If Obama Wins…

While I am a die-hard McCain supporter and Republican who believes deep down that electing Obama to the presidency will weaken the United States economically and militarily, I think its worth considering as objectively as possible whether any good could come out of an Obama win next month. Given the white-hot rhetoric at this point in the election it’s almost impossible to imagine anything good coming out of the election of the most liberal US senator to the Presidency without the constraints of a strong opposition party. But given the poll numbers it’s worth a try.

For the past forty years a large segment of the American population has been alienated from politics to the point where the most common public enemy in our culture is the American government itself. The United States government regularly plays the “bad guy” role in Hollywood movies, and TV shows from the X-files to the more recent 24 have the heroes battling against a government which knows everything and attempts to silence its critics using all means at its disposal. These anti-government conspiracy themes, once exclusive to the extremist right wing, have gone mainstream thanks to two generations of anti-government propaganda in the schools, newspapers, magazines, movies, music and nearly all forms of media. What once motivated only the likes of Timothy McVeigh has now become mainstream.

The distrust of authority is not new. In fact one could argue that it appeared at the genesis of the country as the oppressed fled their homelands in Europe for new lives and less interference in the New World. In fact distrust of government could be thought of as a common interest between Left and Right although for different reasons. While the Left distrusts the military industrial complex it paradoxically expects a check every month from its social services arm. The Right is the opposite, pouring money and power into the military while starving federal bureaucracies. Nevertheless there is a contradiction at the core of both political wings: both distrust the government with some things yet trust it completely.

Many of Obama’s backers have been disenfranchised from politics for generations. Voting and seeing the results of their actions should prove that the system works for everyone – not just the wealthy.  So far Obama has campaigned against an unpopular lame duck two-term sitting president. Upon his inauguration a President Obama would have to lead. This will require making choices, each of which will leave just as many unhappy people as pleased ones. His popularity will inevitably wane as his supporters realize that he is not a messaianic figure, just a normal politician that has risen to meteoric heights quickly through luck as much as political acumen. It is better for the schooling in political reality of the newly empowered to occur by their own man than his opponent.

The press and the mainstream media has openly championed the Obama candidacy. An Obama presidency would force the media to make a choice: Resume its antagonistic Fourth Estate role towards power or give up and become the propaganda outlet of the government. Faced with this hard choice some media outlets would no doubt opt for the former (newspaper outlets) while others like Jann Wenner’s rags would no doubt continue to mythologize an Obama presidency just as it has the Obama candidacy.

Budget reality – a deficit of 3% of GDP and rising heading into a recession – will constrain Obama’s spending programs much more effectively than an opposition wielding the fillibuster.

An Obama presidency will purge the last vestiges of the Clinton machine from the Democrats. Even a reality-chastened Obama will enter 2012 much stronger than the junior senator from New York, so it’s unlikely that Sen. Hillary Clinton will be able to mount a formidable challenge to his reelection as Reagan was able to do in 1976 against Gerald Ford and Ted Kennedy was able to do four years later during the Democratic primaries against President Jimmy Carter.

President George W. Bush has become a figure of hatred in the eyes of many both here and abroad. His replacement in office by Barack Obama, a figure that is viewed favorably abroad, would at least serve to temper rising anti-Americanism among our allies in Europe and South America. This would also take some of the allure away from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; while the Bush administration has been successful at wielding hard power of the military, it has been much less successful at using soft power such as the international media to further American interests abroad. An Obama presidency could give the appearance of change while America’s military might remained.

Iraq is relatively stable and quiet going into an Obama presidency. If in a year or two it destabilizes then Republicans could capitalize on the situation using the meme “Obama lost Iraq.” If it remains stable, then the Bush presidency will look less a disaster than it has been portrayed by the media, although the “success” in Iraq will no doubt be attributed to Obama. For those of us who have never waivered in our support of a free and democratic Iraq, it doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as Iraq thrives.

