Itís the Congress, Stupid!
When historians look back on the 670-day, $2.5 billion 2008 presidential campaign, the observations, analysis, second-guessing, and finger pointing will fill volumes. In the end, it was once again, “the economy, stupid” that ruled the day.
Or was it? What role did Congress play?
By the time you read this column the winner of the epic battle between the Democrat nominee, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and the Republican nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, will – hopefully – be determined.
Whoever wins will inherit a country that remains the stabilizing force in a dangerous world. We find ourselves, the morning after, still trapped in two foreign wars, which linger-on indefinitely, for countries that at best, are profoundly ungrateful and a world that exhibits malevolent disinterest.
The prospect looms of uncontrolled nuclear proliferation in the hands of Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Lost in the hype over the future of our efforts in Iraq is the uncertain future of the stability of Pakistan and the genuine threat of a Taliban takeover of the Pakistani government – and its nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, as we fiddle away, we cannot seem to secure our own southern border against illegal immigrants.
All the while the United States lurches forward with a de facto energy policy that sends hundreds of billions of dollars straight into the bank accounts of people who really do not like us.
In doing so we create jobs and a high quality of life for foreigners, whose only interest is in our ultimate destruction and demise.
Nonetheless, our oil money builds cities, bridges and roads for these countries while our cities, roads and bridges collapse in disrepair and our rate of unemployment rises.
We outspend most developed nations on education and healthcare, and yet lag far behind in efficiency or effectiveness in both critical arenas.
For the icing on the cake, we find ourselves in an historic financial crisis for which the congressional leadership that caused it is now in charge of fixing it and have successfully placed the blame on those who attempted to prevent it.
If this were the introduction to a fictional novel, publishers would laugh the author out of the room as no suspension of disbelief could touch such a plot.
Meanwhile, if you will recall, it was “the economy, stupid” that became the rallying cry of the successful Democrat victory of Bill Clinton in his presidential campaign against President George H. W. Bush in 1992.
The phrase is attributed to the political mastermind, James Carville, we successfully kept the Clinton campaign focused on message.
Mr. Carville hung a sign in the Little Rock, Arkansas, national campaign headquarters with the following three points: “Change vs. more of the same. The economy, stupid. Don't forget health care.”
Overlooked by the major media is any critical analysis of the cause and effect of congressional approaches to education, energy policy, healthcare, earmarks, the national debt, immigration reform, national security, and the economy.
The only commentary during the 23-month siege for the White House we call a campaign, by the Democrat Party and a sycophant media, is how everything was the fault of President George Bush, who I might add, consistently maintained a higher approval rating than Congress.
Through it all, the Democrat controlled Congress retained an approval rating that hovered around 18 percent. It is not too difficult to imagine the full measure of history’s reproach – unless the elite media and presidential politics re-write history.
As far as the economy is concerned, every attempt to re-regulate the financial causes of the “Financial Panic of 2008,” has been thwarted by powerful Democrat members of Congress since 1977.
Let’s be clear. Certainly greed played a role in the current crisis; however, the roots have been growing for 30 years and the seed was planted and fertilized by Congress.
As this column is being put together the winner of the 2008 election is not known.
If Senator McCain wins the election, what chance will he really have to make a difference in the face of a liberal media hell-bent on repeating its complete character assignation of his predecessor?
Not to be overlooked is how a “President McCain” would fare in the face of an emboldened Congress equally hell-bent on destroying him. All the while, it will most likely remain that Congress will not be held accountable for anything it does – or does not do.
Nonetheless, if the most leftist-liberal candidate in American history, Senator Obama, prevails in this contest, he will join both houses of Congress firmly in the hands of the most leftist-liberal congressional leaders in history.
Although this will provide those of us who fancy ourselves as economic historians and political scientists with sensory overload, what will remain to be seen is what damage an excellent adventure into European-style social-democracy cost our great nation.
Charles Krauthammer described it best. If Senator Obama prevails an “Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Barney Frank administration will find irresistible the temptation to use the tools inherited – $700 billion of largely uncontrolled spending – as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to radically remake the American economy and social compact.”
Just imagine the growth-inhibiting, job destroying tax rates and wealth redistribution at the hands of an Obama-Pelosi-Reid triumvirate that believes in the motto that maintaining a citizenry in a state of “dependence is democracy” and the key to maintaining power.
What appears to have escaped many – as they were pre-occupied with the great 2008 presidential contest – is the fact that no matter who wins, it will be “the Congress, stupid,” that will affect and effect much of the foreseeable future of our country.
May God help us!
Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster: E-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org