Up until Barack Obama’s victory, much of America – and the rest of the world – was deeply in love with the idea of being in love. The problem with any such relationship is always that, one day, the spell wears off, and you start getting annoyed at little things like your soul mate (in this case, Barack Obama – America’s soul mate) leaving the toilet seat up. Some media people won’t care – they’ll blame George Bush for having used the same bathroom months earlier. Others, like the mainstream media, will fall into Obama’s toilet and splash around like it’s holy water.
Last week, French philosopher Andre Glucksmann lamented in France’s Le Figaro newspaper that Barack Obama’s election victory was already a big letdown, if only because he’s not leftist enough – and with center-right leaders now in France, Germany, Italy and likely soon in the UK, Eurolibs were desperate for a victory, anywhere.
Translated from the article’s original French: “[It was] as if the Messiah had appeared, not in Washington but between Paris and Rome, Berlin and Brussels, as if he extended his conciliatory wing over the planet. We Europeans have blithely erased all asperities of the candidate. He supports the death penalty which we are so proud to have abolished. He does not prohibit the free sale of weapons which seemed to us, up until yesterday, the fateful sign American barbarism and this cowboy mentality which we, refined people of quality, vomit.”
Obama hasn’t even done anything yet – except name a Jewish Chief of Staff, upsetting a bunch of Arabs – and disappointment is already setting in. And the problem with having to do work is that it risks generating even more disappointment.
The Democrats were elected to a congressional majority in 2006, and subsequently proceeded to whittle their approval rating down to almost single digits when it came time to start doing something besides criticizing President Bush. Not that many have noticed this ineptitude recently, because they’ve been distracted by the phenomenon of a black guy running for president.
Obama knows that “doing things” could make him less popular, which is why he wants George Bush to save him the trouble and get a few more “failures” under his belt while still in office – like bail out the auto industry. Bush pinned the tail right back on the donkeys, saying that any new bailout can’t come out of the $700 billion one he orchestrated for the financial industry.
Liberal Democrats, now keen to throw a bone to their auto worker union pals who risk getting sacked, got their comrades into this mess in the first place. That’s often what happens when liberals get down to “work”. Government regulations mandating things like environmental controls as a result of liberal pet-cause lobbying have accounted for 1/3 of US vehicle price increases, according to a study at the University of California, Davis. Another study by the Brookings Institution found that regulatory costs are absorbed by the manufacturers. Meanwhile, foreign auto companies are allowed to slap high tariffs on competing foreign imports. It really isn’t Bush’s mess to fix.
The New York Times knows that it will soon come time for Obama to get things done, and that means there’s more than a fair chance of disappointment. So they’re inoculating their boy, in case he changes his mind about closing Gitmo: “You can’t be a purist and say there’s never any circumstance in which a democratic society can preventively detain someone,” says a Georgetown law professor “who has been a critic of the Bush administration,” in a Times piece.
Obama may find it easier to just get a permission slip from the Democratic congress to keep Gitmo open. No matter how much your liberal friends count on you to be true to your leftist record now, it’s still far more appealing to maintain the liberal default position of “doing nothing” – especially when the alternative isn’t palatable to anyone except radical leftists who have a tenuous relationship with reality.
Imagine Jihad Johnny in the US court system! The soldiers who pulled these suspects over for running while jihading in the Afghan desert can testify to what they saw, and have their procedures and methods from the heat of battle held up against those used to bust potheads in California. The various spook agencies could testify about how they failed to inform the suspects of their right to remain silent before shooting water up their nose for the purpose of extracting information.
When the judge closes his eyes and picks a technicality as the basis for acquittal from a hat, they would be free to roam the streets of America with full access to backpacks, fertilizer and “social networking” http://www.JihadIsSoRad.com type websites. It would be like springing Charles Manson into a room full of yuppies.
It’s not like they could be deported! As we saw recently when Chinese Muslims at Gitmo were released by the federal court, officials couldn’t find a country that would take them without wanting to kill them. To Obama’s voting base, it would be like sending puppies to slaughter.
Barack Obama is bound to find out that George Bush’s job is a lot easier when you’re not doing it.
Rachel Marsden is Editor-In-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate distributing to over 3,000 newspapers nationwide, media and political campaign strategist, political columnist and TV commentator. Her first political book will be published in 2009. This column was originally published in Human Events Magazine.