Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Central Irony in “The Age of Obama”...

These are certainly "trying" and I fear, increasingly "harder (especially economic) times" in which to live.

We've overspent and borrowed ourselves into a disastrous state due primarily a leftward lurch by our government, caused by politicians seeing the need for more government action everywhere and have yet to feel the full consequences of that.

And this profligacy didn't start with Barack Obama....not by a long shot.

Our leftward lurch, itself, probably started with Woodrow Wilson a liberal Democrat (and avowed racial bigot) who oversaw the passage of the Federal Reserve Act and the 16th Amendment (the progressive income tax) followed through Warren Harding's one term, with a brief Conservative respite with Calvin Coolidge's tenure, before roaring back to life under the first "Progressive President of the USA" - Herbert Hoover, who started many of the programs that FDR built the New Deal upon!

Hoover also had the U.S. Army engage in one of its most shameful acts - firing upon hundreds of WW I Vets who had come to Washington, D.C. to claim their promised "Bonus Checks." That incident, the attack on the "Bonus Marchers,” was led by, of all people, General Douglas MacArthur!

Here's one account; "On 28 July, 1932, Attorney General Mitchell ordered the police evacuation of the Bonus Army veterans. When they resisted the police shot at them, killing two. When told of this, President Hoover ordered the army to effect the evacuation of the Bonus Army from Washington.

"At 4:45 p.m., commanded by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the 12th Infantry Regiment, Fort Howard, Maryland, and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, supported by six battle tanks commanded by Maj. George S. Patton, Fort Myer, Virginia, formed in Pennsylvania Avenue while thousands of civil service employees left work to line the street and watch the U.S. Army attack its own veterans. The Bonus Marchers, believing the display was in their honour, cheered the troops until Maj. Patton ordered the cavalry to charge them — an action which prompted the civil service spectators to yell, "Shame! Shame!"

"After the cavalry charge the infantry, with fixed bayonets and adamsite gas, entered the camps, evicting veterans, families, and camp followers. The veterans fled across the Anacostia River to their largest camp and President Hoover ordered the assault stopped. However Gen. MacArthur, feeling this exercise was a Communist attempt at overthrowing the U.S. Government, ignored the President and ordered a new attack. Hundreds of veterans were injured and several killed "

That was probably the worst abuse of power, yet to be unleashed on American soil, against American citizens and by America’s own government! Fittingly it occurred under the auspices of “the Jimmy Carter of his day,” Herbert Hoover, who, like Carter was a man noted for his brilliance, a trained engineer and a modern “progressive,” who inanely believed that “Every problem has a scientific solution best implemented by a benevolent government.”

That liberalism continued unabated through FDR's four terms...

...After WWII (the event that finally ended the Great Depression) America was reborn (economically) as the sole super-power (the last nation standing) after that conflict and reaped decades of easy prosperity that later fueled the disastrous 1960s and the unbridled excesses of the LBJ administration, followed by the equally onerous and equally Keynesian policies of the Nixon-Ford administrations, until we had our second major economic calamity under the aforementioned Jimmy Carter, who until today reigned as "the most liberal President in American history." He is now second to B Obama.

But Congress STILL overspent during Reagan's tenure, during Bush Sr's tenure and under Bill Clinton UNTIL 1995, when the "Gingrich Congress" came in and halted government spending.

After Gingrich left office in late 1998, the GOP Congress (under DeLay and later Hastert) became as spendthrift as almost any Congress had been, either Democrat or Republican....UNTIL the Pelosi-Reid Congress who've overspent and run the U.S. economy aground since 1997!

And G W Bush can be charged with having helped the Pelosi-Reid gang, or at least, doing little, if anything to stop them.

So by the time Barack Obama's first term ends, America will have suffered 100 years of (almost unabated and unchecked) big government ideology that turned America's Founding principles on their heads!

One of the great ironies of America’s rise to greatness is that it's the prosperity generated by Capitalist entrepreneurialism that forged so much of this nation’s excessive generosity and so much of its activist/equalizing and redistributionist "liberalism."

Now the days of cheap energy and cheap commodities are quickly coming to an end....we are competing for that energy, that water and those commodities with billions of others in quickly industrializing nations and the result is higher energy, water and commodity prices, making it harder to make the kinds of profits that earlier on, generated so much of our overly optimistic generosity.

We are not only heading into harder economic times due to decades of excessive government spending (politician's generosity with other people's money) and Keynesian economic policies (BOTH G W Bush and Barack Obama have been stalwart Keynesians), but we're doing so as the tectonic plates, both culturally and economically, shift beneath our feet.

The new realities (higher prices for energy, water and other commodities that will make generating Capital more arduous) that are already upon us will all but eradicate that sense of optimistic generosity that is the foundation of the West's egalitarian liberalism.

There are even some on the far-Left, who've suggested that Barack Obama, who has said to have been enthralled by Milton Friedman while at the University of Chicago and later surprised people as the editor of Harvard's law Review in seeking out "ideological diversity," in the form of more Conservative voices, may have been a stealth candidate set up to discredit and destroy liberalism in America once and for all.

That last bit is surely merely the paranoid ramblings of some on the extreme-Left, but it is ironic that "the most liberal President in U.S. history" would preside over its shockingly sudden implosion.

Who would have thought, fifteen months ago, in the wake of American liberalism having risen so high and so fast that it had many political pundits speculating that “Conservatives may not win any significant number of elections for a generation or more,” that it would fall so far, so fast, and with so little hope of reality cooperating with any liberal resurgence?

Deliberate or not, American Conservatives almost certainly do owe a great debt to Barack Obama. This administration has over-reached and turned a tone deaf ear to a populace clamoring for jobs and economic security and instead has busied itself attempting to deliver an ill-conceived healthcare takeover that would cost MORE instead of LESS. In so doing they have galvanized Conservative opposition and turned liberalism and progressivism into a dirty words in less than a year!

It took Jimmy Carter a full three years to accomplish all that!

H/T to Maria (namaste) of MyVoiceontheWingsofChange and Robert at WiseConservatism for stimulating these thoughts.

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