Which brings us to terrorism. Terrorism is Obama and the Democrats Achilles Heel. Any successful attack on US soil under an Obama presidency would force the Democrats to “own” this issue in a way that they haven’t done in opposition to Bush. Under the Bush administration Democrats have used their opposition status to champion the closure of Guantanamo Bay and the extension of civil liberties to terrorism suspects without bearing the responsibility of those policies. This would change if and when a terrorist attack occurred on Obama’s watch. While the 9-11 Report blamed the policy failures of the prior administrations for the event, the public and many commentators viewed the attacks as such a shock that they gave a pass to those who formulated policies that allowed the attacks to happen. Such forgiveness would not occur to an Obama administration that failed to take the lessons of the 9-11 Commission to heart. Either the adminstration would swing further to the far left to justify this failure, which would result in its removal from office in the next election or worse, impeachment, or it would advocate many of the same policies the Democrats opposed under the Bush administration.

Finally, the complete loss of power would force some much needed Republican soul searching. Either the party will return to the ideals of small government and fiscal responsibility that swept Reagan to power in 1980 or it will die and be replaced by a new conservative party. Such “creative destruction” is common in the free market beloved by Republicans, so it should be embraced when it applies to a political party. With a rejuvenated Republican Party or a completely new opposition party, either way the nation will be strengthened.

America is nothing if not resilient, and to absorb the rhetoric that Obama will ruin it makes Obama appear stronger than he really is, and America weaker. It has survived numerous wars and economic collapses. It has weathered bad presidents and managed to thrive. It will survive an Obama presidency and even be made stronger if those of us who oppose him recognize the opportunities that his presidency present us and use them to our full ability.

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  1. Dan:

    The necessity of defending GW Bush from his many attackers, foreign and domestic, on the subject of Iraq has caused many (including me) to ignore his weak points and blunders. Disclosure: I voted for Gore in 2000 but my process of disillusionment with the democrats began with Gore’s refusal to accept his loss and the need for a Supreme Court decision to validate the election. I was completely caught off guard by 9/11 and realized then that the Clinton years, although they brought a false tranquility to the world stage and economic prosperity to many Americans, were paid for in the blood of the victims who died that day.
    Bush will be (somewhat) rehabilitated in another 50 years or so, when truly objective historians look at the record. Current opinion polls of left wing professors that purport to rank the presidents are barely useable as liners for cat litter boxes.
    Bush did abandon his conservative roots, allowed federal spending to accelerate beyond belief without raising a hand to veto anything until late in the game, and delegated way too much to subordinates whose main qualification seemed to be party loyalty. At the same time, the civil service positions in the government (like the State Department) were populated by careerists whose loyalties lay with the left wing of the democrat party. One couldn’t ask for a worse combination.
    Obama may be somewhat restrained at first by the need to move away from the economic precipice. His spending agenda will be just what his party has been clamoring for since 2001. The democrat mantra of income redistribution to pay for a full plate of welfare state programs will have a real world test. If the supply siders are right, government revenues will take a hit when he pushes tax increases in the direction of the Carter administration. Paying the increased costs of “green energy” incentives, health care for all without increasing rationing controls and continuing to fiddle while the social security time bomb’s fuse burns will at some point impact ordinary Americans in ways we can only speculate. I predict in eight years the Republicans will send their candidate to the White House.

  2. Scott Kirwin:

    You sound a lot like me. I voted the same way in 2000.
    And your analysis is spot on. Thanks!

  3. Watcher of Weasels » Submissions: Doing the Job the Media Refuses to Do:

    [...] The Razor – If Obama Wins [...]

  4. Cheat Seeking Missiles » Wednesday Reading - 10/8/08:

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  5. ligneus:

    You are right, Obama has been so protected by his allies in the media and by the milieu in which he swims, also is such a neophyte that it will be a rude awakening for him and his supporters when they find the world doesn’t fit neatly into their ‘philosophy’. Sometimes when bad things happen, and I see a ‘President Obama’ as a bad thing, it turns out for the best in the longer term. Though I don’t think that would have been the case with a ‘President Kerry, we would have lost Iraq for sure and the consequences of that would be incalculably bad.

