"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Newsweek's "Complaints" About Obama

Howard Fineman over at Newsweek.com wrote this article yesterday. Labeled by Newsbusters.org as a former Obama cheerleader, he seems to have been reduced to being among the hopeful but disenchanted Obama-Americans.

A list of his complaints, which he attributes to "the establishment" (I guess he can't bring himself to be seen as too critical of his Obama-- might get a call from four senior white house officials), is telling of the left's growing concern over Obama.

"The $787 billion stimulus, gargantuan as it was, was in fact too small and not aimed clearly enough at only immediate job-creation.

"The $275 billion home-mortgage-refinancing plan, assembled by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, is too complex and indirect.

"The president gave up the moral high ground on spending not so much with the 'stim' but with the $400 billion supplemental spending bill, larded as it was with 9,000 earmarks.

"The administration is throwing good money after bad in at least two cases—the sinkhole that is Citigroup (there are many healthy banks) and General Motors (they deserve what they get).

"The failure to call for genuine sacrifice on the part of all Americans, despite the rhetorical claim that everyone would have to 'give up' something.

"A willingness to give too much leeway to Congress to handle crucial details, from the stim to the vague promise to 'reform' medical care without stating what costs could be cut.

"A 2010 budget that tries to do far too much, with way too rosy predictions on future revenues and growth of the economy. This led those who fear we are about to go over Niagara Falls to deride Obama as a paddler who'd rather redesign the canoe.

"A treasury secretary who has been ridiculed on 'Saturday Night Live' and compared to Doogie Howser, Barney Fife and Macaulay Culkin in 'Home Alone'—and those are the nice ones.

"A seeming paralysis in the face of the banking crisis: unwilling to nationalize banks, yet unable to figure out how to handle toxic assets in another way—by, say, setting up a "bad bank" catch basin.

"A seeming reluctance to seek punishing prosecutions of the malefactors of the last 15 years—and even considering a plea bargain for Bernie Madoff, the poster thief who stole from charities and Nobel laureates and all the grandparents of Boca. Yes, prosecutors are in charge, but the president is entitled—some would say required—to demand harsh justice.

"The president, known for his eloquence and attention to detail, seemingly unwilling or unable to patiently, carefully explain how the world works—or more important, how it failed. Using FDR's fireside chats as a model, Obama needs to explain the banking system in laymen's terms. An ongoing seminar would be great.

"Obama is no socialist, but critics argue that now is not the time for costly, upfront spending on social engineering in health care, energy or education.Other than all that, in the eyes of the big shots, he is doing fine. The American people remain on his side, but he has to be careful that the gathering judgment of the Bigs doesn't trickle down to the rest of us."

These are the complaints? Apparently "the establishment" these "bigwigs of the Beltway" are all pretty far left. I notice that they are in the realm of the domestic-- I guess Fineman and the "establishment" have bought into Obama well enough to completely ignore foreign policy. Afghanistan? Iran? Hamas? Terrorists? Is anybody worried about another terrorist attack? Does anybody remember that we are at war?

My favorite line: "Obama is no socialist, but critics argue that now is not the time for costly, upfront spending on social engineering in health care, energy or education." No socialist, but he wants to spend money on social engineering. Cute.

Most cringe-worthy line: "The president, known for his eloquence and attention to detail, seemingly unwilling or unable to patiently, carefully explain how the world works—or more important, how it failed. Using FDR's fireside chats as a model, Obama needs to explain the banking system in laymen's terms. An ongoing seminar would be great."

Is Obama really known for his attention to detail? I mean, yeah, I'm sure his hair has to be just right, he's a good-dresser, don't you dare mention his ears, and he makes sure the logistics of his teleprompter are all laid out, but what else? Apparently this attention to detail wasn't present for his vetting process, nor was it there for keeping his "stimulus" bill from being "imperfect" to him, nor did it help with his gifts to British PM and his wife, nor to filling the vacant spots in the Treasury Department (50+ days during catastrophe and crisis and he still doesn't have the senior deputies installed within the department). I guess these aren't details worthy of his attentions. What are? Apparently calling out critics within the media (Limbaugh, Cramer et al) are worthy of attention. So there's your detail oriented...

And do you seriously want Obama lecturing us on the how the banking system works (never mind the world)? I mean, if he was going to give a lecture on how to strong arm political opponents in Chicago I might listen. He knows about that. But the banking system? What does he know? He knew enough to bring in Geithner, and we see how well that worked out.

Scariest line: "The failure to call for genuine sacrifice on the part of all Americans, despite the rhetorical claim that everyone would have to 'give up' something."Yeah... Let's make these petty lower-classed Americans suffer. The Bourgeoisie must be made to bleed for our "financial crisis" and green energy and universal health care. It seems that Fineman doesn't possess even the superficial foresight to see the sacrifice required by $787 billion "stimulus bill" (too small apparently) nor an earmarked $400 billion+ spending budget quietly signed into law today. Maybe he just wants Obama to articulate it. So do I. But then I'm afraid the "Bigs'" not-so-rosy judgements may very well "trickle down" on the rest of us then.

Fineman seems to entail in his article the classic elitism that I find so disturbing among the left. Opinions of citizens... they just "trickle down" from elite left big-wigs who live mostly in Manhattan according to Fineman. If only Obama could control that, then he'd be fine. It's all a matter of social control and social engineering, apparently. The media and Obama must mollify the establishment lest their opinions may influence the commoners.

Commoners seem incapable of their own opinions. Nowhere in the article is there a mention of the growing discontent of the common person. Yes, Obama remains popular (though his polls are declining), but people are unhappy about the spending. Congress' numbers are in the toilet (is this the work of Manhattan's elite?) and it's only a matter of time before the MSM will be unable, or unwilling, to continue to boost up Obama and his wife without major improvements in the near future.

With Obama intent on pushing us toward a European style social-democracy and a world incapable of supporting it, Obama's popularity and future are all but preordained. Fineman would have people believe that with a few tweaks and quick fixes (along with some sucking up to the left's establishment) Obama and his agenda will solve America's problems. That's nothing more than a wistful hope. History has shown that socialism simply is not self-supporting, and making up new labels for these policies, or denying being a socialist, or appealing for permission among Fineman's "establishment" doesn't change this fact. I guess he and the rest of us will have to just wait and see.

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