Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Admin Spin Team Keeps Frittering, While the Republicans Just Scream

After Scott Brown's election in MA it appeared to all reasonable folks that healthcare reform ("HCR"), at least an encompassing package, was dead. Put aside for a moment the rights or wrongs of such reform, can the decision on the part of the Administration to revive its hopes (and those who support it) HCR be defended? The political insanity defies explanation. While wonderful statistics can be sighted for HCR (i.e., first in healthcare spending 37th in results), is it the principle issue facing the country right now?

Sure, the country is in serious economic trouble, far more trouble than understood within the Administration or Congress. Put aside the empty ranting of the Republicans in Congress, the Administration has no one to blame but themselves. They are completely out-of-touch with the body politic and that said, the frightening thing is they seem wholly unaware of this fact. They seem to content themselves with the fact that a majority of Americans support HCR, but notably not either one approved by the House nor the Senate. Why do they continue then?

In my view, there are two primary reasons, arrogance and bad advice. Why doesn't a President, one with enough political chops to move from a first term Senator (with no House resume) to the Oval Office, get it? No one credibly argues it's a lack of brains, although some argue too many brains is at least equally problematical. How is it that someone within the Administration does not possess the President's trust to be able to tell him that he's off course and that those individuals within the Administration leading him so must go. It befuddles me how an Administration that has failed so horribly on its principle policy goals retains those who championed the failed policies (don't David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett need to spend more time with their families).

On the Republican side, the 2010 election wins will be quite substantial, but what does that mean? I have no idea. The struggle for who leads the party is an open question. That is not to say the party is not without highly capable leaders, however I'm not so sure the right people are being thrust to the front. At this point there aren't enough balls on the field for all those rushing to the podium. Rather than substantive debate of the real issues facing this country, the Republicans will continue to scream about the Administration.

That said, is there any hope? I think so, although hope, I expect, won't come from the politicians. One thing for sure, the pain ain't over, not even close.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Update - Evan Bayh Called Obama This Morning

Ugh,how long does Rahm hang on, that said he isn't the real problem with the Administration. Rahm, is a pragmatist (okay don't yell at me), but Jarrett and Axelrod, are the real problems. Obama has his big decision moment, what does he do. My prediction, take the easy way out, fire Rahm and keep listening to Jarrett and Axelrod, a destiny with disaster. If Obama wanted to learn something he should have looked to the Carter administration. Obama must realize how incredibly ineffectual he looks. His personal personality will only last for three months.

The Implosion of the Democrats - Evan Bayh

Evan Bayh's decision not to seek another Senate term is shocking. He is a bright, reasonable Senator from a red state that had his most difficult possible opponent step aside last week (Mike Pence). Although admonished from the left, Bayh, represented the Democratic party of years gone by, that is, he was reasonable and thoughtful. Traits now deemed untenable by the idiots on the far left end of the Democratic party. A pitiful crew of zealots desirous of destroying the Democratic party as constituted way back in 2008.

Since Bayh's announcement, Mike Pence has reiterated his intention not to run for the Senate seat giving an open path to (current North Carolina resident?) Dan Coates. Coates, the former IN Senator, whose seat Bayh took when Coates "retired," must be jumping with glee. In my opinion, Coates is a mere placeholder for the Republicans based upon his inauspicious Senate history. Despite this, it's a deathblow as sorts to the Democratic party in Indiana.

The Democrats have no one in the stable with statewide recognition that will have a chance in 2010 given the present political environment. As such, the prospects of a Democratic victory, or for that matter even a close race are dim indeed. Word on the street is that Bayh announced his intentions to staff last Friday, but notified Harry Reid 25 minutes before his announcement. In many ways that is more shocking than the announcement itself. It indicates to me that he had no intention of being talked out of his decision. Word has it that his possible path is to run for governor in 2012, and if so, a Presidential bid in 2016. A lifetime away in political terms.

As I indicated above, the impact to the party and the President is severe, but will they listen? The party "faithful" no. The Administration is another matter entirely. The economy is in absolute shambles irrespective of what you hear from Washington or Wall St. The possibility of a significant downturn is significant, if not likely. What will the Administration do to stem the bleeding? The answer is unclear given the ineffectual leadership they have displayed to date. One thing is readily apparent, the loss of Bayh means the voices of reason within the Democratic party are even more muted. That said, will the Administration recognize the peril they find themselves in? Probably, but whether they have the leadership to effectively govern and get re-elected are open questions indeed.

In my view, the Democrats have seen the enemy and it is them. Yes, Mitch McConnell and his lieutenants, Boehner, Cantor, Pence and Ryan deserve credit (politically) for remaining steadfast. The larger question is what the economy will look like once they regain power in Congress (whether in fact majorities or certainly more significant minorities) and who will lead the party. Both are formidable challenges and the stakes enormous.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Democrat and the Obama Administration Stumble Along

The Administration, in reaction to the stunning defeat in Massachusetts, launched an ill-conceived attack on the banks resulting in a steep drop in stock markets this week. The Obama administration came into office with a unique situation. A malaise financial lay over the country (note, that despite Democratic claims such clouds remain), and the Democrats were given the Presidency, significant control of the House and a filibuster proof 60-40 majority in the Senate. Basically, the reigns of power rested with the Democrats, and the rudderless administration began their vault into ineptitude.

First, they began with their abdication of the "stimulus" plan. Instead of leading the process, they ceded control to Congress. A Congress who failed to understand the severity of the situation that the country was in. Instead, these geniuses decided on a $787 billion dollar boondoggle. The complete lack of leadership on the part of the Administration was stunning at the time, in retrospect, it appears almost criminal. The package has done little to stem the tide of recession, and of course the Washington clowns are now planning "stimulus" 2. Now as the situation is more dire economically and politically, the second "stimulus" will be little more than state bailouts and extensions of unemployment benefits.

Yes, indeed there were intervening problems. Despite the Administration's ridiculous claims that unemployment would stay at 8%, anyone with economic sense knew that was an absurd claim. Moreover, the overheating of the Chinese economy certainly had a impact on market declines this week. That said, it does not excuse the hubris, if not ignorance that has thus far characterized this Administration. In the face of a cataclysmic downturn in the US, the Administration decided to push forward with an agenda developed in the early 2000's. The results are not shocking.

The current tact of the Administration is naked populism, not the President's long suit. How long that strategy will be promoted and to what effect are unclear. What is readily apparent is that the Democrats are lost and the Republicans have no plan. As one person put it earlier this week, I have never been so disappointed in our politicians in my lifetime. Our politicians are incredibly out of touch with what's going on in this country. Money was spent recklessly, regulation was ignored and promises were made under the flawed notion that basic economics did not apply. I am beyond disgust.