book and after I bought it I felt better.
18 posted on 01/13/2009 6:34:37 AM PST by Ditter
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To: Carley
FNC showed a clip of the One during the campaign. He was not going to be like George Bush and run up deficits that our children would have to pay.

Wonder where I can get a transcript of that.

19 posted on 01/13/2009 6:40:14 AM PST by sausageseller (http://coolblue.typepad.com/the_cool_blue_blog/)
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To: Kaslin
What the Gods seek to destroy....."
20 posted on 01/13/2009 6:40:59 AM PST by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli)
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To: Kaslin

Kenya cake (mud pies) will be a hot item for sale.


21 posted on 01/13/2009 9:52:26 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: Kaslin

Is she implying that Craig wants a ‘piece of the action?’


22 posted on 01/13/2009 9:59:10 AM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: mvpel

Actually, it might be a good idea to own a few of those “America’s Hope” editions of whatever that is. Very soon it will look as comical as the newspaper that Truman held up showing Dewey defeating him.


23 posted on 01/13/2009 10:00:24 AM PST by RipSawyer (Great Grandpa was a Confederate soldier from the cradle of secession.)
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To: mvpel

Boy — you must have some hot hands is you get molasses to gush...


24 posted on 01/13/2009 10:00:56 AM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

We were at Walgreens and saw a stack of Obama collector plates. I looked at my fiancee and said “Oh, look, honey. Targets!” The lady in line in front of me went pale.

Oh well.


25 posted on 01/13/2009 10:02:01 AM PST by spacewarp (Gun control is a tight cluster grouping in the chest and one in the forehead.)
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To: billorites

That looks like pie in the sky to me.


26 posted on 01/13/2009 10:02:43 AM PST by RipSawyer (Great Grandpa was a Confederate soldier from the cradle of secession.)
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To: spacewarp

LOL. I imagine the other lady was a BO voter..


27 posted on 01/13/2009 10:33:45 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (The main stream media lied - America died.)
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To: OB1kNOb

I know that at least one mug ended up in the Durham County landfill.


28 posted on 01/13/2009 12:12:45 PM PST by whatshotandwhatsnot
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To: Holicheese

She’s 52 and has a terminal case of 0mania. At least she doesn’t mention his name when I’m around; my husband has warned everyone not to.


29 posted on 01/13/2009 12:14:42 PM PST by whatshotandwhatsnot
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To: whatshotandwhatsnot

She sounds like my sister. She sends me these little Obama things with the captions about how wonderful he is.


30 posted on 01/13/2009 12:23:51 PM PST by Holicheese (Get up Tom Brady, get up! PLEASE!!)
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To: Rummyfan
A little too free with the we there Mona....

Is she a newspaper editor, or does she have tapeworms?

31 posted on 01/20/2009 7:44:44 PM PST by supercat (Barry Soetoro == Bravo Sierra)
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