Monday, February 09, 2009

Is the Big O a Big Flop?

Honestly, it's too early to answer that question, but the preliminary results are starting to come in, and things aren't looking to promising for The Big O.

First, consider one of his favorite themes on the campaign trail, "post-partisanship". Mr. Obama made a big deal of of his "Hope" and "Change" message, stating that he wanted to lead Washington into an era of "post-partisanship". Unfortunately, the Democrat-controlled Congress apparently didn't get that memo, and has busily been working on a spending package of goodies for all their constituencies, cunningly disguised as an "economic stimulus plan". Support for this plan, once high among voters, is now down to 37%, or perhaps less by now. Except for a few RINOs, the Big O can't get anyone outside his party to support this misbegotten bill, and has had to resort to hitting the stump after only 3 weeks in office to try and gin up support for it. While he probably will eventually get his bill (in some form), I'm unsure that it can be seen as a big win for Team O.

Second, the economy isn't going along with his plans, either. Lack of a stimulus package aside, Secretary of the Treasury and Head Tax Cheat Timothy Geithner has pushed back the announcement of his plan for spending the second installment of the original TARP monies. As usual, the lack of good bailout news is currently driving the stock markets down. One has to wonder how long it will take Joe and Jane Main Street to reach the conclusion that the only thing propping the markets up is government spending. When they do, and they start their stock sales and money market/mutual fund/401(k)/403(b)/other saving vehicle withdrawals, watch the floor fall out. The government can't print enough money fast enough to stop that one. Hello-o-o Dow 4000.

Third, our enemies scent blood in the water. While it deserves more detail, we've seen actions taken that have closed most of our supply routes into Afghanistan, which, if not successfully countered, will force us to pull a Nixon--declare victory and leave. Iran is poking the Big O through the bars of his Presidential cage with sharp sticks, and we've just had our first beheading video of the Big O's "rule". The Big O appears weak on the world stage, and our enemies are lining up to take advantage while they can.

We can add to that a duo of failed cabinet nominations, picking a fight with Rush Limbaugh and a host of other gaffes and miscues just to add some zest to the mix.

All in all, an inauspicious start to the Big O's reign. Of course, it's perfectly possible that he may get his metaphorical feet under him and overcome this, but he's piling up problems faster than Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton combined. One could say that he is ignoring Rule #1--When you find you've dug yourself into a hole, STOP DIGGING!

His numbers in the public opinion polls are falling, down around 16% from the beginning of his term. To be fair, this usually happens in the early days of a Presidency, and given how high the expectations were in this particular case, shouldn't be a big surprise. However, it does give his political foes on both sides of the aisle the beginnings of an opening that could eventually be used to marginalize him, making him yet another one-term president, more caretaker than leader.

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