Wednesday, July 14, 2010


The Obama administration is in the midst of a series of crises that all have something in common.  They are all gushers, and the administration is slow to react and ineffective with all of them.

The Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is the most physical  representation of this premise. The Obama administration was responsible for coordinating the cleanup and working with BP in partnership to deal with the disaster, while allowing BP to fix the well as quickly as possible (preferably with the help of a panel of industry experts, not congressmen).  Instead, he waited a ridiculously long time -  a month - to address the nation about the disaster, dragged his feet on requests by governors of the affected states and waited almost two months to talk to the heads of BP - on day 58, to be exact.  To make things worse, instead of working in partnership with BP to solve the problem and expedite the cleanup, the administration threatened litigation, demanded huge sums of money and demonized the company and the industry to the public in an attempt to garner support for their pet eco-legislation.  And here we are, more than 80 days later, and the oil is still gushing, the press are blocked from reporting accurately and the people are suffering.  The oil is still creeping towards our shores and the response has been sporadic and anemic.  It has been nearly three months - there should be a synchronized, well organized response worked out, but there isn't.  It seems sometimes that the primary objective of the administration is litigation and moratoriums, not making things right on the ground, where it counts.

Which brings us to our next political gusher.  Jobs.  There just doesn't seem to be any relief in sight, even with a nearly trillion dollar stimulus package, a huge increase in budgetary spending. and all sorts of porky little goodies in a myriad of other legislative actions.  The administration is trying to sell the public that they are pro-business, but the fear in the business sector over increased upcoming regulations and taxation and the demonization of corporate america tells a different story.  The drilling moratorium they are trying to force through the judicial system (they're on their third attempt already) seems to be more about scoring political points with their base, but will probably do more harm than good if successful, since there are hundreds of thousands of jobs on the line - in a recession, in states that are already in deep distress from the loss of the fishing industry and tourism.  Every month we are told that we have turned the corner, and things are getting better.  But when the unemployment number dropped from 9.7% to 9.5% recently, it wasn't because of an increase in jobs, it was because over 500,000 people have given up and dropped out of the workforce.  That is not a victory. 

The third political gusher is the deficit/debt.  This country is hemorrhaging money at an alarming pace.  For every issue that has come up, the administration's answer seems to have been throwing enormous sums of money at it.  We are being burdened with new legislation that is going to cost north of a trillion dollars and wasted ten economically devastating months  The $835 billion stimulus was a bust, and so they have put forward a new whatever-you-want-to-call-it-just-so-its-not-'stimulus' bill, arguing that they just didn't go big enough the first time.  Really?  Nearly a trillion dollars wasn't enough?  The experts are advising an immediate end to spending or there is a possibility of a major crash.  Instead they are trying to pour more money into the system like it's going out of style, and, at best, we are stagnating; at worst we are going over a cliff.

The fourth gusher is in Arizona, where they have been plagued by a flood of illegal immigrants.  Most of the illegals are peaceful, hardworking people who just want a better life, but there is are many that are not, and they are wreaking havok on the state.  Above and beyond that, the peaceful illegals are still a burden on the state - a state that is facing a budget deficit of over a billion dollars this year and more than three billion next year.  The biggest problem, though, is that the mexican drug cartels have moved in with a vengeance.  The administration's response to the situation has been to sue the state over their immigration enforcement legislation and to put up signs declaring portions of the state to be too dangerous for americans.  Because nothing says 'effective governance' like forfeiting sovereignty of 80 miles of American land.  Obama has halted all building on a border fence and, although he has sent down national guard troops, it is woefully inadequate.  The administration seems content to allow things to continue as they have been, even though more and more americans are dying, and a major city, Phoenix, is becoming a violent no-man's land

For those who prefer to play the 'blame Bush' game, yes, many of these problems started under Bush. But the 2006 and 2008 elections were referendums against the Bush years. Obama and the democrat led congress ran on and were put in office specifically to change these things. The more things change, it seems, the more they stay the same.  Or, in this case, get worse.

Which brings us to the final gusher.  This is the one that has been caused by all the others - the deluge of political fallout.  And boy, is it a doozy.  From the drop in approval to the sinking polls, it doesn't look good.  This administration seems to have forgotten that they were ushered into power by citizens who were not so much voting for them as voting against the previous administration. They have dropped the ball on that mandate, and as a result voters are flowing in an ever increasing flood away from congressional democrats who, in turn, are starting to distance themselves from the president.  Others are even trying to sell themselves as 'outside the beltway'.  Um, if you've been in office for, say, 18 years, you're an insider.   This gusher started with a trickle of political goodwill last year, but now is approaching floodlike conditions.  Even the White House spokesman is conceding a possible loss of the House.  Here we are in mid-July, and reality seems to be suddenly dawning on those in power (but not all).  They are trying to staunch the flow by slinging mud and blaming others, but the other gushers have so seeped into people's consciences that it's unlikely they will be distracted.

In 2008, we were faced with an economic crisis that was worse than anything we had faced in decades, so we installed a government that promised change.  In a year and a half, we have added unprecedented spending, the worst oil spill in american history, a major crisis on the border and unemployment that went from 6.7% at the end of the Bush administration all the way up to 10.2% in Oct. '09, settling now to the current rate of 9.5%, with no end in sight.  All of these major crises have been backburnered by the administration in favor of passing health care legislation or attempting to push through amnesty comprehensive immigration reform and cap and trade in order to capitalize on them without ever doing anything concrete to solve the actual crisis.  With all of these crises, the administration has taken abominably long to act, which has, in turn, allowed them to get so much worse.

The final gusher is set reach maximum flow in November and, much like the other gushers, the administration is doing too little, too late, and this one looks like it, too, is out of their control.

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