There is a new term that I wish to share, my new name for the Obama Administration. It has little to do with efforts of "saving the economy", bailing out banks or GM. It has to do with the budget, and the holly-jolly engagement with inflation that the liberal White House and Congress seems to be sending our country to, with all this spending and the taxation and further expansion of government to come.
Often people invoke comparisons of the Obamas to images of John Kennedy and wife, for their youth, presumably. We called JFK's administration Camelot, which was a favorite musical of JFK, and somehow it was a fitting definition of his generation-changing entry into the White House, thought it was very corny if you really think about it.
What comes to mind nowadays when I think of Obama is the late Robert Goulet, in his portrayal of Sir Lancelot in the musical Camelot. Except, he's instead an ironic cameo character, in a comic bit. The bit's name? Spendalot!
That is my nickname for Obama's White House: Spendalot.
Contrary to the JFK-Camelot budgetary outlook, and far more moderate political perspective, I say to hell with Spendalot's brand of so-called "progress". If -- big IF! -- it bears the fruit of bona-fide economic invigoration, I'll be among the first to admit I was shortsighted. I don't weant to make excuses for why a success was actaully a failure. That's not what I want. Some successes are on the backs of those who benefit nothing from it, though. That's what I will be responding against. Inflation, weakened state of U.S. to favor other states. I think the only way a nation can reasonably help others is in a position of strength. How else?
There's only so many ways one can play on the theme of economics, short of hitting stop and reinventing the thing, before it all becomes essentially fatal to millions of people who must use money to buy things to live. Spendalot seems terribly burdensome, and terribly anti-business, to me.
We lack economic growth, and that means we are weakened. So we are going to print more money, thus weakening it -- in the short term, or will it create severe inflation? Spendalot is creating a very steep budgetary deficit. So are we going to eventually redefine the country's money -- or the world's as the Chinese have already floated. Money's funny this way: more money you print, the less it is worth. Economics is a human-invented thing, but that does not mean it is not a sort of entity on its own, that reacts to the environment. Inflation is survivable, but when you're something that the whole world hinges its economic activity to, which is what the U.S. surely is, then you need to be a bit careful, lest you spin the planet into a world at war. Tough times inspired WW I and WW II, easily. Nazis took charge in a time fo great strife in Germany, after the loss of WW I.
Spendalot seems to play to both sides, to our detriment: apologizing for American arrogance (since GW, intentionally or not, made us out to be arrogant, or like a bull in a china shop) and inventing words like "mad-made disaster" (a stupid PC phrase for "terrorism") on one end, pushing other nations to share troops and spend their money with us on the other (c'mon, let's all risk severe inflation so it won't feel so uncommon to Americans).
Either other nations can expect us to be merely the lead dog on many fronts, or we simply give up and pretend we are not the lead dog anymore, thus making it so. We are not -- NOT -- yet an insignificant nor a dead economy, not by far. In fact we are still a massive piece of the world's wealth, no matter how people "feel" about it. Reality pleads that we stop acting like it's all over for the U.S., or it will be all over. The less rationally we think it through, the closer we are to being a has-been, and not a preeminent up-and-comer. Perception can be reality, so it's a shame if the overall economic graphs are more rational -- relatively -- than our perception of the economy, isn't it?
A bad economy hits some very personally, with job lesses, income loss, retirement loss -- we have every right to be ticked off, too. But our personal feelings are not the world reality. Don't just imagine that the U.S. is a mere part of the whole world economy. We're a huge chunk of it. That's not arrogance, that's realism. We consume more, we provide more, we are busy busy busy. Meanwhile, millions live in dirt houses in China.
Ask yourself how many a nation came up with 1000% inflation in the past, from many South American nations, to Israel, to ... well, likely there's a long list of African nations, and several European states, too. How did that happen? Do better than asking yourself, look it up.
This massive, overarching Spendalot "budget" --more like a massive government-expanding bill -- and the inflation to come will not be the hope and change wished for by anyone but those who adore power and the status quo over everything else.
I am sure, come 2012, that Spendalot will still be blaming GW Bush for everything. Spendalot will be held up as the answer to everything, simply if the economy turns around at all. He will be aiming for the lowest common denominator for avowed voters, misleading them with bogus words of aimless positiveness as he did in 2008. This was less about hope than race, and white guilt; it was less about change than it was about anger against the GW Bush White House -- even over things that they were only one hand of many, like the economy, the Iraq invasion and governmental upheaval, the mortgage meltdown, etc.
Whether or not Spendalot's tactics work as well next time as they did in 2008, there's plenty of room to wonder but there's little reason to jump to conclusions. But there is no time to wait, no time for the GOP to wonder -- they need to get off their duffs and make progress or they will lose again in 2010, and possibly 2012, too.
Conservatives cannot win by being the ignorant opposite of ignorant liberalism. They cannot win out over mindless openness and utopian wishing unless they DO SOMETHING. Ronald Reagan's plainspoken, clever, and well-informed, reasoned tactics up against the USSR, Newt Gingrich's intelligence and ability to debate -- these are some of what the GOP, and Blue Dog Dems, and small government moderates, need to tap. There's no more USSR, but there are people who resent us everywhere. Even Spendalot's apologies do little to improve the world's view of America. Iran is going nuclear, Korea is launching missiles, and America is being looked at as just another player in the international game. I think we're fools is we simply accept that kind of thinking. Not because I want America to be the biggest kid on the block, having to jump into the fight, but because if not us, then what country? WHO?
If conservatives and moderates simply complain, refuse to compromise, react with invocations of mere punditry, or simply keep tossing out the socialism bomb towards the liberal desires for government-controlled education, health care, and markets, then they will not win anything in the few years that lie ahead. We aren't trying to convince those who believe in small government of its merits, but those who think government is their friend that it is, in fact, the burden to the people, not the solution to our ills.
What will win is realism that is supercharged by evidence of governmental failures and decent plans for how to fix them. It cannot be won through Christian conservative rhetoric (much as I follow Christian ethics, these are a complement to, and no replacement for, down to earth facts in order to make policy, and write bills). They need to start soon. Now would be better than next month.
- jRuse, aka AirFarceOne (on Twitter)