Friday, March 27, 2009

Scattered Thoughts

Just a few random thoughts…

There was a time when it seemed that America would never get tired of Barack Obama—he seemed a mythic president, like Lincoln or Kennedy. He’s come back to earth now—it feels like people are getting tired of his constant television appearances, his approval ratings are starting to fall back to earth. That was to be expected—no one could live up to Obama’s expectations—but it has come much quicker than anyone would have anticipated.

Nobody thinks Timothy Geinther is doing a good job as Treasury Secretary—but cut him a little slack. There still haven’t been any other treasury officials confirmed. It’s been two months, and the treasury is an important position. It’s unbelievable that these spots haven’t been filled.

Why is Senator Judd Gregg the only senator warning of America’s debt level? He pointed out in an MSNBC interview that America couldn’t join the European Union if it wanted to because of its crushing debt. How come more Republicans aren’t making this point? And how is it possible that Europe is more fiscally responsible than the United States?

Congress is considering regulating the way the BCS selects bowl teams. There’s probably room for improvement—but how can Congress possibly justify forcing college football to change the way it decides its champion? And even if Congress could justify this, aren’t there a few more important things to do?

Even more depressing—Orrin Hatch is one of those actively pushing this bill. Seems that Utah hasn’t forgotten their championship game snub, so Hatch is giving them some help.

Senator Benjamin Cardin has proposed a newspaper bailout bill, which has some obvious flaws. But pretend, for the moment, that there wouldn’t be any sort of conflict of interest there, with newspapers being forced to report on the very entity that owns them. The deeper question is: is there any business left in America that isn’t eligible for a bailout? For all the stereotypes about Republicans being tools of Big Business, Democrats are doing more for business than Republicans ever did.

Some Swiss banks are banning their employees from traveling abroad over fears that they will be detained and questioned about bank secrecy. That fear seems to be much more similar to something found in a fascist state than anything Bush did.

I always find worries that America’s best days are behind it silly and premature—after all, conditions in America have seemed bleak at many times in our nation’s history, yet America has always prevailed. But such fears now seem less silly than they did in the past—Obama has apparently given up any notion of a manageable national debt, given his plan to triple the debt in ten years. And Obama seems overwhelmed by the very difficult problems he faces—his economic stimulus plan wasn’t an example of strong leadership, and he seems unsure of himself on foreign policy. It doesn’t see as though America has the will to fight through this—as though American’s have lost confidence in their nation.

Foreign policy has never been one of Obama’s strengths. During the campaign, he touted his opposition to the Iraq War a great deal, and promised to withdraw U.S. troops quickly. Then, as soon as he was elected president, he discarded that particular policy. North Korea’s upcoming missile launch seems an example of the president’s foreign policy paralysis—he just doesn’t seem to know what to do. Talking to one’s adversaries is fine—but you have to have something to say.

Apparently, Eric Cantor courted a small amount of controversy by not correcting a C-SPAN caller who called Obama’s policies fascist. This is hyperbole, especially considering that the word “fascist” now means “someone who disagrees with me.” But if fascism is the combination of big business and big government—well, that seems to be happening now. America is nowhere near fascism—but fascistic elements do seem to be creeping into our government.


At March 27, 2009 at 5:30 AM , Blogger Beth said...

You are much more optimistic than I am, then again maybe you are too young to be cynical. But when I commented at your blog pre-election that I didn't think Obama would do that much damage to our country, I didn't realize how wrong I would be. Now he wants to stop using the term "global war on terror" as if doing so will make the problem go away. He is spending money like there is no tomorrow, giving Geitner more power than anyone should have, and seemingly looking for global solutions, our sovereignty be damned!

At March 27, 2009 at 6:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you folks waste so much time and energy on these stupid subjects?

At March 27, 2009 at 6:53 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

For the same reason that you waste so much time and energy addressing the amount of time and energy we spend on stupid subjects.

Except that when we do it, we actually do it in a relatively civilized manner and as well we talk about issus and things of substance instead of resorting to the argument from intimidation.

At March 28, 2009 at 6:50 AM , Blogger Beth said...

I wonder if prior to the American Revolution if people loyal to the king said the same things as Gray Headed Brother?

At March 29, 2009 at 5:13 PM , Anonymous T R said...

Gray Headed, no one's forcing you to read this.

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