Skip to comments.Checkmate?
Posted on 04/30/2009 3:57:17 AM PDT by IbJensen
Some people I know react with incredulity when they hear television commentators remark on President Barack Obamas brilliance. How can he say that? they expostulate. He doesnt understand basic economics, and he relies on a teleprompter even during news conferences. This guy is in over his head.
To which I reply: True, true and dont count on it.
It is true that Mr. Obamas policy preferences are economically unsound. I first commented on that a year ago when I lamented his preference for foreign aid, which has a record of dismal failure, over the market alternatives foreign trade and foreign investment that have lifted many countries out of poverty. OK, so hes not a good economist. So what? We dont elect economists as presidents. We elect politicians as presidents and Mr. Obama is a brilliant politician.
As my Economics 101 students learn, politics often trumps economics in public policy. Political success depends on winning the support of a majority of voters, and since a majority of voters are economically ignorant, it shouldnt surprise us that elected officials adopt economically unsound policies. Consider that, by all accounts, Mr. Obamas role model, Franklin Roosevelt, was clueless about economics, yet he was so skillful at knowing whose bread to butter with federal dollars that he was elected four times. Mr. Obama, like FDR, seems to have the same knack.
As for the teleprompter crutch, the president is following a highly choreographed, pre-planned strategy designed to play to his constituencies. Like master chess players, Mr. Obama and his brain-trust have planned many moves ahead. All Mr. Obama has to do is follow the script.
Think of Mr. Obama as the public face of a large corporation (a multinational corporation, perhaps). Clearly, a young one-term senator from Illinois didnt build his massive Internet fundraising army and organize his Cinderella presidential campaign with the help of just a few buddies. Ill leave it to the investigative reporters to shed some light on the many branches of Obama, Inc., but this huge organizations strategy might have already checkmated the Republicans for the next few election cycles.
Here is how I see Mr. Obama, Inc.s grand strategy.
Take the heat now for fiscally irresponsible massive spending initiatives. Yes, this spending will saddle our children with enormous debt in the long run and threaten to exhaust the capital markets in the short run (which is why, I believe, the Federal Reserve has signaled its intention to purchase government debt with newly created money in the hope of keeping interest rates artificially low), but American voters have notoriously short memories.
By asking for the moon now for more spending than he could ever dream of getting Mr. Obama will settle for half a moon. Very clever bargaining! The new spending will still be way too much, but it cleverly provides the opportunity for Democratic legislators running for re-election in 2010 to campaign as fiscally responsible, relatively speaking, playing good cop to Mr. Obamas bad cop.
I can hear those legislators now, I completely sympathize with President Obamas desire to take care of all your health-insurance needs, mandate a shift to alternative energy, increase educational opportunities for our young, etc., etc. However, our country has suffered through economically difficult times, so I reluctantly, but responsibly, voted to cut $200 billion from the presidents budget. Of course, what they will call a cut will actually be a huge spending increase, just less huge than Mr. Obamas unrealistic wish.
Mr. Obama has described some of his proposed spending increases (e.g., increased health-care spending) as a down payment on future increases. He knows that once Americans get used to receiving a government benefit, they believe they are entitled to it and resent attempts to curtail it. This puts Republicans in a difficult position: Whatever percentage of the eventual Democratic/Obama spending increases they propose to undo, the Democrats will blast them with heated charges that heartless Republicans want to rob the poor of health care and educational opportunities. Even if Republicans miraculously manage to cut Mr. Obamas proposals in half, the net effect would be fiscally destructive, gargantuan spending increases, and Republicans will still be portrayed as Scrooges.
I wonder, though, if Republicans are even capable of resisting Mr. Obamas quantum expansion of government. In the recently adopted spending bill, Republican senators joined their Democratic counterparts in business-as-usual by inserting earmarks. Writing in The Washington Times, in March, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., declared: It is reasonable for the government to try to pull us out of this downturn by spending and borrowing (Shades of President Nixons were all Keynesians now!) Former Louisiana Congressman Bob Livingston, who was elected to succeed Newt Gingrich as speaker of the House, but resigned instead, was quoted in the March 22 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as saying, the role of government [is] to do things for people who cannot do for themselves, which essentially rationalizes the virtually unlimited role for government that Democrats espouse.
