Thursday, October 23, 2008

Michael Medved’s Challenge

In a recent Townhall article, Michael Medved offers a serious challenge to disaffected Conservatives, such as myself, as to why an Obama victory may incur lasting, perhaps irreversible changes to both our economy and the political landscape that no future Conservative would be able to undo.

It’s an interesting piece and deserves to be read and considered, so here it is;

The Lasting Damage An Obama Presidency Could Do

Any disgruntled conservatives who think an Obama win would "teach the GOP a lesson" should think again!

For Conservatives, Obama's Changes Would Be Permanent and Devastating

Some conservative activists, despairing (prematurely) about the chances for victory on November 4th, argue that an Obama win could be a blessing in disguise. According to this logic, The One would occupy the White House for only One term and whatever big government, liberal programs he managed to enact could be swiftly repealed by some future "true conservative" champion.
[C]onservatives need to face the fact that Barack Obama has promised profound systemic changes that will be irreversible—absolutely permanent alterations of our economy and government where there is no chance at all that Republican office-holders of the future could in any way repair the damage.
Presidents may come and go, but entitlements are forever. New government give-aways may accomplish nothing constructive but they’re all but impossible to eliminate once they’re up and running.
He will also get the chance to appoint at least two, and perhaps as many as four new justices to the Supreme Court of the United States. All legal observers expect Obama’s nominees to embrace an even more activist, leftist view of the Constitution and legal system than Clinton’s appointees, Breyer and Ginzburg. The damage from the remaking of the court could prove incalculable.
Finally, and perhaps most fatally, a President Obama will radically revamp our already broken immigration system and permanently remake the country, politically and demographically.
That’s the biggest threat of an Obama presidency: the creation of vast new groups of dependent Americans who will comprise an unassailable new coalition that will enjoy iron control of our politics for a generation or more. If you start with newly legalized immigrant voters (with as many as 10 million new Democrats totally beholden to Obama and company) and then add the beneficiaries of government pre-school, the new nursery school teachers, the recipients and administrators of federal health insurance, federal college grants, the businesses who’ll enjoy the $150 billion in promised subsidies for “alternative energy,” the companies and employees of the vast increases in “infra-structure” spending (lots more bridges to nowhere), the non-tax payers who will suddenly receive a $1,000 per household check (under the guise of “refundable tax credit,” and many, many more. In his first years in office, a President Obama could easily succeed in buying so many interest groups and constituencies with expensive new governmental favors, that conservative dreams of rebuilding a small government majority will go absolutely nowhere.

The conservative movement, and the survival of a viable small-government faction in American politics, depends upon a McCain victory in November. A triumph for Barack Obama, combined with Democratic gains in both House and Senate, could easily usher in a dark new era with decades of corrupt, welfare-state, bureaucratic leftist rule.
Any conservative sitting out this election or voting for Obama should have their head examined!

Mr. Medved makes many strong points.

First, I am not at all enthused about John McCain’s candidacy, not at all. Never have been, not even when I accepted his inevitability as the GOP's candidate last Spring.

I have seriously considered voting for Bob Barr and here in New York, that’s hardly a vote that’s going to help decide a close race in a swing state.

If I DID live in PA or OH, or FL, then I’d probably seriously consider holding my nose to vote for John McCain, as he is infinitely preferable to Barack Obama.

But that’s “infinitely preferable” on a personal, NOT a policy level.

I firmly believe that (1) with a Democratic Congress, led by the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Charles Rangel, neither of these candidates will be able to do much to stem the already Keynesian tendencies of the current Congress and (2) that neither of the two current candidates offers anything other than more of the same Keynesian policies that have failed us over the past two years and are sure to fail us even more dramatically in the years to come.

We’ve seen the effects of the Keynesian Pelosi-Reid Congress over the past 22 months, as the economy has taken a decided turn for the worse.

