In “Stimulus” Battle, A Costly Victory for Democrats

The age old adage of “winning the battle but losing the war” comes to mind immediately when considering the plight of Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats and their “stimulus” bill, only weeks into the nascent presidency of the “Anointed One.” Heeding the words of his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, “Never waste a crisis,” and faced with a recession, Obama has set about pushing a trillion dollar “stimulus” bill that is nothing more than an indenturing of future working Americans that will not create jobs but will expand the Federal government. A bill that is rife with wasteful earmarks and pet projects for Democrat Congressmen that otherwise would not pass muster under any circumstances. Projects like re-sodding the National Mall, building frisbee golf courses, paying for birth control pills and to fight global warming (38 degrees in Miami this week).

The point of a stimulus bill, aside from stimulating the economy with immediacy, which I am skeptical any such bill can do, is supposed to ease collective pain for millions of Americans, like a Tylenol pill, until the economy can recover. It is not, however, to do as this bill is and saddle my GRANDCHILDREN with a debt they can’t hope to pay. All so that museums and national parks can be upgraded or to ram through liberal policies that wouldn’t be accepted any other way–and that won’t even take effect until the recession is over. Aside from that, the Chinese are no longer buying U.S. paper, and a trillion dollars simply printed to ease pain now will in 5 months, when the economy is on the rebound, undoubtedly plunge us into a second, less severe recession because we will be dealing with rampant inflation. Barack campaigned on tax cuts for 95% of Americans, not taxing our grandchildren.

This aimless spending spree called a “stimulus” is doing more to expose Obama’s facade than a one year campaign by John McCain ever could. The public is poignantly aware that the government never comes in under budget. A Capitol Visitors Center was just completed at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., late and over budget. Ground was broken in 2000 and the project was slated to cost 71 million dollars, and was completed in late 2008 and came in at 621 million dollars. At this rate, the “stimulus”, projects expected to break ground in 2010 and 2011 should begin somewhere around 2020 and should actually cost around 9 trillion dollars.

Obama should have, instead of heeding Emanuel’s advice, taken note of what were the Bush presidencies before him. Bush 43, noting that his father did not effectively use his political capital gained after the first Iraq War and thereby watched it whither on the vine, determined to use all of his political capital gained after the 2004 election. Bush quickly set about pushing for Social Security reform, which was needed and prudent but which was also opposed by a strong majority of Americans. His plan failed in Congress and it was not long before he was tagged as a lame duck. Clinton, likewise lurched far-left, lost his nationalized health care initiative, lost the House and Senate, and then watched the Republicans enact welfare reform and other policy initiatives long-needed, from 1994-2000.

Obama, using the crisis, which has been hyped to be far worse than it actually is (remember Emanuel’s advice), watched with pleasure as his “stimulus” bill steamed ahead like a runaway train and appeared to be headed for quick approval and signing into law. Then the bill entered into the House, where Obama and Congressional Democrats won passage, voting a week ago to pass the bill on to the Senate for approval. This was a costly victory for Democrats, and one that could spell the end of the honeymoon period for Obama, which never really even began.

Barack campaigned on unity and leading in a bipartisan way, claiming “these are not the red states or blue states, this is the United States!” Great rhetoric, BHO, but failure to deliver has been revealed for all to see in the wake of this victory for Democrats. Obama claimed upon inauguration to be open to all ideas from all sides of the aisle. Sitting down with Congressional Republicans, he was given a clear cut plan for stimulus that did not include massive government growth. He responded by telling Republicans “I won. I’ll trump you on that.” Apparently an allusion to the idea that Americans have rubber stamped his policies and given him political capital to do as he wishes. That tax cut for 95% of Americans is still in the works, and that unity thing? Well, Americans knew he wouldn’t hold to that when they elected him, right? It was William F. Buckley who said “liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” Barack Obama is putting this on display for all to see.

Barack the great unifier found a bill passed by the House supported by zero Republicans and actually opposed by 11 Democrats. Bipartisan support existed, but in opposition to the “stimulus”, not for it! In the week that has followed, the Republicans’ defeat in this battle has resulted in the train slowing considerably. More and more scrutiny is being poured onto this debacle since the House Republicans were overrun. It is becoming more evident that if Republicans stand to the man against this, when it inevitably becomes an albatross and an utter failure that it is certain to be, the American people will reward them. The stage is already being set for Republican gains in 2010.

Additionally, the notion that Democrats have given up their infamous ways of frivolous spending and partisanship has been dispelled. A tiger is still a tiger. As earmarks for thing like the National Park Service balloon even further in the Senate, nearly doubling the yearly budget for the parks, the American people notice things like Senator David Olbe’s son being on the national parks board. Barack’s recent calculated assault on Rush Limbaugh was an attempt to divide and conquer the Republican Party at a time of perceived weakness but succeeded only in uniting them against him.

For a Party like the Democrats who blasted president Bush for using “fearmongering” for 8 years in order to gain support, Barack Obama was quick to warn that if the “stimulus” bill was not passed immediately and without delay or review, catastrophe and an irreversible recession would be imminent. Irreversible? Really? As irreversible as the “irreversible catastrophe” of climate change that awaits us that you warned about a week or two ago? Americans will take note of the hypocrisy eventually, already noted in the 15 point slide that Obama has experienced in approval ratings in the last two weeks, an even faster slide than Jimmy Carter experienced after posting similar ratings.

The Democrats have the numbers to pass the “stimulus” in the Senate as well, without a single Republican. So why, you may ask, are the Democrats so desperate this past week in their attempts to find at least ONE Republican to support their pork bill? Simple enough, you may say, if the bill is such a great idea and is so necessary for the national economy, to pass the bill through without one Republican in either house and when it works, dismantle the Republican Party. Why would Democrats need a Republican or two? Because, as we’ve seen with other such bills, they never work, and the Democrats can always get off the hook by claiming that the bill had bipartisan support. The Democrats stand to potentially be hammered in the 2010 mid-terms, if only Republicans in the Senate hold their ground and let the Democrats have their win now. It is costly for both sides, but Obama will have spent his political capital on a project only 37% of Americans support. You and I can kiss goodbye the notion of socialized medicine or other hair brained plans hatched 50 years ago by pseudo-socialists.

Thus far Obama has spent valuable political capital and has taken a huge hit in the polls, succeeding only in sending a flawed bill from the House to the Senate, where he hopes to get 1 or 2 Senators that are Republican to jump on this deeply flawed spending bill. With any hope (pardon the pun), Barack will find only the same tired Democrats he found in the House.

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