Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Worst of Both Worlds

The scandals that plague the Obama administration continue to grow, widen and deepen, seemingly by the day; while reports of additional governmental misconduct continue to bubble up like the miasma from a festering swamp.  In addition to the controversies concerning Benghazi, the IRS (now it's reported that as many as eighty-eight agents may be in possession of sensitive, private financial information on both prospective 501(c)(4) groups as well as individual Republican donors) and the DOJ (it now appears that AG Eric Holder may well have perjured himself before Congress), it's now being reported that the EPA may be involved in a culture of discrimination against conservative groups as well, with some conservative groups reporting that they were singled by the department for penalties and red tape while more liberal leaning groups were given a pass.

Have we ever seen anything like the Obama "regime"?  We've got a government run by politicians that can't seem to find their own asses with both hands, a map, compass, and an Indian guide!  When it comes to being able to competently attend to the needs of the nation, they're completely clueless (I'm being kind here).  They can't encourage economic growth, they're too busy coming up with 10's of thousands of new regulations limiting what business can/can't/must/must not do.  They can't/won't create an environment that results in new businesses and businessmen creating new jobs, they're too busy promoting the advantages of being on the public dole, developing new programs and new ways to get people addicted to a government check.  They can't/won't do what is necessary to defend and protect America's interests abroad; they insult our oldest and most dedicated allies, while pandering to violent, extremist regimes.  They don't preserve an individual American's Constitutional rights to free speech and to keep and bear arms, but they'll eagerly provide tanks, fighter jets and arms to groups such the Muslim Brotherhood and consider arming other militant groups (like we've never seen that go wrong), while creating new federal laws and backing local initiatives aimed at limiting/preventing law-abiding Americans ability to purchase and use firearms for their own protection and enjoyment.

On top of all this, it now looks like the current administration is attempting to divert attention, distort facts, deflect responsibility, and cover up a massive culture of corruption but it's so inept, it can't even manage to do that (although, in Obama's defense, perhaps no one could cover up such a large pile).

I repeat, have we ever seen anything like it?  I'd say yes, but you've got to go to two previous Presidents to do it.  Let's look at Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon.

Richard Nixon presided over a country divided over the Vietnam War.  He was a tough-talking Republican, once reminding Americans in a speech that "We are a nation of laws.  No man is above the law, no man is below the law, and we are going to have law and order.......".  Turns out he was a phony on many fronts.  First, let's just get this out of the way, he was NOT a conservative.  In his way, he was every bit the Progressive his predecessor, Lyndon B. Johnson, was.  As for the "rule of law"?  Well, we know how that turned out.  Just Google "Watergate scandal".  You may be surprised at just how tame his violations seem in the light of modern political conduct and situational ethics, but it was enough to force (for the only time) the resignation of a sitting President.  He was responsible for the institution of government departments such as the EPA, with all of it's mandates, regulations and controls on private businesses of all kinds.  All in the name of promoting the "common good", of course.  He also was the first American President to officially visit China, at the time long considered an adversarial nation.

Then there's Jimmy Carter.  The peanut farmer who rose to the highest office in the land.  Retrospectively, we have to ask "What in the hell were you thinkin'?!"  He was manifestly unqualified for the job.  Running a peanut farm in rural Georgia is a great number of steps below running the greatest country in the world, but the election of Carter was seen as a great victory for the common man.  Now a "real American" would run the country, not a politician.  Well, how did that turn out?  Double-digit inflation, mortgage rates in the upper teens & credit card/interest rates in the twenties and historically high unemployment. We even had a "misery index" to tell us just how bad things were.  He was a weak President and his weakness emboldened the Arab nations to reach for more power internationally, resulting in the Arab (OPEC) Oil Embargo of the 1970's which caused widespread shortages, blocks-long lines for gas (kinda like what we saw after Sandy in NYC) and gas rationing, both how much gas you were allowed to purchase and when you were allowed to buy it.  In the name of conservation of now scarce resources, Mr. Carter created the Department of Energy, instituted the infamous 55 mile-per-hour national speed limit and ridiculously lowered the thermostat in the White House to 68 degrees, famously appearing on national television in a cardigan sweater urging Americans to follow his lead.  His weakness also led to  America betraying and abandoning the Shah of Iran, leading directly to the student revolution that resulted in the capture and holding hostage of American citizens for more than a year.  It also led to the creation of the Islamic theocracy of the Ayatollahs and the elevation of future Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  It's impossible to imagine the scope of damage that that single event has caused throughout the world.

Now, let's review: 

You've got Jimmy Carter, peanut farmer turned President.  You've got Barack Obama, "community organizer" turned President. 

You've got Jimmy Carter, presiding over a country suffering from a bad economy, high unemployment and increasing prices and unable to remedy any of it.  Ditto Barack Obama. 

You've got Jimmy Carter, whose weakness in international relations and foreign policy led to the rise of violent, radical Arab groups and attacks on Americans in the Middle East.  You've got Barack Obama, whose weakness in international relations and foreign policy led directly to the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, spreading violence throughout the region, and the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the deaths of 4 Americans. 

You've got Richard Nixon, who gave us the EPA and all it's regulations.  You've got Barack Obama, who's greatly added to the power and scope of that organization and others, and who has encouraged the proliferation of innumerable regulations, "putting his boot on the neck" of American businesses. 

You've got Richard Nixon, who was convicted of using federal government agencies to go after his political enemies, including using the power of the IRS to target individuals.  Ditto, Barack Obama. 

Richard Nixon had an "enemies list".  Barack Obama had a "kill list". 

Some accused Richard Nixon of somewhat thuggish tactics on capital hill.  Barack Obama has exceeded that, bringing "Chicago politics" to Washington.

Jimmy Carter was at least honest in his convictions.  He spent the years since his Presidency largely out of the spotlight, working on philanthropic causes such as Habitat for Humanity.  To quote from Lord of the Rings: "A fool, but an honest fool."

Richard Nixon at least had enough honor left to him at the end to resign the Presidency, rather than subject an already divided country to the upheaval of impeachment proceedings.

I don't think we can expect Barack Obama to emulate either of these men in the last specifics.  He doesn't have the humility.

Barack Obama:  More corrupt than Nixon, more inept than Carter.  The worst of both worlds, indeed.


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