The fact that all too many Americans have been dissuaded from placing the blame for the worsening economy on that Congress, and for the current credit crisis on the likes of Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Barack Obama (who’s taken the most money over the last 20 years from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, doing that in less than 4 years) all of whom have supported the turbo-charged CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) that FORCED private banks to offer all those subprime loans, is indeed tragic in that it seems to support the old axiom that “we tend to get exactly the kind of government we deserve.”

In short, far too few Americans are paying attention YET.

As to Michael Medved’s assertion that an Obama administration may do such irreparable harm or change the political landscape to such a degree, that it will be unrecognizable, and thus unredeemable to any future Conservatives, I can only say that I have my doubts.

The current global credit crisis is a crisis is a crisis born of OVER-regulation (it was the expanded CRA that MANDATED subprime loans by law), so, in that regard, the Gramm-Leach-Bailey Act and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act (2000) only exacerbated an existing problem or flaw, by allowing Credit Default Swaps (CDSs) to be traded in derivatives trading. The breaking up of numerous mortgage obligations into a hodge-podged “mortgage-backed securities,” further complicated the problems associated with those high-risk loans, by making it virtually impossible to accurately value such “mortgage-backed securities.”

BUT the primary problem, the ROOT CAUSE of the crisis is the explosion of subprime loans and that was mandated by the Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd led revamped CRA. And while it’s true that both Fannie and Freddie both bribed and intimidated (promising to pump campaign money into districts where sitting pols supported the Bush/McCain regulation of those GSEs), it was Dodd, Obama and Frank who took the bulk of the monies from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and served as their point-men against federal oversight.

The fact that that is now being spun as a “failure of the markets,” is as pernicious as it is pathetic.

As the crisis deepens and worsens, people are going to care enough to want the right answers and where I disagree with Mr. Medved is that believe “It’s NEVER too late.”

In fact, when Keynesianism failed under Carter, that was undone within a year and supplanted by Supply Side policies that lowered the Misery Index steadily over Reagan’s two terms.

Likewise, the Supply Side policies that served us well for a quarter century were undone virtually overnight when the Pelosi-Reid Congress took power in January 2007.

The fact that G W Bush signed onto and virtually endorsed many of those Keynesian policies does NOT make them a “bipartisan policy,” as far more Republicans oppose them as do fact, Conservatives, BOTH Democrat and Republican have largely opposed the fiscally irresponsible Keynesian policies of Pelosi-Reid.

As to re-making the demographics of this country in short-order, I also disagree with that. First, illegal immigration has not only been halted but reversed by the current downturn in our economy. It is extremely doubtful that the next administration, even if it does open our borders, will be able to do much to change America’s demographics, as we seem to be approaching what many anticipate to be a long recession, some have said, “the longest since the Great Depression,” given the breadth and depth of the losses.

All of that suggests to me that an impatient American people are not going to stand for more than a couple of years of double digit Misery Indexes without acting.

That means, that by 2010, we may see a move back to Supply Side policies with a vengeance, BUT only IF they are championed by ardent, passionate and eloquent spokesman (like the late Milton Friedman and the GREAT Newt Gingrich)...let’s hope for America’s sake such advocates emerge, either from the Conservative Dems or the Conservative wing of the GOP.

For now, the GOP has gotten itself into trouble by abandoning the policies that WORKED! So, why reward a candidate (McCain) who has NOT been a supporter of Supply Side policies and hasn't been able to articulate why those policies are so infinitely better than the Keynesian ones that led to an implosion under Jimmy Carter.

Newt Gingrich forced federal spending cuts on a very reluctant Bill Clinton and those cuts resulted in “the lowest Misery Index in over forty years” (1998’s 6.05) and the budget surpluses at the end of Clinton’s tenure.

Since Gingrich left, no Republican has had that kind of coherent vision and the GOP has paid a terrible and deserved price for that!

No, while I respect Michael Medved’s eloquence and acknowledge that he makes a very strong case for the kinds of calamities an Obama administration would inflict on America, I do not agree that ANY of it would be “irreversible,” but that's merely my own opinion on the matter.

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