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Checkmate?
The Bulletin ^ | April 30, 2009 | Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson

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 Obama’s brilliance. “How can he say that?” they expostulate. “He doesn’t 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 don’t count on it.

It is true that Mr. Obama’s 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 he’s not a good economist. So what? We don’t 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 shouldn’t surprise us that elected officials adopt economically unsound policies. Consider that, by all accounts, Mr. Obama’s 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 didn’t build his massive Internet fundraising army and organize his Cinderella presidential campaign with the help of just a few buddies. I’ll leave it to the investigative reporters to shed some light on the many branches of Obama, Inc., but this huge organization’s 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. Obama’s bad cop.

I can hear those legislators now, “I completely sympathize with President Obama’s 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 president’s budget.” Of course, what they will call a “cut” will actually be a huge spending increase, just less huge than Mr. Obama’s 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. Obama’s 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. Obama’s 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 Nixon’s “we’re 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 doesn’t get there as fast.

Could it be that Obama, Inc. has the GOP checkmated?


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: partyofdeath
Satan and Lenin's disciples are now in charge of your country. (Or is it their country?)
1 posted on 04/30/2009 3:57:17 AM PDT by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

Excellent analysis. Thanks for posting.


2 posted on 04/30/2009 4:04:15 AM PDT by steelyourfaith ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." - Lady Thatcher)
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To: IbJensen
Devious and evil... and street smarts and radicalism learned from ayers and alinsky, do not make the kenyan marxist muslim “brilliant”. This is just another example of the evilcrat left redefining the English language... not going to let them do it... hussein is dumber than a box of rocks and he is no more than a puppet groomed by the radical left. When he is out of office... and one day he will be... History will show that jimmah catah is one lucky man... for hussein... not catah... will go down as the most ignorant, stupid, arrogant and most incompetent President in the entire History of this great Nation... screw hussein and screw the drooler that wrote this pos love soliloquy.

LLS

3 posted on 04/30/2009 4:07:04 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (hussein will NEVER be my President... NEVER!!!)
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To: IbJensen
Obama fell for socialism. By that, he flunked Basic Intelligence 101.

He's a moron.

4 posted on 04/30/2009 4:08:37 AM PDT by muir_redwoods ( O.B.A.M.A. = One Big Asinine Mistake, America)
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To: steelyourfaith

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.


5 posted on 04/30/2009 4:09:18 AM PDT by bioqubit
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To: IbJensen

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.


6 posted on 04/30/2009 4:16:57 AM PDT by paulycy (BEWARE the LIBERAL/MEDIA Complex)
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To: paulycy
I agree we're in trouble, but like all globalist, socialist communists who are incapable of viewing the finished abortion, Obomba is a twitty ninnyhammer!

He, like his entire entourage is stupid!

7 posted on 04/30/2009 4:26:54 AM PDT by IbJensen ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money."Thatcher)
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To: IbJensen

Obama says he has “a lot of his plate.”

The truth is, Obama has “his fingers in too many pies.”


8 posted on 04/30/2009 4:28:42 AM PDT by syriacus (Who else but a sadist with gallows humor has a 747 slowly fly at low altitude over the NY skyline?)
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To: paulycy
Agree, he is a very shrewd guy. Even Rush can't apply the ridicule tactic. The medium is the message and he is cool on a cool medium. He understands the medium.

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.

9 posted on 04/30/2009 4:30:32 AM PDT by ventana
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To: IbJensen
In my non-conspiratorial moments of reflection, I think Obama's team just have no clue how inflationary his policies are going to be in 2-3 years.

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.

10 posted on 04/30/2009 4:36:21 AM PDT by CaptainMorgantown
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To: IbJensen
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!

I bet even he is surprised at the way Congress has rolled over and given him the whole moon instead of just half.

11 posted on 04/30/2009 4:40:01 AM PDT by newheart (Obama. We kind of underestimated the creepiness.)
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To: bioqubit
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.

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?

12 posted on 04/30/2009 4:42:44 AM PDT by Steel Wolf (Oh, well. Back to the drawing board....)
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To: ventana
Here is where he is vulnerable, and he said it last night. It's the economy.

Agreed.

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.)

13 posted on 04/30/2009 4:51:51 AM PDT by paulycy (BEWARE the LIBERAL/MEDIA Complex)
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To: All

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.


14 posted on 04/30/2009 4:56:27 AM PDT by pnut22
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To: sauropod

read


15 posted on 04/30/2009 4:57:39 AM PDT by sauropod (If you tell people you're "on Twitter" does that make you a Twit?)
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To: CaptainMorgantown
However, by the time the American people have realized what they have done, the changes will be made and will be hard to undo.

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.

16 posted on 04/30/2009 5:04:07 AM PDT by paulycy (BEWARE the LIBERAL/MEDIA Complex)
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To: IbJensen

Satan IS “the prince of this world”.


17 posted on 04/30/2009 5:10:39 AM PDT by MrB (Go Galt now, Bowman later)
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To: Steel Wolf

So, if he’s not “stupid or crazy”, that leaves “intentionally evil”.


18 posted on 04/30/2009 5:11:49 AM PDT by MrB (Go Galt now, Bowman later)
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To: paulycy

And complete separation from the authority of the leftists is the only way to restore a liberty oriented republic.


19 posted on 04/30/2009 5:12:39 AM PDT by MrB (Go Galt now, Bowman later)
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To: IbJensen
Don't underestimate the power of attractive lies and promises of things you don't have and shouldn't want, of which Obama has bags full. Eve learned that painful lesson in the Garden of Eden, but too late. The consequences remained.

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.

20 posted on 04/30/2009 5:21:34 AM PDT by Gritty (We are either going to stop Obama or the United States is going to cease to exist - Alan Keyes)
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To: IbJensen
If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. (Matthew 18:8-9)

If a state or states causes socialism, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for a Republic to go on maimed or crippled than to have all its states and together be thrown into the eternal fire of collectivism. And if the Federal Government causes you to sin; secede from it, peacefully hopefully but secede just the same.. It is better to govern as a sovereign state, smaller and diminished in power than to be thrown into the fire of centralized Federal usurpation

21 posted on 04/30/2009 5:27:18 AM PDT by central_va (www.15thVirginia.org Co. C, Patrick Henry Rifles)
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