After the Bill Clinton scandal years, the George W. Bush frat house years filled with excessive federal spending and wars based on lies, and now a clearly in-over-his-head Barack Obama and his Let‘s Spend Everything We Have Now — including our money and his political capital — program, the American political world needs an adult voice, an experienced and wise hand at the rudder who knows what to do and how to do it and, most importantly, what not to do.
Recent history tells us much about this situation:
After more than a dozen disastrous years of LBJ and Richard Nixon, Watergate and Vietnam, the nation looked for something “different” — and settled on former one-term Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter.
He soon proved to be in clearly over-his-head.
So the nation searched again in 1980 for the antidote to Carter and we found it is the previously-unelectable former movie actor Ronald Reagan.
In other words, things were so bad that the nation went with someone who, in more normal times, would not have been seen as “electable.” And it worked out. Reagan proved to be much better than even his critics had expected. His age, the vicissitudes of his up-and-down career and marriages, and his years of working for conservative causes had created a wise, experienced leader who earned the respect of almost all people once they got to know him directly — not through the filter of a biased, liberal news media.
Now cut to 1999. The Clinton-Gore years were coming to an end. The Republicans were mortified over the thought that Al Gore might win in 2000 and continue the Clinton legacy. So they orchestrated the most amazing spectacle: hundreds of GOP officials and elected leaders traipsing down to Austin to beg Bush — as if he was the new savior — to run for the GOP nomination. This charade was a scripted masterpiece by the Bush family, which then held the levers of power inside the national GOP.
The image-meisters morphed Bush into the Son of Reagan, replete with the obligatory ranch, cowboy boots, belt buckle, and halting diction.
Only he was no Ronald Reagan.
He turned out to be the anti-Reagan.
He almost single-handedly destroyed conservatism and the Republican Party.
Instead of repeating all that happened over the past eight years, suffice to say that the Bush administration so screwed up things that they made two previously un-electable candidates —Obama and Hillary Clinton — into viable candidates for the White House.
The left preferred Obama and morphed him into their version of the new savior, the one, the new messiah.
Eight months into his administration, it is clear he really has no clue how to run anything. He has taken a vast reservoir of political capital and popularity — handed to him not for anything he has ever done in his life or in his political career — and frittered it away.
His throwing everything into this healthcare debate at this time of a sour economy makes no sense at all. He was elected in the midst of a financial meltdown that was not caused by the health insurance industry. So why spend all his political capital on this now, including hundreds of speeches and Sunday’s almost-full Ginsberg spate of morning TV appearances?
Because he really is too inexperienced — and too young — to know better.
The wisdom earned through the ups and downs of political battles won and lost is not in Obama.
The knowledge of political history is not in Obama. His team just wants to not repeat mistakes, as if that alone will make Obama a success.
So, looking at the future, here is where we are headed:
The Democrats will lose double-digit seats in the House in 2010 but probably not enough to lose control. (The Bush hangover is still too strong for the nation to revert to GOP control.)
If the economy rebounds and starts to improve substantially by the second half of 2011 or early 2012 — and that is most measured by job creation and the public “believing” things are indeed getting better — then Obama has a real chance of winning a second term.
But if we continue this feeling of sourness, then he will be in big trouble.
However, you can’t beat somebody with nobody. To defeat Obama in 2012 there must be a better candidate who is seen as wise, experienced, knowledgeable, steady, and capable of settling down a political system that appears to be out-of-control.
None of the present-day GOP names fit this bill. Nor do they need to yet. We have a long, long way to go before we need a new leader.
But the country cannot afford to lurch back-and-forth between presidents who do not have a clue how to behave or how to run the federal government.
We need a new candidate who truly is the one, the one who knows how to use the presidency to address our problems in a coherent, logical manner — and who knows that most of these problems come from the government itself.
So don’t give up hope. Carter gave us Reagan. Maybe Obama will give us someone who can get this country back on track.
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