  6. Scott Kirwin:

    Bad in the short term, good for the long term. That makes sense.
    Given the level of hysteria that Obama has incited, I simply cannot imagine what would happen if he lost the election. His supporters have used him as a blank screen to project all their hopes and dreams – little of which is grounded in the reality of the presidency. People were depressed after Bush one the first two times; for Obama to lose now… Well I would expect a collective nervous breakdown.

    Better for his supporters to learn that the One isn’t much different from any other politicians. They will become jaded and burned out – just like Republicans are today.

    At least Iraq appears safe, and Afghanistan does not unify the Democrats in the same way as Iraq.

  7. ligneus:

    By the way, how is your health these days, I haven’t seen you mention it lately?

  8. Bookworm:

    I think you’re right on all counts. My thoughts have been similar although more inchoate. Four years also gives time for the next generation of Republicans, who are more truly conservative than their predecessors to regroup: the Cantors, and Steeles, and Jindals, and Palins. I find most interesting the fact that conservatives are examining what can be made right in the upcoming four years (assuming an Obama victory). If you’ll cast your mind back, liberals were talking about (a) emigrating to friendlier countries or (b) suicide. I find the lack of hysteria refreshing.

  9. Scott Kirwin:

    I’m fine. Dealing with a death in the family (mother-in-law) but otherwise okay. Thanks.

    I’ve always viewed our country as resilient – and believe that it will survive even a liberal as self-absorbed as Obama. It’s going to be hard to keep the faith over the next few years, but I’m hopeful that the Republicans will learn from their trip into the wilderness to make some gains in 2010 and perhaps even regain power in 2012.

    I’m a contrarian at heart – so I’m at my best when things appear bleakest and things look pretty bleak right now.

  10. Watcher of Weasels » Winners Discuss Topics the Media Refuses to Cover:

    [...] Second place with 2 votes – The Razor – If Obama Wins [...]

  11. The Glittering Eye » Blog Archive » The Council Has Spoken!:

    [...] the financial crisis, “Hurricane Subprime – Part I (1977-2000) ”. Second place honors went to The Razor for “If Obama Wins ”, for which I [...]

  12. dg:

    Obama’s economic program will not be nearly as liberal as the political campaign must portray it to accommodate the demands of retail politics. Think of Clinton’s successful trade and fiscal policies, with similarly moderate tax increases. This will not merely be determined by economic realities, although the capital markets will ultimately discipline the US finances more effectively than either side’s politicians, but also because the economic advisory team Obama has selected is very centrist and highly competent. For example, Jason Furman, a leading economic policy advisor, is a Rubin and Greenspan protege and was centrist enough to draw the ire of many Democratic operatives upon news of his elevation to the Obama team; he will not forget the historical lessons learned on punitive taxation nor the very recent ones related to rampant deficit spending.

    The Republican soul searching ought to extend beyond the rampant spending and widespread cronyism cited to a more fundamental examination of the state within a market economy and democratic society. The near-blind faith in markets and the dogmatic calls for low regulation of those markets has led to the current economic crisis, and conservatives must come to grips with this great unravelling of an economic ideology that was until very recently believed to be unassailable by liberals and conservatives alike. Similarly, the great disappointment of Iraq when compared to the original justifications of protecting the US from WMDs that did not exist, and of creating a thriving democracy in the Middle East which now seems quixotic, calls for a rethinking of the logic behind the muscular neoconservative arguments in favor of preemptive strikes and forced democratization. Perhaps only historians will be able to assess the scale upon which the Bush administration has cast doubt (justified and otherwise) upon core conservative principles, but they will likely view the end of Bush’s second term as the opposing bookend to Reagan’s electoral win in 1980.

  13. Cheat Seeking Missiles » Watcher’s Winners:

    [...] Our newest member, The Razor, came in second with a great piece on something we really don’t want to think about, If Obama Wins. [...]

  14. bullet:

    I’m sure that America would weather an Obama presidency just fine. I’m just not sure if my home or business would, and they both made it through Katrina! 🙂

  15. Trimegistus:

    This all sounds like Stockholm Syndrome thinking to me. “It won’t be so bad, really—and in the long run we’ll be better for it!” Phooey.

