10 March 2009

And Your Enemies Closer.

Sometimes I think that the Democratic Party learned everything it needs to know from The Godfather. In particular, I'm thinking about how Obama, like Carter, it stuck in a dynamic where he criticizes only our friends while kowtowing to our enemies. We can see this in Hillary Clinton's bizarre Apology 2009 tour of Asia and Russia (if I were a Clinton conspiracy nut, I'd swear that she purposely had "reset" mistranslated to distract our attention from how stupid the whole "Reset Button" idea was to start with) and the Administration's crawling to Castro and the Taliban (!), while going through that whole "Gordon who?" pantomime.

I understand how, following a series of (to them) logical steps the Democrats can convince themselves that their criticism of our friends is constructive and won't cost. At the same time, they believe that we could have peace in our time if we could only induce our adversaries (who are all, at bottom, rational people just like us who understandably resent our crimes against them) to talk. But why can't they step outside of this dynamic to realize that punishing our friends and rewarding our enemies will tend to make fewer of the former and more of the latter?

08 March 2009

President Fudd

It's too early to declare the Obama Presidency a disaster, and there is still some justice to the complaint that Obama inherited his problems, but more and more we're seeing why it's a bad idea to elect Senators -- particularly young Senators with zero administrative experience -- president. The White House has completely failed at its most basic responsibility of staffing the new administration. George Bush had two months less than Obama and yet, on Inauguration Day, had a working administration. The other failures of the administration run from the catastrophic -- a commitment to raising taxes in the teeth of a recession -- to the merely incompetent -- the Treasury Secretary's inability to even pretend to know what he's doing -- to the burlesque -- the "reset" button (a stupid idea even if the State Department could speak Russian), giving Gordon Brown zone 1 DVDs, leaking the excuse that the reason Obama blew off Brown was his exhaustion at dealing with the economy.

All in all, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that were seeing Carter redux, bad policies implemented badly. Getting another "great" ex-president is small compensation for having to live through the 70s again, but if I were the Secret Service, I'd be on the look-out for wascally wabbits.