History’s Most Powerful Whiner?

Since I disagree with basically everything the man does, there’s a lot about President Obama that I find annoying. One of the president’s worst attributes – maybe even worse than the way he views himself as God’s gift to a horribly flawed America – is the fact that he’s a giant whiny baby:

“It may be that regardless of what happens after this election, they feel more responsible,” he is quoted saying in the Sunday edition of The New York Times Magazine, “either because they didn’t do as well as they anticipated, and so the strategy of just saying no to everything and sitting on the sidelines and throwing bombs didn’t work for them, or they did reasonably well, in which case the American people are going to be looking to them to offer serious proposals and work with me in a serious way.”

Waaaah – I’m the most powerful man on earth, and people don’t love me enough for spending billions of their dollars on things they’re too stupid to know they need! Republicans don’t hang on my every word like mommy said everyone’s supposed to!

President Obama gave the GOP leadership a ton of opportunities to work with him on the health care bill. Remember? That 2,000-page piece of legislation that totally wasn’t crafted in the dark by a handful of leftier-than-left Democrats and their favorite lobbyists? Right.

At least there was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. President Obama was a bipartisan superstar on that one:

Among the regrets the president said he felt during the 111th Congress is letting Republicans make him out to be “the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.”

Obama said he also realized too late that “there is no such thing as shovel-ready projects,” a familiar refrain made by the president when he was trying to sell the stimulus package.

“There are almost 100 shovel-ready transportation projects already approved,” he said in August 2009. As recently as July of this year, he said, “Shovels will soon be moving earth and trucks will soon be pouring concrete.”

Let’s say government spending creates jobs in a way that is worth the investment and not just a temporary, politically beneficial boost to employment while the market corrects. Let’s say that. Assuming improvements to highways, the electrical grid, and other genuinely important infrastructure are worth hundreds of billions in “emergency” spending, one wonders how our unfairly-characterized president justifies:

“Dance Draw” – Interactive Dance Software Development (Charlotte, NC) – $762,372 […]

Monkey and Chimpanzee Responses to Inequity (Atlanta, GA) – $677,462 […]

Two Riders an Hour Get Brand New Buses (Winter Haven, FL) – $2.4 million […]

Studying the Effect of Local Populations on the Environment…in the Himalayas (Ann Arbor,
MI) – $529,648 […]

Scientist Attempts to Create Joke Machine (Evanston, IL) – $712,883

These are five examples from a list of 100 wasteful stimulus-funded programs, and they aren’t the most expensive ones. Alas, President Obama doesn’t justify anything, because he’s too busy making ridiculous promises, blaming the GOP for his failure to keep them, and talking down at the boobs who expected him to.

President Obama does everything exactly how “the same old tax-and-spend Democrat” would, complains any time someone – congressmen, businesses, voters – refuses to go along, and complains some more when people call him out on it. Get your chin up, Barack! If nothing else, we know you’re capable of that.

And now, a word from John McCain

Reuters is carrying a story today about John McCain, who says the GOP had better shape up before the 2010 elections. You remember John McCain, right? He’s that Republican senator whose regular flirtations with big-government nonsense represent the party’s most serious problem. Forgive me if I read this story with more than the standard amount of skepticism.

“There’s something going on out there. And I’d love to sit here and tell you that we Republicans are attracting all of those unhappy people, but we’re not. They’re out there kind of in the middle and they haven’t found a home. And in fact they haven’t even channeled their anger yet,” he said.

Despite what you may think, McCain is not joking. While most pundits muse on whether Tea Party wingnuts who dare complain about out of control spending will pull the GOP too far to the right, McCain crams a new situation into his standard argument that conservatism is for losers and Republicans should “moderate” their ranks.

I seem to recall the leading case for John McCain in 2008 being that he could win “moderate” and “independent” voters. That went… poorly. I’d love to see Republicans offer fiscally and socially conservative candidates in every election – especially given how wildly off-the-rails the Democratic leadership is on spending, personal freedom, and national defense. But instead we have old pros like John McCain telling us, no, the problem is that Republicans aren’t helpful enough when it comes to piling debt on top of debt to pay for things government has no business doing.

But he said Republican candidates running in 2010 needed to “portray a far more positive agenda for America” and that the party needed to recruit good candidates and attract Hispanic voters who have been heavily courted by Democrats. Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority in the United States.

Right… sorry we forgot, John – amnesty for the win. I’m sure you’ll also help the GOP in this election cycle by crafting some cap & trade compromise where Americans get screwed only six instead of seven ways from Sunday, Senator.

At The Corner today, Mark Steyn was commenting on the 23rd District race in New York, where GOP leaders are lining up behind another “moderate” Republican (ie, someone whose positions are indecipherable from the average Democrat’s). Steyn had this to say:

The problem with NY-23 is that we don’t have a two-party system. The GOP leadership decided to join the Democrats in offering voters a one-party system of Dem and Demmer. Nuts to that.

