Thursday, January 15, 2009


P.J. O'Rourke in the January 19th Weekly Standard:
In the language of politics there is only one translation for the phrase "hope and change," to wit, "big, fat government." Mr. Obama, if you're going to give us big, fat government, you need to be a big, fat politician. You need to be a Tip O'Neill, a Teddy Kennedy, a Richard Daley, a Bill Clinton at the very least. And you don't seem to be a big, fat anything--literally or otherwise. You seem to be .  .  . smart and organized. Like Jimmy Carter!

So we may speak without compunction of the failed Obama presidency. What a blessing that it's a failure. Things are bad enough the way they are. There's already a huge ongoing government intervention in the economy. Bringing the government in to run Wall Street is like saying, "Dad burned dinner, let's get the dog to cook." Now the government's going to take over the auto industry. I can predict the result--a light-weight, compact, sustainable vehicle using alternative energy. When I was a kid we called it a Schwinn. And next in line for political therapy is health care. Voting will cure what ails you. Go to the doctor when you've got cancer, and he'll say, "Don't worry. Everything will be fine. I'm going to treat your disease by going inside this small, curtained booth and putting an 'X' next to a very special name."


bobn said...

So we may speak without compunction of the failed Obama presidency

O'Rourke is hilarious, this time unintentionally.

Economically, the deregulationists, especially Bushco, have left Obama the biggest steaming pile of shit any incoming president has received since FDR. In fact it's arguably bigger than the mess FDR inherited from the 2 preceding Republican administrations. If not being able to stop what appears to be an inevitable depression-in-the-making is failure, who would succeed?

Carl said...


I'm not smart enough to know all the right moves (other than tax relief). For that reason, I've carefully avoided piling-on Obama before he has a chance. Still, today I read the draft House stimulus bill and draft House report (no link yet, sorry), which is no more than a collection of big-government wish-list spending Christmas-tree-ed together without rhyme or rationale.

Last fall, you opposed the $700 billion bailout. What criteria will you use to judge the Democrat stimulus package?

bobn said...

Frankly, I'm very skeptical of the whole idea of fiscal stimulus which involves massive borrowing - and even more so when problems in the credit markets are alleged to be a big part of our current problems.

The continuous piling on of debt seems to be a common denominator for the decline of empires and all sorts of greater economic crises.

On the other hand, if this were done *instead* of TARP it would be better. TARP has been nothing but a bailout of the very worst people, the people who profited from the bubble. TARP has been an unmitigated abomination. It has been the worst example of the American Kleptocracy in action.

Carl said...


Many of the execs at financial firms whose companies faltered are gone. Compare Detroit. Do you really think that handing out money via the stimulus will be any different than Detroit?