    An Obama Presidency will be a disaster for America and the world, and I’m not sure we can weather it safely.

    After four years of Obama, there won’t be a Republican party. The Democrats will direct Federal funds to ACORN and related groups to ensure that they never again lose an election. Their media apparatchiks will help. By the next election Republicans won’t be able to hold any Federal offices up for election, and will be struggling to hold state and local offices. America will be well on the way to being a one-party state like Venezuela.

    After four years of Obama Iraq will be a killing zone as Iranian proxies commit genocide against Sunnis and Kurds. Iran will be nuclear armed and untouchable, the dominant power in the Persian Gulf and the arbiter of world energy prices. Israel will be fighting for survival—if it lasts that long.

    After four years of Obama the global economy will be in permanent recession. His socialist experiments will cripple America, and with the biggest economy on the planet self-destructing everyone else will be struggling to survive. Political instability will sweep Asia, Africa, and Latin America just as in the 1970s—only this time it will be Iranian mullahs signing the rebels’ checks rather than the KGB.

    After four years of Obama conservative and patriotic voices in America will be silent. The Fairness Doctrine will silence talk radio, and Canadian style Human Rights Tribunals will squelch bloggers and print publications. It won’t even be safe to use email because Obama’s buddies at Google will have no trouble releasing the names and addresses of people sending private “hate speech” messages opposing the new regime. Enthusiastic youth volunteers will take care of anyone who doesn’t get the word to shut up.

    After four years of Obama the nightmare will just be beginning. The time to stop him is now, not four years from now or eight years from now. Now. While we can.

  16. The Razor » Blog Archive » If Obama Wins… Part 2:

    [...] is Part 2 of a series.  Part 1 can be found here.  [...]

  17. vinny:

    I was following you up to the terrorism issue. Placing Obama into the white house, will create an open road into our country for Iran, Venezuela, China, Cuba, and just about every marxist wannabe terrorist or dictator in this world. Our national security will be laughable, and our intelligence service will be defunct. The primary role for secret service will become to investigate Joe the plumbers and anyone else who dares to question Obama. It is not that Obama is so strong, it is that so many here are so incredibly willfully blind. I doubt there will ever be any our hope for them. America will become a 3rd world country, some in power will hoard public money, and the working American citizen will be left one hell of a mess to clean up.

  18. vinny:

    I don’t see a possible Obama presidency in such a rosy light as you folks. Just think of what Castro has done for Cuba, or more recently what Chavez has done for Venezuela. Obama in the White House will be a disaster.

  19. Scott Kirwin:

    You are equating the United States with over 200 years of democracy with countries like Iran and China that have never known the concept. While I share your fear of an Obama administration – especially on the issue of foreign policy which the President pretty much owns constitutionally (see this link for my take on that), I trust the Republic will survive.

    But it’s important to assess the likely extent of an Obama presidency and plan accordingly. Republicans should already be formulating a strategy for the Republican party to retake Congress in 2010 and retake the White House in 2012. We are likely to have our asses handed to us in two weeks, and it’s important for us to learn 1) why we failed and 2) how we can learn from our mistakes and present an alternative to the Obamanation in 2010.

    The first step must be to make an honest appraisal of ourselves followed closely by an honest appraisal of Obama and the Democrats. Obama cannot don a red beret and become Hugo Chavez no matter how much his supporters would like him to.

    If anything we should encourage his supporters to mythologize him even more so that expectations for his presidency are unachievable. Just don’t fall for the myth yourself when you do. That way Obama will lose his rock star status and be shown for what he is: a very lucky but average Chicago politician who has no concept about life of ordinary Americans.

    The Republicans need to spend the next four years showing how out of touch Obama and his leftist inner circle is – that Americans don’t eat aragula but prefer iceberg. That average Joe the Plumbers can’t afford to buy carbon offsets to justify lighting their 10000 square ft mansions. But I digress.

    In short, don’t get caught up in the hyperbole of an Obama administration. Encourage it, but recognize that when all is said and done, America is stronger than any leftist politician from Chicago.

