By Alan Caruba
This is likely to be the shortest “honeymoon” on record for a new administration.
The news that former Senator Tom Daschle has withdrawn his name from consideration to be the Secretary of Health is another bombshell to hit. The news that the new Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner, had problems doing his own tax return just barely skated by the confirmation process. Grownups knew that he had cheated on his taxes until he was caught.
Whoever is nominated for Health and Human Services, they are going to have to convince Americans that a government that couldn’t respond effectively to Hurricane Katrina is perfectly competent to take over the nation’s health care system. Good luck with that!
Meanwhile, just below the radar screen, Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, withdrew her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government.
The only comparable meltdown I can recall was Bill Clinton’s first weeks in office when he set off the “gays in the military” bomb that went so terribly wrong for him so terribly fast that he scrambled to come up with “Don’t ask, don’t tell” to get away from it.
President Obama’s decision to give his first formal interview to Al-Arabia, a major Middle Eastern television channel, did not go well. He came off as so weak that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fell all over himself to get to the nearest microphone to demand that the new administration apologize for past “crimes” against Iran. Not a good start for a man who had already been described as “a house Negro” by Osama bin Laden’s right hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Overriding everything else, however, is the astonishing $819 billion “stimulus” bill that doesn’t promise to stimulate anything except the Democrat’s penchant for “earmarks” galore. Economists have denounced it along with anyone else who could find a media outlet.
Even the European Union let it be known that its “buy American” mandate was a very bad idea in the era of globalization where every nation’s economy depends on its ability to export goods, especially to the United States of America.
Nancy Pelosi has been running around defending millions for a program about sexually transmitted diseases and, by extension, insuring that fewer new Americans are born because in her view it would put a strain on the economy. Grandma Pelosi’s pronouncements have not been well received.
Cutting the Defense Department’s budget at a time the U.S. is still engaged in two wars has struck some people as a very bad idea, too. All we need now is another announcement by Sen. Harry Reid that “The war is lost.”
Just how tone-deaf are Obama and the Democrat leadership in Congress? And just how smart are those Republicans who have finally discovered their backbones by unanimously opposing the so-called stimulus bill? We may know soon enough when the 2010 elections are held.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of these events has been the sudden collapse of Obamamania that extends even to the mainstream media who saw it as their duty to get him elected. Buyer’s remorse has set in very swiftly except among the totally brain-dead.
If the feeling spreads that Obama is simply unqualified for the job or overwhelmed by it, it is going to be one of the most difficult presidencies since that of Abraham Lincoln who wasn’t even sworn into office by the time several southern States had already met to declare they were seceding from the union.
The ultimate irony of all this is that Obama’s mastery of the Internet to raise gobs of money for his campaign is that he is only now discovering that the Internet community is equally capable of examining every aspect of every proposal he makes to “change” America into something most Americans don’t want.