Grim Outlook

We are well and truly screwed. Sayeth President Obama:

The time for talk is over. The time for action is now.

Why didn’t someone tell the voting public this before we elected a President whose only proven skill is talking? Meanwhile John McCain, doggone him, tried an alternative stimulus bill that reminds us why, despite his shortcomings, he was the far better choice:

It carried a price tag of $421 billion, less than half the White House-backed measure. The majority of that was in the form of a one-year cut in the payroll tax and reductions in the two lowest income tax brackets.

Sad to consider that a $421,000,000,000 bill is light and refreshing compared to whatever leviathan the Democrats will end up passing. Alas, Harry Reid knows that history’s largest bundle of pork is worth sticking to regardless of what the miserable Republicans think:

If they think they’re going to rewrite this bill and Barack Obama is going to walk away from what he is trying to do for the American people, they’ve got another thought coming.

A massive pile of new spending from House Democrats is growing ever more massive in the Senate, which sits fine with Harry Reid. Instead of doing what he said he’d do and fighting the Democratic leadership as they use desperate times to employ the same old liberal measures, Obama will do what he’s always done: talk about centrism and act from the left.

I see two ways of looking at this.

  1. We elected liberals to the White House and both houses of the legislature so they could grow government and reduce freedom at great cost to taxpayers. America is screwed.
  2. We elected liberals to the White House and both houses of the legislature unaware that they would grow government and reduce freedom at great cost to taxpayers. America is screwed.

If you’re looking to feel really depressed, read Senator Coburn’s statement from yesterday. To quote Mark Steyn, from an October 26th Orange County Register article I wish more voters would have read,

The spirit of the age is: Ask not what your country can do for you, demand it. Why can’t the government sort out my health care? Why can’t they pick up my mortgage?

Charisma Beats Character

So Chairman Obama broke an early campaign financing pledge, and then rigged his website to accept fraudulent donations. So his voting record is well to the left of the electorate. So he’s spent decades supporting racists, terrorists, and garden-variety America haters with his time, money, and words. So his plan for a recession is to soak the rich and broaden entitlements for “the middle class.”

So what? Have you heard the man talk? Have you seen how Presidential he looks?

[Update: Fixed a typo in the opening sentence, upon which all the post hinges!]

Off-Key

The presidential debate was depressing so I wimped out about halfway through. John McCain is a tolerable speaker, but no leap forward from Dubya as far as I’m concerned. Barack Obama is a great speaker, and even in the back-and-forth of a debate came off as calm & confident. With so much of Obama’s time spent trying to pin the Bush presidency on McCain and so much of McCain’s time spent trying to avoid that at all costs, you’d hardly know that Obama is extremely, extremely liberal.

This is discouraging because so many people I know who consider themselves politically moderate are gung-ho on Obama. Really? Have you looked at the man’s voting record? The Washington Post has a passable tracking site for Congressional voting histories. If you look at the summary for Illinois members of the 110th Senate, you’ll notice Obama voted with his party 96% of the time. Project Vote Smart indicates in 2007 he received a 100 rating from the AFL-CIO; 100 from NARAL; a 5 from Americans for Tax Reform. Given a national audience Obama talks like a centrist, but he most certainly does not vote like one.

Worst of all, McCain floundered around a bit on the extended discussion of the economy and the mortgage securities bailout. Why, when Obama blamed the current mess on President Bush and a lack of regulation, didn’t McCain nail Obama for blocking reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2005? It would have done a lot to deflect the (entirely justifiable) accusation that two weeks ago McCain was saying the economy was fundamentally sound, and now he’s saying it’s fundamentally broken. A real, missed opportunity for McCain to highlight reforms that he advocated and that Obama helped block.

Wee-venge

Got back a little while ago from the LIVESTRONG Summit Presidential Town Hall on campus, and when I went out back to water the plants something caught the corner of my eye: a fluffy white tail, hopping away from the flowerbed. Little bugger hopped just over the property line – we’re talking a matter of inches – and watched me water what I thought were my plants, but which may more accurately be described as his.

Regarding the Town Hall, it was pretty good. I went to see John McCain and Lance Armstrong in person, and was impressed by both. It’s no wonder Obama doesn’t want to be within a country mile of McCain without a prompter. Sure he’s a stubborn old codger, but he’s also sharp and quick of his feet and brimming with experience. He had my vote before and he certainly has it now, although I could have gone without mentions of McCain-Kennedy and McCain-Feingold.

In the vein of continuity (is that what this is?), continued prayers for the Roeths and Chivingtons. I don’t know how long the page will be accessible, but there’s a good article from the 7/18 edition of the Troy Daily News following Carrie’s passing.

