Wednesday, September 21, 2011
People must be peeling Obama stickers off their Volvos lately because I’m not seeing nearly as many as I used to. There are holdouts - people who believe the only reason Obama hasn’t been able to come through with the hopes and changes he promised in the forms of green jobs, lowering ocean levels, abolishing nuclear weapons, and making friends with Radical Muslims, is because Republicans refuse to cooperate. Those nasty Tea-Party types are stonewalling him because they’re racist and they don’t want to see a black president achieve marvelous things for America. And, they’re trying to blame poor Obama for the economic mess President Bush caused in the first place.The holdouts won’t change their world view no matter what happens.
Others used to feel good about their Obama bumper stickers - which proclaimed to the world that they were “progressives” who understood it was time America had a black president. They believed the whole world would see, because of the votes of forward-looking people like them, that America wasn’t the greedy, capitalist, warmongering, energy-guzzling oppressor they thought it was. Obama could make speeches all around the globe and people everywhere would see for themselves how smart and how nice he was. They would stop hating us because they would see how a country that elected such an articulate president wasn’t so bad, and might even be good. After enough speeches, the world might well become a place full of smiling, happy people holding hands and celebrating diversity.
Then Congress passed Obama’s $800 billion stimulus bill, and all those proud progressives with Obama stickers waited for the summer of recovery predicted by the president and his faithful sidekick, Vice President Joe Biden. So many shovel-ready projects were in the pipeline, they’d promised, that unemployment should start diminishing right away. When it didn’t they were patient, realizing that environmental impact studies had to be done. Permits had to be applied for and obtained, so when unemployment numbers continued to rise, they maintained their hope for change. Joe Biden promised them that the summer of recovery would surely manifest in 2010.
But it didn’t. The faithful hopey-changey progressives began to wonder, and their first pangs of doubt followed. They considered that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to borrow all those trillions of dollars, especially when each job Obama “created or saved” was costing hundreds of thousands - even millions - that we didn’t have. Some figured out that “quantitative easing” amounts to the same thing as printing money, and Obama’s Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was using the Federal Reserve to buy US Treasury bonds, creating digital money out of thin air. He had to do that because neither the Chinese nor the Indians wanted to invest in US Treasuries anymore and were buying gold instead.
Yet Obama was still spending dollars hand over fist. They remembered stories from high school history class of the Germans printing marks after World War I and the ruinous inflation that followed. They watch the European model Obama praised and emulated crack up under unsustainable welfare-state spending, government union guarantees, socialized medicine costs, guaranteed vacation and early retirement expenses for their unionized workforces - coupled with shrinking birth rates. They start wondering if maybe the same kind of crack-up could actually happen here in America too. Worse: maybe it already is. Hope and change is turning into despair and disaster.Soon-to-be-former progressives are noticing that Obama isn’t making any progress, and they’re not feeling proud of those bumper stickers anymore. They’re thinking that maybe they made a big mistake in the voting booth back in November, 2008. Any tingles they may have felt in their legs or anywhere else while listening to his speeches have stopped. Even your favorite song gets old when you hear it over and over too many times. You get so sick of it, you’re thinking you don’t want to hear it ever again, but Obama keeps on making speeches anyway because that’s all he knows how to do. Now, as his green-energy projects are going bankrupt, he’s making more speeches and yelling that he wants to spend another half-a-trillion and create or save more expensive jobs.Many are thinking he should just shut up, go away, and take his teleprompter with him.