Despite confirmation of what many suspected to begin with, there is nevertheless no satisfaction in seeing the wreckage of Obama's administration belching choking clouds of despair across the political and social landscape. The smart money was on an Obama failure from the beginning (no experience, no ideas, no plan, and no clue) but when a failed presidency of this magnitude occurs there is so much collateral damage that even those who abhor the president's degenerate philosophy of spreading other people's hard-earned wealth around, forcing socialized medicine down our throats, and spending ourselves into oblivion are tempted to feel a bit sorry for him.
But it is a feeling that quickly passes as one realizes that Jimmy Carter is no longer, and by a long shot, the worst president in living memory. Part of the disgust I personally feel - and this, sadly, isn't restricted to one political party - is the obscene amounts of money politicians collect from fundraising. Far be it from me to descend to the arrogant certainty of liberals by thinking I know better how one should use their money than they do. You will excuse me, though, if I feel that dropping $35,000 a plate at a special birthday/fundraiser so you can have dinner with the president is a poor use of your resources. I hasten to add that politicians from both sides are guilty of such opulence. But it is especially galling that Obama, who wants you to believe that he cares so much about "the poor" and that the wealthy should be forced to pay even more taxes than they already do, would be the focus at an event where people spent more than what equates to two years worth of working in a minimum wage job for the dubious privilege of dining with him. Anything to stay in power, though, right? Because to help the poor we have to serve $35,000 dinners.
Staying in power is certainly what it is all about. "We've still got a long way to go to get to where we need to be (translation: please reelect me). We didn't get into this mess overnight (translation: blame Bush, not me), and it's going to take time to get out of it, (translation: hopefully, I won't make it any worse than I already have)" Obama said (meant) in a recent address. At least he is right about one thing. It will take until the 2012 elections, when fed-up Americans hopefully elect enough Tea Party candidates to capture a majority in the Senate, strengthen their majorities in the House, and sweep the Community Organizer in Chief from office.
It won't be easy. Despite the fact that conservatives outnumber liberals almost two to one, there were clearly a majority of voters in 2008 fooled into thinking "hope and change" somehow trumps the hard realities of what the White House and both houses of Congress under the control of Democrats could do to the country. But since Obama's approval ratings are not yet where they belong - zero - there isn't yet enough indication that this collective problem of perceiving reality has been rectified. Perhaps many still feel it is all Bush's fault and that Obama just needs four more years and no opposition to complete his "fundamental transformation" of America, to repair the nation after that crazy Texan left the Oval Office.
But if you think Bush was bad due to his deficit spending of just over $1 billion per day, then consider this: on average, Obama's deficit spending is very nearly $4 billion per day. Washington is spending more but the overall economy is producing less. What is that a recipe for?
What about unemployment? Under Bush, the private sector had a net gain of almost 150,000 jobs. The net gain under Obama? None. On the contrary, under "hope and change" the economy has lost over two and a half million net private sector jobs.
Didn't like Bush's cocky self-assurance? It's better than Obama's obvious bumbling ineptitude. Indeed, there are already rumblings about Hillary Clinton challenging Obama. While it isn't unheard of, it isn't good news for a sitting president when he is challenged for his own party's nomination. It reveals an inkling within the ranks of what those outside the party already clearly see: Obama is unfit for command.
But this obvious fact won't deter the president. Already fundraising, Obama actually seems to believe he deserves four more years. His recent bus tour (taken in a behemoth $1.1 million armored bus that taxpayers paid for) followed the tried and true Obama strategy of whipping up class envy. And his minions recently started their attack on the Republican nominees. Of note, I find the broadside launched at Republican hopeful Rick Perry by David Axelrod particularly interesting. Perry's state, according to Axelrod, is doing so well thanks not to the governor but rather due to the oil industry and military spending. Is that the same oil industry that Axelrod's boss, Obama, has attacked and obstructed? The same oil industry that a federal judge recently overturned Obama's attempt to slow down expedited environmental review of oil and gas drilling on federal land, reinstating Bush-era guidelines that expedites the process?
After the Gulf oil spill, Perry said he hoped "we don't see a knee-jerk reaction across this country that says we're going to shut down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, because the cost to this country will be staggering." Too bad Obama didn't realize that. Thanks in part to the Obama attack on new drilling we have higher prices at the pump. In April of last year, when the Deep Water Horizon exploded, gas prices were about $2.90 per gallon. Now, the price is about $3.60 per gallon, after a spike earlier this year of up to around $4 per gallon. Obviously, there are several factors that play into the price of gas (the high tax on it being one of those factors). But that doesn't mean you can ignore the reality of supply and demand. Perry understood the situation. Obama, on the other hand, merely used the situation to further the liberal agenda of increasing our dependence on foreign oil. Not their true goal? Perhaps, but as with most of what they do, it isn't the intent of what liberals do to our country but rather on the results that they should be judged. After all, we certainly don't want Big Oil to earn profits that could instead be sent to the Middle East, right?
But back to Texas for just a moment. Ever since 1995, the state has been led by Republican governors. Ever since 2003 they have also controlled the Texas House of Representatives. They have held the Texas Senate since 1997. Republicans control all statewide Texas offices and they even have a majority in the Texas congressional delegation. Texas is, in fact, one of the most Republican states in the country. So it is no coincidence that it is also one of the most successful. Contrast that with, say, California. As one of the most liberal states, it has some of the biggest economic problems in the nation. Compared to the other states, as of 2010 it ranked 31st for standard of living and is nearly last at 49th for cost of living. California is also among the states with the highest debt.
Next week we'll explore how Obama ignores such realities while making the claim that it is Republicans who want to crush our hopes and dreams.
Jeff O’Bryant is the author of “Up into the Hills – A Brief History of Catoosa County” and holds two degrees: a bachelor’s in education and a bachelor’s with honors in history. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.