“Sizing Up Obama” (April 24, 2009):
On the one hand, we have FDR II, replete with schemes for managing our lives and fortunes.
On the other hand, we have Carter-Clinton II, ready to: kowtow to those who would bury us, create the illusion that peace will reign perforce, and act on that illusion by slashing the defense budget (thereby giving aid and comfort to our enemies).
Through the haze of smoke and glare of mirrors I see a youngish president exhorting us to “fear nothing but fear itself” while proclaiming “peace for our time,” as we “follow the yellow-brick road” to impotent serfdom.
The schemes persist, most notoriously (but not exclusively) in health care “reform,” about which Arnold Kling writes today:
What is misleading about statements (a) – (k) [taken from Obama’s speech on September 9] is that each of them referred to a plan that, strictly speaking, does not exist. As far as I know, the Obama Administration never submitted a plan to Congress. . . .
If you are going to repeatedly refer to “my plan” or “this plan” or “the plan I’m proposing,” then unless you have a plan you are lying. The only question is whether it is a little lie or a big one. Obviously, most people think it is only a small lie, or the President would have been called out on it. However, I think that health care policy is an area where there is too much temptation to promise results that are economically impossible to achieve. In that context, my opinion is that giving a speech in favor of a nonexistent plan is a really big lie.
Now — on the 70th anniversary of Stalin’s invasion of Poland — comes Obama’s decision to placate the Russians and insult our allies in Eastern Europe:
President Obama dismayed America’s allies in Europe and angered his political opponents at home today when he formally ditched plans to set up a missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.
The project had been close to the heart of Mr Obama’s predecessor, President Bush, who had argued before leaving office in January that it was needed to defend against long-range ballistic missile attacks from rogue states such as Iran and North Korea.
But it had hobbled relations with Russia, which considered it both a security threat and an unnecessary political provocation in its own backyard.
At a White House appearance today, Mr Obama confirmed that the defence shield envisaged by the Bush Administration, involving a radar base in the Czech Republic and interceptor rockets sited in Poland, was being abandoned. . . .
“The decision announced today by the Administration is dangerous and short-sighted,” the No 2 Republican in the Senate, Jon Kyl, said in a statement.
Mr Kyl said that the shift would leave the United States “vulnerable to the growing Iranian long-range missile threat” and would send a chilling message to former Soviet satellites who had braved Moscow’s anger to support the system.
“This will be a bitter disappointment, indeed, even a warning to the people of Eastern Europe,” said Mr Kyl, who pointed out that both Poland and the Czech Republic had sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan. “Today the Administration has turned its back on these allies.”
Senator John McCain, Mr Obama’s defeated Republican White House rival in 2008, said he was “disappointed” with the decision and warned it could undermine US standing in Eastern Europe amid worries there of a resurgent Russia.
“Given the serious and growing threats posed by Iran’s missile and nuclear programmes, now is the time when we should look to strengthen our defences, and those of our allies,” he said in a statement.
“Missile defence in Europe has been a key component of this approach. I believe the decision to abandon it unilaterally is seriously misguided.”
The good news is that Americans seem to have wised up to the Obama scam:
Sources: Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll and Health Care Reform Poll. Overall net approval ratings represent the difference in the number of respondents strongly approving and strongly disapproving of Obama (negative numbers mean net disapproval). Health care ratings represent the difference in the number of respondents supporting and opposing Obama’s health care “plan,” or what they take to be his plan.
The mini-wave of approval that followed Obama’s health-care speech on September 9 seems to have dissipated. Obama’s appeasement of Russia, if it becomes widely perceived as such, will only push his numbers further south.