Conservative Wanderer

“A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.” — Ronald Wilson Reagan

Obama Has Set Course For Political Disaster

I didn’t comment on these two articles earlier because I wanted to see if Mr. Obama had the political smarts to ignore this advice–or, failing him (a long shot in any event), that one of his other close advisers could talk him out of doing these silly things.

Alas, rather than letting saner heads prevail, last night’s State of the Union address clearly indicates that Mr. Obama has decided that the way to political victory is to yell “damn the polls, full speed ahead!” as David Plouffe advises, combined with the endless refrain of “Bush did it! Bush did it! Booooooooooooosh deeeeeeeeeeeeeed eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!” that James Carville advocates. After all, we know how both of the strategies above worked in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts in the last several months, right?

I guess I should keep my mouth shut… if Obama wants to lock his party’s course straight for the political iceberg, I should be happy, shouldn’t I? The problem is, the country is also being locked onto a disaster course, and I am not certain that the all-but-certainly-coming-soon GOP majority will be able to turn the wheel fast enough. And, honestly, I wish my nation well a heck of a lot more than I wish the opposition party ill.

House Democrats Not On Board With Obama’s Spending “Freeze”

The Hill:

House Democrats are rejecting an idea floated by the Obama administration to freeze or cut discretionary spending in 2011.

Key members of the House Appropriations and Budget committees told The Hill this month they would not go along with alternative spending plans being requested by White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, which are part of the administration’s plan to reduce the deficit.

Gee, did someone suggest recently that Congress might not go along with Obama’s proposed freeze-that’s-not-really-a-freeze?

Get Ready For The O-Bait And Switch Again

NRO:

President Obam will reportedly propose a three-year “freeze” on non-defense federal spending in Wednesday’s State of the Union address.

The freeze would take effect in October of this year, and would limit spending on non-security related programs (including defense and homeland security, but also “international programs” to $447 billion a year for the remainder of Obama’s first term, the Washington Post is reporting.

President Obama can propose all he wants, but unless and until Pelosi, Reid, and the rest of the Congressional Democrat Leadership signs on, it’s all empty words.

Hence, my suspicion is that Obama is having a quiet word to the Congressional Dems to just ignore what he will say, and keep on spending like… well… like Democrats! And then when a bill that breaks his proposed spending freeze hits his desk, he will say that “X” is just too important to veto, therefore he has to sign the whole bill. And then the spending freeze goes bye-bye.

Update: The WaPo explains more about the so-called “freeze”:

It would not restrain funding for the $787 billion economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress early last year, nor would it apply to a new bill aimed at creating jobs, which Democrats have identified as their top priority in the run-up to November’s congressional elections.

The House has approved a $156 billion package intended to lower the nation’s 10 percent unemployment rate, while the Senate is drafting an $80 billion package that includes tax cuts for businesses that hire new employees as well as aid for cash-strapped state governments and the unemployed.

It is also unlikely to affect the approximately $900 billion health-care bill, which has been on life-support since the Massachusetts vote.

As Ed Whelan said on NRO’s Corner, “Some freeze.”

A Scott Across The Bow

More commentary later, but here’s some of my cogitations from last night and early this morning:

With Scott Brown’s election, ObamaCare is as good as dead. The chances of Democrat Representatives from conservative districts voting for the Senate bill just took a nose-dive, as Obama’s ability to turn around tough elections has just been shown to be as much a mirage as jobs that would be “created or saved” by the “Stimulus” bill. All the other gimmicks to get ObamaCare passed (delaying Brown’s seating in the Senate, reconciliation, etc) are even faster ways of committing political seppuku than dropping it.

If President Obama is wise, he will drop health care like a hot potato, and do the same with cap-and-trade, illegal alien amnesty, and the rumored VAT tax. However, I doubt that he is that pragmatic, and thus he will continue the downhill slide that started as soon as it became clear that his campaign promises had been so many bait-and-switches.

