Clean Up Your Own Mess First, Mr. President
Barack Obama is on another “it’s all Bush’s fault” tear again. This time, using the tired campaign theme of cleaning up Bush’s mess:
Another way of putting it is when, you know, I’m busy and Nancy busy with our mop cleaning up somebody else’s mess –- we don’t want somebody sitting back saying, you’re not holding the mop the right way. (Applause.) Why don’t you grab a mop, why don’t you help clean up. (Applause.) You’re not mopping fast enough. (Laughter.) That’s a socialist mop. (Laughter and applause.) Grab a mop –- let’s get to work.
(Now I go into quasi-Keith Olbermann mode). Mr. President, you are right that things are a mess, but it is about time that you recognized that you have contributed to, worsened, and in some cases wholly created the mess:
- Jobs – Your economic policies create incentives for employers not to create jobs. Whether it is looming employer health care mandates, cap-and-tax energy tax plans, talking down the economy when convenient to create an atmosphere of crisis, or laying the ground work for massive government expansion, you have cost this country millions of jobs. You have set us on a course for permanent double-digit unemployment, just like in Europe.
- Stimulus Fiasco – The centerpiece of your presidency to date was the February 2009 Stimulus Plan which has turned out to be massive flop. A flop of such proportions that it will go down in history as one of the most hasty, foolish, and misguided wastes of a trillion dollars. It has created little economic activity because resources were devoted to make-work projects which may be valuable in isolation, but do not create long-term jobs or economic growth.
- The Deficit and Debt – You are running up deficits and debts which were unthinkable just two years ago. While the TARP inflated the deficit on a one-time basis, your spending plans will make trillion dollar annual deficits the norm. These are your deficits now, and everyone except you seems to realize it. Revenues are dropping at historic rates because you are squeezing the private sector, which actually pays the taxes. Your refusal to take responsibility is causing historic damage to the dollar, which has sent countries running to find alternatives to international transactions.
- Health Care – I have no doubt that you, Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid will push something through Congress. But you have mishandled the process. Your aloof attitude allowed lobbyists to run amok, isolated you from the center, and allowed the process to ramble on with no direction. And these are the criticisms from your supporters. You will get something which may allow you to declare victory, but it will be a hollow victory because you will have done damage to hundreds of millions of Americans who are happy with their health care and health insurance without solving any of the major health care issues. You will be remembered as the President who destroyed our health care system. Congratulations.
- Afghanistan – This is the war you said had to we won, and was just. Yet you have dawdled. I had high hopes that you would put military advice ahead of polls and left-wing politics, and maybe some day you will do so. But for nine months you have done nothing productive. You took a deteriorating situation, and watched without action because you were preoccupied with your plans to reorganize the American economy. You blamed Bush for being distracted by Iraq, but you have been distracted by your domestic delusions of grandeur. And our soldiers on the ground are paying the price.
- The Middle East – The peace process is dead, and you are to blame. By sending signals that you were ready to put the heat on Israel and by prejudging the outcome of negotiations (such as a complete return to the pre-1967 borders), you emboldened the Palestinians to sit back and wait. The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and you fed into this historical pattern. Everyone is waiting you out, hoping to survive your presidency.
- Latin America – You have sided with Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega, who hate us, against our friends in Honduras, who love us. And you have done so upon the thinnest of legal reeds, by arguing that the Honduran exercise of their constitutional powers through their courts should not be recognized. More important, you have sent a signal through your silence on Chavez’s move toward presidency for life and your warm greeting of him, that you are on the side of the dictators.
- Iran – The Iranians don’t take you seriously. They will talk you to death because they know that at the end of the day, you will do nothing about their nuclear program. Just like you sat back and said nothing for days when protesters took the the streets of Tehran over the fraudulent elections. You have all but guaranteed that sanctions will not work because the Russians and Chinese have no reason to work with you. You caved in to Russian pressure in Eastern Europe, and your spending plans require the Chinese to lend us money. Talk is cheap, but it is all you have left.
- Our Allies – Why is it that you are so tough on our allies but so soft on our enemies? You have sent a message that the U.S. is not to be trusted, is not a reliable ally, and will sell out our friends for friendly words from our enemies. In so doing, you have made it more difficult to achieve world stability. Is it any wonder that your oratory has failed to get any substantial contributions from NATO for Afghanistan?
- Dignity – Your apology tours are an embarrassment to our country and to us. At some point you will realize that people are laughing at us, and at you. “Loved by many, feared by none” may warm your heart, but it does not signify a President who is respected. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize was not your fault, but the reaction in the international community was one of mockery reflecting that no one believes you have achieved anything.
- Race Relations – You campaigned on a theme of being post-racial, but your campaign team and supporters shamelessly used the race card. After your election, these same supporters have elevated the race card to the primary weapon to silence criticism of your policies. Yet you have remained largely silent on this despicable tactic, allowing baseless accusations of racism to poison the political dialogue.
So Mr. President, please clean up your own economic, foreign policy, and political messes before you complain about George Bush. In other words, start acting like the President, instead of a presidential candidate.
UPDATE: I could have said it more simply – “Stop pissin’ on the floor.”
Confusion. In August Obama told us to get out of the way so he could clean up the mess himself. Now he wants our help. So I guess he was against getting help cleaning up the mess before he was for it.
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Thanks for taking Little Barry to the woodshed, Prof.
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'HEY…I WANNA PLAY THE PRESIDENT!'
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