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The first 100 days and what it portends

EMM1EMM1 Registered User Posts: 2,583 Senior Member
Well, tonight Obama is holding a press conference, no doubt to brag about his first 100 days. In fact, the man who would be Lincoln or Roosevelt is in fact more Chester A. Arthur.

Before I go further, I should note that I believe that he is certainly better than Bush, and probably better than McCain would have been (though I suspect that Hillary might have done a little better). Nonetheless, I remain singularly unimpressed by his performance and deeply pessimistic about the future.

To give the man his due, he is GREAT with atmospherics (see, for example, the useless photo op with the credit card executives) and remains very popular with the people at large. However, he has thus far shown no ability to translate his popularity into effective pressure on Congress. Indeed, he has too often shown a distressing lack of "inside" political skills. His unbelievably inept performance on the "torture" issue is only the latest example. If he had wanted to go hard at the Bush people, then releasing the memos would have made sense. But why would he raise the profile of the issue if (as he initially claimed) he simply wanted to change course and move on? It simply made no sense.

On the big issues:

1. FOREIGN POLICY. Once again atmospherics are sometimes good--for example, sending a high level envoy to pursue the mirage of a Middle East peace settlement. (On the other hand, there was the spectacle of the POTUS sitting quietly and not responding while Daniel Ortega ripped into the United States for almost an hour. But again, it was the apology tour.) On the substance--horrible. Embroiling us more deeply in the black hole of Afghanistan is a mistake of Bush-like proportions.

2. ENERGY--I take this next because Obama's failure here has implications for other issues as well. Again, some marginal gains in investments in nonfossil fuels and conservation. But Cap and Trade was supposed to be the centerpiece of the program and is DOA. So we have no real prospects for the kind of dramatic changes that are needed. In addition, he is left with a massive revenue whole.

3. THE ECONOMY GENERALLY--While a large stimulus bill was almost certainly necessary, Obama was completely outmaneuvered by Pelosi, Reid et. al. and left with Christmas tree bill that included large amounts of completely useless spending and that pathetic $400 per year tax cut. His projections for the future are based on a sharp V shaped recovery that is no rational person believes is in the cards and massive revenues from the nonexistent cap and trade system. On this point I am completely convinced by Peter Schiff's analysis.

4. HEALTH CARE--Although there is going to be an uproar when people understand that their current benefits are going to be taxed, my guess is we'll get some kind of universal care system, on balance a little better than what we have, but with massive administrative costs remaining. I also fear that we are going to get bells and whistles federal mandates (like requiring that IVF be covered and the absurd "parity" requirements for mental health care).
Post edited by EMM1 on

Replies to: The first 100 days and what it portends

  • fireforniafirefornia Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    I concur. 10 char
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    I expect he'll continue to be Black, and continue to talk good.

    I'm more than satisfied. My expectations are met.
  • momfrommemomfromme Registered User Posts: 2,669 Senior Member
    OP: Obama is not holding a press conference tonight. It's tomorrow.

    And most of your analysis is quite weak.
  • EMM1EMM1 Registered User Posts: 2,583 Senior Member
    "most of your analysis is quite weak."

    Aside from getting the day wrong, what do you find "weak." Do you think Obama is going to get cap and trade? I'll take ALL of that action. Do you think that the economy is going to come roaring back next year? Did he not sit silently while Ortega trashed the United States? Is he not embroiling us more deeply in Afghanistan?
  • momfrommemomfromme Registered User Posts: 2,669 Senior Member
    "The apology tour" is boilerplate right wing rhetoric and is so absurd that it has helped Obama maintain strong approval ratings, kept the number of Americans calling themselves Republicans at about 22%, and led to the Republicans losing a Senator today.

    And the rest - feh. I could go through it all, but I have more useful things to do with my life.
  • EMM1EMM1 Registered User Posts: 2,583 Senior Member
    Apparently, your answer is that a) remains popular (which I conceded, but it just does him no good in terms advancing his policy agenda and b) you don't deign to dispute any of my specifics, but would rather just stick with "you're just wrong." Now there's a terrifically persuasive argument.
  • VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 17,935 Senior Member
    EMM1 wrote:
    the absurd "parity" requirements for mental health care).

    Though I vowed to stay out of the political cafe, I can't resist being baited by this comment. Explain, please. Why is it absurd to cover a chemical imbalance in the brain when an insurance plan covers a chemical imbalance in the pancreas or thyroid?
  • EMM1EMM1 Registered User Posts: 2,583 Senior Member
    If the diagnosis and treatment of mental "illness" was based on the presence or absence of chemical imbalance, the situation would be different. Instead, the diagnoses and treatment of mental illnesses are entirely subjective and clinical and are made by mental health professionals who have a vested interest in characterizing characterizing conditions and illnesses. I'm not accusing anyone of bad faith, but it is no accident that we have an ever-expanding list of conditions described as "illnesses" that need "treatment." As a result the idea of parity is a black hole that will suck in resources which could better be deployed elsewhere.

    Please note that I am not referring to genuine psychoses, which should definitely be covered, but garden variety depression, anxiety, etc.
This discussion has been closed.