Aside from this post, which questioned how Obama would handle terrorism, I haven't written a single negative thing about our new president. That post wasn't even very critical.
This one will be.
I watched the speech last night. When it was over I was in a bad mood. Initially it wasn't anything Obama was saying. It was the reaction of the ridiculous Nancy Pelosi and the other smug Democrats, so pleased with the spoils of victory. Coming off the passage of the so-called stimulus package, this seemed like a party for them. I remain convinced that the liberal prescription for present economic troubles is far inferior to a low-tax scenario that promotes permanent private sector investment and growth. I don't want this package to fail. As big as it is I think it will have the effect of a shotgun blast- enough may hit the target to get the job done.
Of course, the substance of Obama's words was a problem for me. I really appreciated this Fact Check piece from the Associated Press. A summation:
- The mortgage rescue plan will not be able to discriminate between people who were honest in their mortgage applications but got into a tough spot and people who lied to get more house. It is impractical.
- We're not actually importing more oil than ever.
- Both parties are responsible for looser mortgage regulations.
- The Obama budget proposal doesn't do as much to trim waste as he claimed, and is still at the mercy of congress.
- Governmental job creation projections are prone to error and it is impossible to know which jobs are created by governmental action and which would have occurred anyway.
Where Obama infuriates me is with programs and policies that are so meaningless or even dangerous in our current environment. Holman Jenkins nails it in this Wall Street Journal column.This is not a time to impose higher taxes, on anyone. This is not a time to reform health care AND create a punitive system of taxation on carbon emissions. I'm not a fan of governing by opinion poll, but this is not a concept welcomed by Americans.
I'm just too ideologically distant from Obama, and even if I liked his policy prescriptions the actions of his party of the last month have exhibited the worst kind of partisan politics. I don't trust them, or most Republicans, to do what's right for the country at large.
I also realized last night that the last time I had cause to be very happy about anything political was probably George Bush's reelection in 2004. Pretty sad when you think about it. Maybe one of these days I search through my posts and see if I'm wrong, but I don't think I'll find anything.