Diary

Obama Downgrade and the Flip Flap Railway

In the spring of 2009, asked whether he believed in American exceptionalism during a European trip Obama said, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exception­alism.”  Seemingly, Obama believes America is no different, no better, than Greece or Great Britain.

Obama’s fixed objective, to turn this country into a European-style social democracy while simultaneously minimizing America’s role which has provided peace and stability since the end of World War II, may be closer to realization than we would like.  Mr. Obama is a product of a political culture that counts among its fathers violent radicals like Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Rashid Khalidi.  These marginal groups of 1960’s leftists are as convinced now as they were then that the United States is so rotten that only a revolution can save it.

Unlike Thomas Sowell I don’t believe Obama is “indifferent [to] the best interests of the United States”.  I think Obama believes that by forcing the US into the mold of a European democracy he is making America, and Americans, different and better. It is not inexperience, incompetence, weakness or stupidity that has lead to failure at home and misguided policies abroad.  It’s not a bug, it’s the fix.

Last week, beginning with Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. Treasury Bonds from AAA to AA+, 5-hours after the markets closed on Friday, the US stock market, and markets world-wide, resembled nothing so much as the Flip-Flap Railway.  The Flip-Flap was unfortunately best known for snapping riders’ necks due to the extreme g-force through the circular loops.

Neither Obama nor any Congressional Democrat has offered a budget for 800-plus days.  Obama’s 2011 budget was simultaneously voted down by the Senate [97-0] as the President replaced it with a speech at George Washington University.  The Congressional Budget Office, when asked, said they couldn’t score a speech.

Since the Republicans took control of the House last January they have offered two serious budget plans – Rep. Paul Ryan’s Roadmap for America and H.B.2560, Cut Cap and Balance.  CCB cut $111 billion in FY 2012, places firm caps on future spending, and – conditional on House and Senate passing a Balanced Budget Amendment – agrees to President Obama’s request for a debt limit increase.  Cut Cap and Balance passed the House mid-July 234-190, but was blocked by the Senate a few days later, 51-46.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did not want to allow debate on Cut Cap and Balance, saying

“If they [Republicans] want to debate it tomorrow for a period of time, they can do that, but I’m going to — I think this piece of legislation is about as weak and senseless as anything that has ever come on this Senate floor, and I am not going to waste the Senate’s time day after day on this piece of legislation which I think is an anathema to what our country is all about. So everyone understand, we’re going to have a vote tomorrow. I’m not going to wait until Saturday. We’re going to have a vote tomorrow. I feel confident that this legislation will be disposed of one way or the other. The American people should understand that this is a bad piece of legislation. Perhaps some of the worst legislation in the history of this country.”

The Democrats, and Obama, were presented with not one but two serious plans that could have been debated, and possibly some compromise reached that would have prevented the S&P downgrade.  They refused.  In the Friday night press release, S&P said

The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.

More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.

If I’m not mistaken, that’s financial-speak for “lack of civility”.

  • Jan 2010 – “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun” [Obama, Philadelphia]
  • Oct 2010 – “ We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us,…”  [Obama, LA Radio Show]
  • July 2011 – MSNBC – Republicans are on a mission to “murder the American dream”, “suicide bombers” who want to “destroy the U.S. government”
  • July 2011 – Obama, talking about the debt ceiling debate the via live news conference – ”the Republicans are putting guns against the heads of the American people. That the debt ceiling should not be used as a gun against the heads of the Americans to retain breaks for corporate jet owners or oil and gas companies.”
    • Aug 2011 – Wasserman Schultz noted in a tweet that she agreed with Kerry, calling the Tea Party “tyrants” who blocked a more comprehensive bargain on the debt ceiling. …
    • Aug 2011 – “We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Rep Mike Doyle [D, PA] said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”

How can a compromise be reached with a side that has no plan?  And more to the point, how is it possible to negotiate with people who demonize you, your beliefs and your supporters.  How exactly does that work?

Grassroots Constitutional conservatives, aka the Tea Party, are fighting to return America to its first principles –

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

Personally, I think these AAA principles are worth fighting for.