Plenty of voters with buyer's remorse have been asking themselves that question lately. Every once in awhile, the American populace loses its collective mind and elects a President with decidedly liberal--excuse me "progressive"--leanings. It happened in the 30's, the 60's and late 70's, and most recently, 2008. FDR, Jimmy Carter, Barak Obama (the black Jimmy Carter), got elected not because they overwhelmingly swayed the electorate with the liberal doctrine of big centralized government engorging on a endless feast of tax revenue, but because their Republican predecessors fucked things up and basically through default gifted the presidency to the Demos. Herbert Hoover, Nixon/Ford, W. Bush, all failed to govern according to conservative fiscal precepts; and in that regard, all of the above could be accused of blatantly false advertising. Notwithstanding the commonplace public perception, Hoover was a Big Spender, Big Government disciple; FDR in many ways extended what Hoover had already initiated, programs which failed to end the Great Depression. Nixon, with his price controls and trashing of Bretton Woods, was economically the most liberal president since FDR. W. Bush brought us the biggest new entitlement, namely the Medicare prescription drug program, since Johnson's Great Society, and oversaw a huge increase in spending during his eight years.
And so despite an electorate that, save for a few years in the 30's and 60's, has been moderately conservative since the end of the Civil War, a guy like FDR got elected because Hoover royally botched things; Jimmy Carter got elected because Nixon was a nut and Ford a dummy; and Obama got elected thanks to Iraq and a financial meltdown whose roots went back to the 90's. Barak Obama most assuredly did not get elected because he loudly proclaimed a liberal agenda; in fact, he did everything he could to disguise his true political weltanshaunng.
Barak reminds me of that character who made the headlines back in the 80's by falsely claiming to be Sidney Portier's son. He charmed his way into the homes of New York's hoity-toity set, who are always happy to bend over backwards to schmooze a bright, articulate, attractive young black man. The story ends with the charmer scamming several of his Upper East-Side admirers. (Will Smith starred in a movie Six Degrees of Separation based on this fraud.) Like those victims, many who voted for Obama are scratching their heads and asking themselves how the hell they fell for this guy.
The bright, articulate, attractive black guy who promised a world fresh and new turns out to be just another dyed-in-the-wool, ole time liberal who would have made William Jennings Bryan proud. Just think about what he did as soon as he got into office: rather than focus like a laser beam on the collapsing economy, he spent the first year and half trying to ram Obamacare through, the first step towards reaching the liberal holy grail of a nationalized health system. And what are the main benefits to the average person that justify the certain run-up in premiums and the diminished personal options that Obamacare will cause: we can keep our slacker 20-somethings on our family plans and get preventative check-ups for free. This is all we got for all those months of discord. Gee, thanks.
His only real sally at the Great Recession jammed through a so-called stimulus bill that mostly rewarded his base of public union supporters. His ideology is so rigid that he's crusading to raise taxes while the economy is mired in something that doesn't deserve to be called a recovery just so he can beat on the wealthy, the ranks of which include a lot of business people whose confidence he desperately needs to stoke in order to bring the unemployment rate down. But hey, why put the economy before an congenital lust for class warfare politics. He has no clue as to why the private sector is not hiring, despite sitting on mountains of cash, because he has no clue what the private sector is. Every week, one his henchmen announces a new panoply of regulations to sock businesses with. He loves employment but hates employers.
I wish I could draw because I thought of a great cartoon: Obama is speaking, rather lecturing, to a group of citizens. He is looking at an easel holding up a large poster listing in bold letters OBAMACARE, STIMULUS PLAN, FISCAL REFORM with a check mark next to each. He smiles proudly as he he raises his pointer at the poster, not noticing the looks of terror on the faces of his audience. His audience is terrified because rising behind and above the proud President is a huge tsunami with the words NATIONAL DEBT written across it. The giant wave threatens to crash down on the oblivious President, his little easel and his audience as well, wiping away his oh-so-cool smile.
His nonchalant attitude toward the trillion plus federal deficits as far as the eye can see explains why so much of his terrified audience will be fleeing his party come the first week of November. His attitude versus the attitude of most Americans toward the stupendous increase in government spending that is projected to occur on his watch explains why he's about to get his ass kicked. It's more than the money, more than about the debt that will be foisted onto future generations. It's more than the dereliction of fiscal responsibility. The Tea-baggers are right in focusing on this issue because it crystallizes to many the nightmare of a metastasing power in Washington, DC. What it's about is the destruction of the American individualism, entrepreneurship, innovation and ingenuity as the bureaucrats and politicos in DC assume more and more control. In other words, it's about the destruction of the American spirit.
But what do you expect from a guy who believes the greatness of this country was founded on "community organizers," environmental activists, "courageous" trial lawyers, labor unions.
I'm afraid I'll be pulling the lever so hard in the voting booth come November that I might break it off the machine.