Tuesday, March 30, 2010
After reading the US and international press over the past week, one could be forgiven for thinking that the president had just won a world war. We’ve been bombarded with headlines on both sides of the Atlantic lauding a reinvigorated, all-powerful president, with a spring in his step who could no doubt walk on water if he deigned to do so. Indeed, in the last few days, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have strutted across the country with a vain swagger that would make a peacock blush, from the vice president’s classless, foul-mouthed victory boast at the White House, to the president’s contemptuous mocking of his political opponents at a rally in Iowa.
Both leaders have been beaming like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, living in their own Tim Burton-like fantasy. And what have they actually achieved? The passage of a massively controversial, divisive and hugely expensive health care reform bill via a Democrat-dominated Congress in the face of overwhelming public opposition, and without a shred of bi-partisan support. And a nuclear arms agreement with the Russians that works to the advantage of Moscow. The first of the two “victories” will add nearly a trillion dollars to the national debt, and dramatically increases the power of the federal government over the lives of ordinary Americans. The second is a feel-good PR exercise that does nothing at all to make the world safer in an era of rogue states and Islamist terrorism.
It sort of goes on like that.
This was not a triumph by Obama. Obama was reduced to appealing to Dems to save his Presidency from permanent impairment had the bill failed.
As far as the bill signing ceremony and the bravado, it was the same "good news" as closing on an overpriced house in 2006 with a stated income liar loan (courtesy of bogus CBO numbers and our idiot Congress acting like the brainy WAMU credit committee). Signing on the dotted line is the Beginning not the End of the real story. There is a brief happiness at their shiny new purchase, and they have great plans to redecorate, but soon the reality of paying for it will set in and the Physics of Reality will not negate the truth that this will cost $2.3 Trillion over the next 10 years. Pretty soon we'll all be eating Alpo.
I am quite sure the Catholic Church has the best intentions yet the stories of Irish and German Abuse merely prove yet again that absolute power corrupts absolutely and people do not question Authority.
Someone who cloaks themselves in a veil of "doing good" can do a LOT of damage before people catch on.
SImilarly the Obamacare will prove to be a tragedy sponsored by People who believe they are well-intentioned but who, by lack of checks and balances and temporary absolute power will end up unleashing vast unintended consequences.
The solution? Put Checks and Balances back in this Fall in the Elections.