About AJ DiCintio
A.J. DiCintio is a Featured Writer for The New Media Journal. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on
the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up.
Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and
polished by experience, to social/political affairs.
Obama, Big Bangs & Selling Make Believe March 23, 2009
Main Street conservatives were as shocked and angered as everyone else
when the nation suffered the double punch in the gut delivered by the
explosion of the fraudulently inflated housing balloon and the collapse
of financial institutions that stupidly speculated on enormous bundles
of toxic debt.
But never forgetting that Congress and federal bureaucracies were fully
complicit in creating both debacles (having ordered, funded, and
cheerled for a free lunch "ownership society”), those conservatives
(including your humble writer) also reacted by warning that liberal
politicians would not miss an opportunity to take advantage of the
people’s pain, fear, anger, and uncertainty.
Unfortunately, however, liberals didn’t just seize the moment; they
prevailed by convincing a majority of the public that it has "no other
medicine but only hope.”
With that success in hand, they swept to victory in the Election of ’08
and since have enacted the first parts of an economic/social agenda
aimed at transforming America into an amalgam of Sweden and France in
one "Big Bang” of heretofore unimaginable, multi-trillion dollar
governmental expansion — the cost of this liberty and prosperity
crushing nanny state to be paid with dangerous, unsustainable borrowing
today and suffocating tax increases tomorrow.
Now, since the wisely traditionalist folks mentioned at the outset still
know that Obama is "selling make believe” (this outstanding example of
Plain English from country singer John Rich), the relevant question
today is this:
Are the majority of Americans who bought Obama’s fantasy now willing to
confront reality; or will they continue to repress the truth of Ben
Franklin’s aphorism, "He that lives upon hope will die fasting”?
It would be a very good thing if the answers to those questions were
"yes” and "no,” respectively. However, they are not, though polls reveal
much to be encouraged about.
First, the worst news. A recent CNN poll finds that by a 55%-43% margin,
Americans think Obama is trying to do too much at once. However, both
CNN and the Pew Research Center find solid public support for many (but
not all) of the president’s key policy initiatives.
For example, CNN finds 59% agreeing with "how the president is handling
the economy.” In turn, Pew reports a 59% job approval rating for Obama,
with 56% of the public agreeing that his stimulus bill is a "good idea.”
Given the devils that lurk in the details of Obama’s vision, it is
important to debate why the public is reacting so positively to a roll
of the dice intended to establish Washington’s politicians as the moral,
economic, and social lodestone toward which every citizen’s eye should
turn and knee bend.
However, what is indisputable is that currently a solid majority of
Americans are not concerned about the harmful consequences of Obama’s
"change we can believe in.”
That is disturbing news. However, it should not be taken as irreversible
because, as polling also reveals, the public isn’t buying what Obama is
selling hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, and boat. Rather, it is forming
its attitudes about his policies issue by issue.
Combine that fact with the reality that people haven’t yet seen — and,
thus, haven’t yet had the opportunity to evaluate — hugely expensive,
powerfully controversial proposals Obama has yet to offer and there is
reason for optimism regarding political buyer’s remorse.
Now, on to some good news.
As the current explosion over the midnight written, blindly voted AIG
bailout bill reveals, no deal in the current tsunami of federal deals
regarding spending, bailing, rescuing, buying, guaranteeing, and
borrowing is ever truly done, thereby permitting the president to move
on to the next item on his agenda in an atmosphere devoid of angry
questions and challenges.
And there’s even better news.
The Pew poll’s 59% approval rating represents a 5% drop from February’s
64%. In addition, Pew finds the president’s disapproval number at 26%,
up 9% in one month.
Happily, part of the rising disapproval may be due to the fact that 44%
of the public now believe Obama is listening more to liberals of his
party than to its moderates. (In January only 34% said Obama was giving
both his ears to the Democratic left wing.)
Happily, too, the Pew and CNN findings aren’t isolated. For example,
Rasmussen supports them fully, showing Obama at 56% approval, 43%
And that’s not all. Basing their conclusions upon the totality of
Rasmussen polling, Douglas Schoen (a former Democratic consultant) and
Scott Rasmussen conclude that "The American people are coming to express
increasingly significant doubts about [Obama’s] initiatives, and most
likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that
[his] administration has advanced.”
Finally, some truly excellent news is found in Pew’s numbers regarding
the "pragmatic approach” with which Americans view government.
Specifically, 48% of Americans currently favor "smaller government/fewer
services” (up from 42% in October ’08) while 40% favor "bigger
government/more services (down from 43% five months ago).
Moreover, 70% of citizens believe the nation is "better off in
free-market economy even [with] severe ups and downs.”
Yes, despite the battles that lie ahead for us conservatives and our
moderate/independent friends — including Senator Evan Bayh, whom
Politico refers to as "a leader of a 15-member caucus of conservative
and centrist Democrats” — we can be comforted by news of a 70% landslide
in which the American public rejects socialism (European style or
otherwise), class warfare, and every other –ism or expression of
nonsense that stifles liberty, individualism, innovation, and
Comforted, indeed, for the 70% figure is certain to rocket through the
roof when millions of young people realize that buying the president’s
make believe means becoming card-carrying members of the club long
populated by their European brothers and sisters, with all the
perquisites of membership fully guaranteed, including living at home
with mom and dad at least until the age of 30 — perhaps 35 or more if
Obama succeeds in selling America a bang as big as the one that
reverberates throughout his most audacious, hope-filled dreams.