By Alan Caruba
David Limbaugh, a widely read conservative columnist, recently wrote about the “Obama cult factor” and what it portends. From my point of view, however, it is one thing to rise to the highest office as the apotheosis of hope and change, and quite another to deal with nasty reality.
Limbaugh rightly worries about Obama’s cult status, but in the 24/7 glare that the modern presidency endures, the ability to keep the great herd of liberal voters who bought into “Yes we can” is now facing, “no you can’t” get a job, keep your job, pay your mortgage, put your children through college, buy a second car right now, take a vacation trip, et cetera.
It’s also worth remembering that very nearly half of the voters cast theirs for John McCain and Sarah Palin, not “the One.”
If reality bites, it will be President Obama who will feel it nipping at his exposed backside as he tries to navigate from getting elected to being elected to thinking about getting re-elected.
Every White House does its best to control the news, but an economy with the prospect of major unemployment and all the disruptions that come of that cannot be controlled in any real sense of the word. That’s why FDR spoke of fear as his primary concern in his first inaugural speech and why during the two terms that preceded the start of WWII in 1941, he and his merry band of socialist experimenters never came up with a solution to the Great Depression.
Fast forward to Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson suddenly discovering that all those bad mortgage loans Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had been securing weren’t worth spit and the banks that held those loans, bundled as securities, had nothing of value in the vault.
Now all those people who spent the last eight years hating George W. Bush can look back wistfully at those years in which the neither the government, nor they exercised any restraint on spending. Like co-conspirators or enablers, we all watched as Bush and the Congress aspired to spend the entire national treasury on local projects like bike paths, museums devoted to the mighty artichoke, and an Alaskan bridge to an island that can be accessed in under two minutes by boat.
This may explain why Obama has surrounded himself with people from the Clinton administration instead of bringing in fresh faces, new ideas, and bold new programs. This is why Obama has already done "a 180" on withdrawing the troops from Iraq in 2009, closing Gitmo, and a host of far left hopes and dreams.
To his adoring cult members, this kind of thing will get a pass initially, but wait until January 20, 2009 when Mr. Smooth, Mr. Cool, Mr. Calm is also Mr. President. Running an election campaign when you have gobs of money and a retinue of adoring facilitators is one thing. Running a nation whose economy is coming apart at the seams is a whole different ballgame. You can’t do it with good makeup, the right lighting, and speeches that sound like you retained Bush’s speechwriters.
While Congress is balking at giving Detroit’s auto manufacturers any money before, of course, giving them money, the consensus seems to be that bankruptcy would be a good thing. It would let them restructure without a lot of the baggage that has left them unable to compete with the “other” auto industry in America’s south that is doing just fine.
The line at the bail-out window just keeps getting longer and includes a couple of governors whose states did not require that they balance the budget before acting like Santa Claus. The public is already restive and unhappy with the notion that we can spend our way out of this mess when anyone with a functioning brain knows where the problem is.
It’s Congress. It’s too much spending. It’s too much borrowing. With Congress as our example, is it any surprise that ordinary Americans have been doing the same thing? And who has besieged us for years to live on credit? The banks that no longer want to loan anyone any money!
That’s why the only hope for Obama would be to vastly reduce the size of the federal government and eliminate much of its endless regulations that suck $1 trillion a year out of the economy. That will not happen.
Worse for him will be a bunch of idiotic global warming laws when most people above the age of five have figured out there is no global warming, that oil is now cheap again, and that “clean” energy depends on the wind blowing and the sun shining all the time; something neither does.
So I think the cult that elected Obama will be the first to desert him just as soon as they find themselves in the unemployment line.