Further continuity still, the book o’ Faces tells me the following:

Griffin House’s performance for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is now scheduled for Friday, July 25th.

Tune your TV and watch Griffin performing “The Guy That Says Goodbye To You Is Out Of His Mind” on national TV.

There you have it – a reason to watch Craig Ferguson. Who, apparently, is still on the air? Griffin will be on Conan soon enough, by golly!

What the Deuce, Mike Huckabee?

Weekend Update on SNL tonight featured a joke about McCain claiming frontrunner status for himself following his Wisconsin victory, despite the fact that Mike Huckabee remains in the race. Seth Myers introduced Mike Huckabee to discuss the issue, and I thought “wonder who they’ll have impersonating Huckabee.” Well – they didn’t have anybody impersonating him. Gov. Huckabee came out and the audience applauded (even more than they did when Tina Fey made a cranky joke defending the “intelligent, qualified” Clintons!) and a funny little interchange followed. Huckabee played dumb about victory being mathematically impossible, mentioned superdelegates (which don’t exist in the Republican primary), and sat on camera far too long after some line about knowing when it was time to leave.

The question is… does he? Because it made for a good skit, but Huckabee didn’t mention any particular reason why he’s still in the race. I’d have thought, as a candidate for President of the United States, you could squeeze in a mention of whatever you’re trying to accomplish by waiting to bow out. Yet he did not. I’m on board with the assumption that he’s now running for VP, and I suppose his SNL appearance supports that theory more than anything else!

As a footnote: SNL has its moments, but Joel McHale is hilarious.

Stanley Kurtz on Campaign ’08

If you’re sick of all the analysis and possibilities and might-have-beens about the Presidential primaries, I’d recommend reading one last thing as the next few months tear past. If you’ve not read a single thing and don’t much care to, you should read this Kurtz post anyway:

Even if Republicans can’t get an outright majority in the next congress, just staying about even with where they are now would make a huge difference. But a Democratic blowout in congress along with a Democratic president would mean the end of conservatism for the foreseeable future (maybe longer). We can prevent that, just by not staying home.

I have a sort of pattern when it comes to National Review’s The Corner. I’ll read the site heavily for awhile, get bored with it, then for some time visit only to read Mark Steyn‘s posts. I’ve been frequenting the site lately, and am reaching another boredom phase as the contributors go back and forth over and over about whether Mitt Romney still has any chance, whether he ever had a chance, the degree to which McCain would be a disaster, etc. But Kurtz states well the obvious fact: if conservatives bicker all summer and pout at home in November, the result will be a Democratic President and Congress who have no trouble concluding that if we focus on entitlement tinkering, Bush’s pretend terrorists will leave us be.

There’s a good chance we’ll get a head in the sand socialist government either way, but we’re a long way from that point.

(Not a) Party Guy

I don’t think I’ve mentioned my feelings on this round of Republican primaries yet, and I’m sure that’s been difficult for the American public in general. Consequently, the topic is a good opportunity for me to broaden the bits and pieces I’ve brought up regarding how I feel about politics.

I am not a party guy, or operative, or whatever angrier term one might use. I’m a Republican because I think there are certain things government should manage in return for our tax dollars (national defense, transportation, criminal justice) and certain things they should not (nearly everything else). That we can afford to provide some degree of safety netting in education, retirement, and health care is well and good. That pandering politicians insist these are somehow inalienable rights lends to a sort of socialist scope creep which, in my opinion… sucks. Republicans and Democrats are both guilty of this, but a Republican is at least unlikely to do it constantly (see: Edwards, John, a trial attorney obsessed with income redistribution).

As a conservative 24-year-old with low tolerance for b.s. and relatively weak party ties, I should be all about McCain, right? That seems to be the conventional “wisdom” coming from the big paper and TV news outlets. Thing is, when it comes to the important issues it’s almost impossible to guess where John McCain is going to stand. McCain is assertive about fighting Islamism overseas; he’s for amnesty when it comes to securing the borders. McCain stands for straight talk; somehow he also got his name on pretty terrible campaign finance reform and is prone to the “no tax cuts for the wealthy” line. McCain hates bureaucracy, but hearts the global warming regulations boondoggle.

With Thompson out and Giuliani crashing, Romney looks more and more like my favorite Mormon candidate. Come to think of it, he’s probably my favorite Mormon, too… sorry Senator Reid. There are some questions about Mitt’s credentials, but I was leaning his direction even before the field’s recent narrowing. Given the option between Romney’s waffling and McCain’s downright unpredictability, Romney strikes me as the most reliable conservative in the race. Given the option between McCain and any of the Democratic choices, I’d tick the box for McCain – but we’ll burn that bridge when we get there.