Friday, October 10, 2008

President Obama

As the stock market continues to tank along with the fortunes of John McCain I've pretty much begun to resign myself to an Obama presidency. While I'm less than thrilled about the prospect I will also shed no tears for John McCain and do see some possible light amidst the gloom:

* Foreigners will like us more. Supposedly. Guess that could be a possible boon to the tourist industry and high-profile companies like McDonald's, Coke and Disney. Maybe Al Qaeda will call off the jihad.
* Obama has a record of about zero accomplishment. Hopefully that trend will hold. A president that sits around in the White House twiddling his thumbs and holding the occasional state dinner is fine with me.
* An Obama presidency could mean a renewed conversation about race and affirmative action. If a black liberal can be elected to the nation's highest office, who can't? Why is affirmative action still needed? Expect this to be met with cries -- from the same black leadership that so vigorously supported him -- that Obama is not authentically black enough and doesn't represent the true black experience.
* Along similar lines, this could mean a greatly diminished role for the race card. Already Obama's defenders have tried to play this, most notably against Sarah Palin. Americans are already pretty tired of this, and renewed cries of racism in the face of criticims of President Obama could be its dealth knell.
* The Republican party is going to march off into the wilderness split between the roughly 100 conservatives of the Republican Study Committee and everyone else. Hopefully the knives come out and only the RSC makes it back alive.
* Similarly, a new generation of Republican leadership should emerge. McCain was the semi-obvious heir-apparent for Bush, having fallen short in 2000 but remaining a loyal soldier in 2004. Now there is no one. Who will step up? Sanford? Flake? Pence? Shadegg? Let's hope so.
* The federal deficit could be of such a magnitude that Obama will be precluded from any new big spending initiatives. My gut tells me however that this is a fairly faint hope.
* The media will start writing glowing reports about the economy now that a Democrat is back in charge.

The bad is pretty much everything else. Expect little in the way of free trade agreements. You can forget market-based health care reforms and instead we are likely to see the opposite. The tax code will become even more distorted with lots of new breaks to subsidize government-approved behavior while marginal rates become ever more lopsided. Climate change legislation will pass meaning more burdens on business and especially manufacturing. The Employee Free Choice Act -- one of the most Orwellian-named pieces of legislation in recent memory -- will be passed, making the U.S. even less business friendly.

Expect all of this to be concurrent with loud complaints about Benedict Arnold companies sending good manufacturing jobs overseas. John Paul Stevens will retire or die and be replaced by a justice that shares his philosophy of abandoning the Constitution and just making stuff up. Green jobs and the supposed need for energy independence results in highest energy prices for various sources of energy that are favored by the politicians instead of the marketplace. More regulation will be piled on top of Sarbanes-Oxley in the wake of the financial crisis to ensure that it never happens again. This will likely in fact set us up for the next crisis through further marketplace distortions. Freddie and Fannie will continue business as usual. Nothing will be done to reform the ticking time bombs of Medicare/Medicaid or Social Security.

But hey, did I mention that foreigners will like us?

Update: Another positive -- a middling Obama presidency should produce a new generation of cynical and jaded voters that finally understand that the majority of politicians should be the objects of scorn and ridicule rather than hero worship.

Another update: It will also be fun to watch the reporting from magazines like Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair. Without the Bush Administration to harp on what will they talk about? Certainly not the shortcomings of the Democratic Congress...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post, Colin!

zi said...

i, for one, will welcome our new Democratic overlords.

but in all seriousness, i'm wondering if another terrorist attack on the USA is less likely with a man like Barack Hussein. Obama in the White House? i was walking around the Egyptian section of Astoria the other day and while i'm "Muslim" only in name and by ancestry, the people i met jumped ALL over it, even though i told them i ate pork on a daily basis, drank like a fish, and never set foot inside a mosque in my entire life. they were like, "you are still a brother." this happens to me ALL the time. i'm telling you, a Muslim name goes a long way in fending off the crazy jihadists. even if you are an infidel at heart, it's all about appearances.

Colin said...

All joking aside, the foreigner aspect should be interesting to watch. How long will the honeymoon last? After all, Obama has -- to his credit -- promised not to back down in Afghanistan or Pakistan and has all but vowed bring us Bin Laden's head.

tia said...

Hi,

My name is Tia and I'm an editor at OpposingViews.com, the debate website. Since we both cover race issues, I thought I'd drop you a note. I would've e-mailed you but I couldn't find an address.
See, we're currently having a discussion about whether or not we still need affirmative action. You can see it here:
http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/do-we-still-need-affirmative-action
Although vetted experts are the ones doing the debating, anyone can contribute by choosing a side and posting comments about the experts' arguments.
Check it out and, if you have the time, let me know what you think at tia@opposingviews.com
Thanks!