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March 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

“The Wall Street bailout is starting to look like the most expensive tax-supported fiasco in history… The president cannot afford to lose the public’s confidence that his administration is a careful steward of the public’s money. The public was willing to go along with a large stimulus package. But it won’t go along with a second stimulus, and certainly not another TARP. And until the public feels confident that its money isn’t being thrown down a rat hole, it may balk at other ambitious undertakings such as healthcare or education or the environment.”

Who said it? Ron Paul? Tom Coburn?

Robert Reich.

During the Spendulus Debate, Lindsey Graham warned the Obama Administration with what I would term "prescience," were it not so self-evident.

He warned that there were yet still huge bailouts and TARP II (and III?) plans down the road. He warned that Obama's decision to abandon any pretense of fiscal restraint and spend like a drunken sailor was imperiling more necessary spending that was certainly coming up for votes within months.

Obama ignored him. Shut up, he explained.

Whether TARP II is needed or not, I don't know. I know the base (and the public at large) is firmly against it, and I could play for popularity by pretending I shared the sentiment with that degree of confidence, but I don't know and can't pretend I do.

I do know that, needed or not, it's almost certainly not going to happen, or, if it does, it will be reduced to a level of spending that the public only now barely blinks an eye at, like several hundred billion, but will probably not be dramatic enough to inspire confidence or get credit unstuck.

Obama had a choice between big-government spending and liberal vengeance and actually fixing the economy, and he chose the former. Indeed, it seems as if it wasn't even a close decision for him.

Alas, he doesn't have his teleprompter behind closed doors when he's making momentous decisions.

Charles Krauthammer's column, kinda-sorta on the general topic of bailouts and TARPs, is worth reading.

I note that Obama is demagoguing this issue as he did throughout the campaign. The difference? He's president now, and should put cheap-shots and populist appeals beneath the country's interest. But he seems to have only that single, selfish mode.

If he actually wants to pass a new TARP -- which supposedly he does, some day at least, once March Madness is over -- he can start talking in adult fashion and accept that the presidency sometimes require making the case for unpopular laws, arguments that might cause him to lose some polling points. George Bush had to do this quite a lot -- and the left never missed the opportunity to punish him for it.

Obama seems to want to play the populist, getting the cheers of crowd, while expecting the minority Republican Party to take the unpopular positions and "force" him (wink, wink) to do the right, but unpopular, things, so he gets to both fix the economy while avoiding any of the loss of popularity that doing so might occasion. So he gets all the credit and none of the blame.

His alternate plan seems to be let Tim Geithner act, supposedly, without supervision and guidance and as a "rogue" operative, so once Geithner gets done with the unpopular stuff, Obama can claim he's "stunned" at what has been done and fire Geithner, accepting no responsibility but accepting all the benefit of having had a lackey do all of his dirty work for him.

Call it implausible deniability.

That's childish and selfish and hopelessly narcissistic.

If he really is serious about fixing the economy, he should finally make that his first and only responsibility and put all of his other drunken-sailor spending plans on hold.

And he should stop lying about being "stunned" by the AIG bonuses and admit he knew about them all along and approved of them, rather than claiming The Buck Stops With My Subordinates.

Obama was elected not to inspire us or be the Coolest Kid in the School, but to lead. To take heat, take fire, and take the right actions needed for the country. Instead he seems to only want to take bows.

Voting Present... Again: I think I was making this point, but I agree, failing to link it up with Barry's history of gutlessly voting "present" was a big omission.

LogicalSC writes:

Obama is behaving exactly as Obama has always behaved. Look at his history, Barry always sets on the sidelines of any tough issue, occasionally throwing out snarky comments, THEN when the issue is decided Barry rushes in to claim credit for whichever side he thinks improves his image.

He politicized the Iraq War in thisway, it is why he voted PRESENT so many times and ultimately look at two episodes in the campaign this fall.

TARP 1: McCain rushed to Congress because he thought America would be impressed with a man of action rushing to solve the problem but he got played by Obama and his media co-horts who allowed Barry to hide without taking a position until the deed was finished. Barry then pounced with aid by this media to critize McCain and Bush and everybody else.

Georgia:
When Russia invaded Georgia, again McCain strongly took a position and Barry hid for the weekend before trying out 3 or 4 different trial balloons before basically rewording McCain's response as his own. All to the acclaimation of his media.

Heck look at his running to Leno where he tried to pass himself off as just one of the boys who was upset with Washington politics as if he, President Obama, had nothing to do with it.

Barry is trying to vote PRESENT again.


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posted by Ace at 03:02 PM

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