Monday, November 03, 2008

The measured danger of Obama

Forget what the media says about whether or not America is ready for a black President. Of course, America is. America has had a black Secretary of State for the past seven years. It has had a black member of the Supreme Court for over 40 years. Other black candidates for President were given serious weight and time to contend for their agenda, such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Alan Keyes. So, lets agree that the "should a black be president?" question be put to rest.

That said, I have serious doubt about a President Obama. It has nothing to do with his skin color. Let's be frank about Obama. Obama is not a transformational figure. He is simply a smart Democrat who ran a smart campaign to barely beat another Democrat for his party's nomination in a strong Democratic year. After that, Obama ran a smart general election campaign.

There is nothing special or transformational about it. Obama's operation has been simply good at what they do. Assigning some sort of mythical nature to it because of his race is just illogical and silly, and produces unrealistic expectations for a President Obama.

If Obama is elected on Tuesday, which it appears he will, Obama will face unrealistic expectations due to the media hype around him. The unspoken truth is that any Democratic nominee, white, black, brown, yellow, green, whatever, could have fared well against the inept McCain campaign. Indeed, the very fact that McCain has the "puncher's chance" at this time shows just how normal and human Obama really is.

That said, let's assume Obama is elected. There will be several dangers. First, once he gets those detailed national security briefings and uses the obvious intellect he has to determine that there is not much different he can do from George W. Bush in the short term, his far left supporters will go nuts. To most Americans comfort, and the leftists dismay, there is something about the office of President that often modifies the occupant. Just read the autobiographies of any President. It is a helluva a thing to realize just what you have to deal with as President, and how Nixon wrote, how little control a President really has.

This might dismay some fellow Republicans, but I believe Obama will not surrender the military over to terrorists. I think he will be a bit overwhelmed with what they tell him at his first briefing, but I do not believe he will act against America. Instead , what scares me about him on this level is that it will all be so new to him and he has a tendency to be a bit naive about the world. I think Obama will look for diplomatic answers where there are none, and that will waste valuable time dealing with threats to America.

That said, the biggest danger from a President Obama will be in the economy. Looking over his economic plan, Obama calls for raising the capital gains tax. Nothing could be more wrong in the current climate. If you think the stock market is bad now, just wait until increased taxes on capital gains punishes investors for investing money. Such a plan can only make things worse and spiral the economy down.

I know a lot of my fellow Republicans are in a doomsday mood about the potential of Barack Obama becoming the President of the United States. I see some dangers to his presidency. However, by and large, life will go on. We will have to hone the debate for our beliefs and pick our fights with the Obama agenda wisely. But, there is a silver lining.

Political trends in the Unites States are cyclical. The independent voters who make up the American middle have traditionally had little patience with an administration that does not perform. If Obama is elected and falls flat or goes too far, the voters in 2010 will punish him for it. Remember 1992. Bill Clinton was elected President with Democratic majorities. Just two years later, both Houses of Congress fell into to Republican hands, and though re-elected in 1996, Clinton had to embrace Republican ideas like welfare reform.

Indeed, the best thing that can happen for the Republican party is if Barack Obama gets his way. The thing is, as an American first, I hope he does not.

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