So This is Change?
As many know, Barack Obama was elected President. Seeing as how that isn’t a shock anymore, I am “left” to come up with a new hobby. In the real world it is called nit-picking, but in mine it is called a purposeful exercise in the absurd for the sake of comedic value and possibly invoking rational thought. While I’m not particularly hopeful about the second part of that definition, I can at least chance it on the first part. During the Political campaign, Obama managed to market himself quite successfully as the “agent of change” that “we have all been waiting for”. As much as that statement makes me want to wretch my Thanksgiving lunch all over the lawn, I shall restrain for the sake of my readers.
With all the Messianic overtones brought up during the campaign surrounding Barack Obama’s name, I have a bit of a bomb to drop. I woke up yesterday and went to work… much the same as I did under George Bush the Hated. I woke up and NPR was talking about the latest bit of dismal economic news… exactly as they have for the last year. According to the various news agencies, the Democrats are hedging their bets on the bailout by not “acting swiftly” to save the auto industry… basically being obstructionists of business… exactly as they have done under a non-lame duck President. The world still hates us… exactly as they have for the last 15 years. My weeds didn’t suddenly turn into beautiful roses only found in wild Rainforests… exactly the same as last year. The Government still takes an exorbitant amount of my paycheck… well… some things never change…
Like many of us warned during the campaign, simply electing Obama would not solve our various problems. While I readily admit that no serious politically minded individuals believed that, it at least shows how “intriguing” PR campaigns can become. A this point, it should be remarked that we have made our bed… now we get to sleep in it for the next 4 years. And boy are we going to be sleeping in it………
However, we have a political safety belt that is going to keep some things under control during the Obama presidency. Namely, we have a re-election campaign. I’m sure some people are scratching their heads wondering what I mean, so I will explain.
Politicians have a very delicate balance to walk between being full of hot air (or other suitable substitutes) and pissing off the entire electorate. Number one, you can never accomplish your entire political platform in your career. If you manage to do so, you have nothing to offer in a re-election campaign. Number two, you have to accomplish something (in theory, at least) so you can show you aren’t just blowing smoke (or other suitable substitutes). So politicians have to tread this risky catwalk between accomplishing nothing (which gets you kicked out by your “loyal” voter base) and accomplishing too much (which means you overstay your usefulness and have no “ideas” any more). That is why even if the Democrats say they are going to pursue an “aggressive agenda”, I can guarantee you that they will not do even most of what they have promised… they need a platform for the next race.
Unfortunately for us all, National “vehicles” are not made of nerf and have zero air-bags (unless you count the politicians). So the question is, who is going to cause us to crash the slowest?
Needless to say, after the bludgeoning taken in the last election, the Republican party has gone a little introspective on us. Admittedly, I don’t blame them. You don’t get slaughtered like that and not wonder what the the heck happened to you. However, I’m a little concerned with the direction they seem to be taking. While Ah-nold “The Governator” Swizzlenoggin is advocating an abandoning of conservative policy outright, the RNC seems to be thinking their problem is George W. Bush and their aging politicians. Personally, I think Arnold needs to go soak his head and become the liberal we all know he is. I also don’t credit George Bush or old farts in office for the massive losses on election day. I credit the Republican Party with forgetting to put forth Republican ideals in the election. Conservative belief is not out of popularity in America… the “Conservatives” are out of popularity in America. Lower taxes… who doesn’t want more of their money in their pocket? Limited Government… who doesn’t like freedom to BE? Strong National Defense… Who actually thinks that we wouldn’t get preyed on if we were weak?
It is things like this that made the GOP popular in the 90’s (Thanks Newt…), not trying to look more and more like Democrats. If you are involved in a religious war, you don’t win by converting. If you are in a boundary war, you don’t win by changing your flag to look like your enemy’s. Where the GOP is getting butchered is in the PR trenches. I can be extremely compassionate and still think that Social Security is an abomination as political theory. I can be very inclusive and believe that affirmative action is plain stupid. All of this to say that I have a few predictions of my own to kind of handicap the next four years:
- The tax rates will go up… either because the tax cuts will be allowed to expire, or a direct raise of the income tax in an attempt to “spread the wealth around”.
- The plight of the poor will not be quantifiably better after four years of Obama in the White House.
- The definition of “the rich” is going to be broadened to include more of America’s tax bracket.
- A peaceful Iraq will be spun into a Democrat victory of leadership… forgetting that Iraq was won because of the “eeeeeevil” republicans their eeeeeeeeevil “Troop Surge”.
- America will suffer another terrorist attack… Embassy or domestic, it will happen.
Change is a jerk, ain’t it?