Can Brown win reelection in 2012? Right now, my best answer is, “it depends.” There are so many variables in that equation that anyone that claims they have it all figured out this early is probably smoking something illegal. I do know it will be an uphill fight in deep-blue Massachusetts, but then again, Scott’s already won one of those, so there’s no reason to discount his ability to do it again.

Pelosi: ObamaCare “One Way Or Another”

Here’s how your elected representatives are listening to the mood of the people towards ObamaCare:

So if Brown wins, what does that mean for the health care bill?

“Certainly the dynamic would change depending on what happens in Massachusetts,” Pelosi told us and our notebook-toting brethren Monday in San Francisco at an MLK event. “Just a question about how we would proceed. But it doesn’t mean we won’t have a health care bill.”

She went on to say that Brown has said he want to go back to the drawing board on health care. Not in my House, Madame Speaker said.

“There is no back to the drawing board,” Pelosi said. “The Republicans in Congress have said we will kill health care reform. They are the handmaidens of the insurance company.”

“Let’s remove all doubt, we will have health care — one way or another,” Pelosi said. “Back to the drawing board means a great big zero for the American people.”

Shorter version:

“We don’t care what the people say.”

If Brown does win tomorrow in Massachusetts, and they try to ram this past him and his vote, the voters are going to be that much angrier. Let’s hope that saner heads in the Democratic party prevail (but I doubt they will).

Is Massachusetts Turning Red?

Sorry for the light blogging, work has been hectic this last week.

But, I was able to keep up with some of the Brown/Coakley news, and it is most definitely not good for Coakley.

For instance, this and this really smack of desperation in the Coakley camp. Both are the subject of threatened legal challenges… from the Brown campaign on the first, and from UPS on the second.

And this makes me think that Brown has a good chance of winning. I mean (assuming everything there is authentic), SEIU members holding Brown signs?

This is what Democratic arrogance gets you… a seat in the deepest of dark blue territory could very well go red… although sort of a light-red, Brown is a bit of a RINO. Still, he’s sure to be a darned sight better than Coakley, and because of that, he’s got my support.

The House ObamaCare Margin Of Error Is Evaporating

Robert Wexler, D-Fla, has resigned and the state says it can’t afford a special election to replace him until April. There goes one pro-ObamaCare vote.

Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, is planning on resigning 28 Feb, and, you guessed it, they can’t afford an election to replace him until at least May, if even then. There goes another pro-ObamaCare vote.

I suspect there’s a lot of angst in Democratic circles these days.

Stimulus Of Road Construction Projects Doesn’t Help Unemployment

Believe it or not, the AP is now throwing cold water on another Obama accomplishment, the porkulus stimulus bill.

For the analysis, the AP reviewed Transportation Department data on more than $21 billion in stimulus projects in every state and Washington, D.C., and the Labor Department’s monthly unemployment data to assess the effects of road and bridge spending on local unemployment and construction employment. The analysis did not try to measure results of the broader aid that also was in the first stimulus such as tax cuts, unemployment benefits or money for states.

Even within the construction industry, which stood to benefit most from transportation money, the AP’s analysis found there was nearly no connection between stimulus money and the number of construction workers hired or fired since Congress passed the recovery program. The effect was so small, one economist compared it to trying to move the Empire State Building by pushing against it.

“As a policy tool for creating jobs, this doesn’t seem to have much bite,” said Emory University economist Thomas Smith, who supported the stimulus and reviewed AP’s analysis. “In terms of creating jobs, it doesn’t seem like it’s created very many. It may well be employing lots of people but those two things are very different.”

Another Obubble burst, I guess.

Steele Called On The Carpet?

National Review Online:

RNC Chair Michael Steele has apparently cancelled an appearance on ABC’s webcast “Top Line” just thirty minutes before airtime, saying that he was called into an “emergency meeting” at RNC headquarters but declining to give further details.

Perhaps they’re discussing whether or not to take him up on his challenge of “[i]f you don’t want me in the job, fire me.”

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