The Republican mainstream remains mired in the old Nixon-Rockefeller-Ford-Bush-Dole Republicanism that never offered an alternative vision of government to the Democrats, but merely tried to keep the cost of Democratic programs from running out of control. The Democrat-lite brand still leads to loss of liberty and national bankruptcy; it just doesnt get there as fast.
Could it be that Obama, Inc. has the GOP checkmated?
Excellent analysis. Thanks for posting.
He's a moron.
There is no checkmate in politics. Too much fluidity and change. Unexpected events can change everything; e.g, 9/11.
Not all corporations like what Obama, Inc. does.
No, the challenge is how well we respond and do what needs to be done.
Having said that, I agree he did an excellent analysis, and that may be true. But what is being overlooked is that these lame lies of fiscal responsibility will not play well with 12-15% unemployment, and inflation.
Listen: I oppose Obama’s policies completely. But although he is easily confused in a real-time environment he is very, very smart with an amazingly comprehensive vision and determination to see it through. He is playing politics like a virtuoso and he figured out how to be the leader/figurehead at the same time.
Never underestimate your enemy. He is very, very dangerous.
We are in serious trouble.
He, like his entire entourage is stupid!
Obama says he has “a lot of his plate.”
The truth is, Obama has “his fingers in too many pies.”
Here is where he is vulnerable, and he said it last night. It's the economy. All those college kids who voted him in, all those in their late twenties and early thirties, they'll soon realize they inherited a bag of rocks with which they can pound sand. That is what Reagan republicans need to prepare for now with programs, policies, etc., He didn't win my a huge margin, just a little one. We must also reach out to latinos who are cultural conservatives no matter how they got here. V's wife.
In my more conspiratorial moments, I think that Obama or at least his advisors have taken enough economics know that the combination of debt and printing money is going to drive inflation and interest rates sky high. However, by the time the American people have realized what they have done, the changes will be made and will be hard to undo. Worse yet, inflation has the 'benefit' of destroying the wealth of the middle class. If no one has any wealth and all are dependent on the largess of the government, there will be no constituency for returning to free market principles.
I bet even he is surprised at the way Congress has rolled over and given him the whole moon instead of just half.
But he must see that coming. I have no doubt of it.
Given how deliberate and extensive his actions and plans are, I cannot help but be reminded of the Hunt for Red October. When they're trying to figure out what Ramius is planning next.
When you get down to it, Obama's not taking actions that have clear negative consequences for no reason. He knows there's danger there, and he's heading for it. Sailing his lone submarine of dreams against the entire U.S. Navy of reality, if you will.
It's possible that he's simply crazy or stupid. I personally think that he sees opportunity by pushing into that danger. I also think that by focusing on the 'stupid or crazy' angle, we're missing the boat. He's an intelligent and clever man, and clearly a true believer in his own path. So where is he taking us?
One of my sons is moderately pro-zero (I get on his nerves ;0) and at this point I can only hope he sees the mess that the economy will be in in a year and a half or so. NOT that I wish this on the American people, I just don't see how a severe relapse is avoidable (if you call right now a tiny relaxation from all out collapse.)
Sorry but I don’t think he’s at all smart. He’s a self centered narcissus who can’t see the future past lunch. Now the man behind the curtain is a whole ‘nother story.
This is what I think is happening, too.
It is the way of all charismatic leftists. They actually know what they're doing and do it for power and control. Their aim is not to improve the human condition it is to control the masses in an "efficient" way.
Satan IS “the prince of this world”.
So, if he’s not “stupid or crazy”, that leaves “intentionally evil”.
And complete separation from the authority of the leftists is the only way to restore a liberty oriented republic.
Just like Satan, Obama is a master charmer. He knows which buttons to push to control people who have been conditioned to become his slaves. The rest of us, he seeks to either force into that mold or destroy.