    In the meantime, hang in there. It’s going to be a rough 2 years but remember: life is like a wheel; it all comes round.

  20. Philip Brandon:

    As a veteran, I have to confess that I’m amazed at the number of intelligent people I know who have been taken in by the Obama juggernaut. They either fail to see his blatant socialistic attitudes or they just plain don’t seem to care and the recent economic turmoil has caused them to only focus on their checkbook and 401k balances. They resort to name calling when confronted with coherent arguments as to why an Obama presidency would be a disaster and trumpet the name of Bill Clinton as the greatest President who ever lived. And then they hail Obama as the second coming of Bill Clinton.
    I’m an Independent and not the biggest fan of John McCain, but he will get my vote. I would honestly prefer that I had another choice, but I can only imagine the harm that an Obama presidency will cause this country. As for the election of 2012, I just hope there’s still a country left to reclaim if Obama wins in 2008. People have no idea as to the financial pain that lies ahead if he wins.

  21. Scott Kirwin:

    Thanks for your comment.
    I think that Americans have been spoiled by the freedom and prosperity that came about by the Reagan Revolution. Although I still hope that McCain wins, if Obama does indeed win I’m confident that within 4 years the Left wing will be discredited in a way that really hasn’t happened since Carter handed the keys to the White House over to Reagan.
    Having lived through the abject failure of the Carter administration myself, I am not in a hurry to return back to that time. However the Left is, and if the majority of the electorate agrees with them, then they deserve it too.

    Rest assured, however, that the Left will discredit itself. It knows how to oppose not govern.

  22. Jess:

    Does anyone remember how under the clinton adim the press corp was moved out of the west wing? this love affair with obama and the Media will end,and it will obamas’s own staff who will help divide the both of them.
    i’m afraid that once obamas staff starts getting the tuff questions and blows off the media , its only a matter of months before this match made in heaven is turned upside down. massive layoffs,people hungry in the streets,the class warfare phase and chaos in the finanicial markets will be on everyones minds.
    Senator Obamas cool look, wont look cool when things are coming apart around him.I think Obama will have to look more concerned than now or people will think he doesnt care, WOW be careful what you wish for.

  23. Sue:

    This article is spot on. I agree with everything said.

  24. Marie:

    Interesting comments,
    All of us are aware of the hardships this country has started heading into and regardless of who becomes president they are not going away.
    But this is America, “land of the free, home of the brave.”

    Most Americans come from humble beginnings and are working people and know how to hunker down when bad times come. Cutting down on unnecessary things. We hear about it everyday.
    The Retailers are feeling it already.

    I believe we are going to look at living our lives in a much simpler fashion than we have been doing. Start thinking about what’s really important. Because no matter what the government does or decides in the end our forefathers left us a legacy that we have a responsiblity to take care of & pass on to our children.

    I don’t believe that American’s are going to allow themselves to slip into Socialism or any “ism”.
    No matter what Obama decides to do I agree that the realities that await this country and the President will start overwhelming Obama once he is in office because he is not prepared.

    So I say everyone just hang on and get ready for the fight of your lives.

    I have voted already and realize that due to the media hype for Obama it’s been a tough fight for McCain to get his message out and I do admire his grit.

  25. The Razor » Blog Archive » If Obama Wins… Part 3:

    [...] is the final part of a three part series. Part 2 can be found here. Part 1 can be found here. A satire of the Obama presidency can be viewed [...]

  26. Steve:

    With all of the hate groups out there and the knotheads that are willing to do anything to stake their claim in the history books and with all the perverts who prey on the innocent and defensless…...what are the chances that someone will decide to impose “good Ol’ Southern Justice” if Obama wins? The rest of us law abiding citizens will have to spend the next four years enduring the gloating socialists and their crowing about being a “part of history”. Here’s an idea…why don’t we make history by standing up to all the race & hate rhetoric and quit cowering behind the curtain of political correctness. America’s slide towards Marzism is our own fault. We have allowed ourselves to be intimidated by Hollywood, racially predjudiced do-gooders with white guilt, and degenerates with their own personal agendas. I support the NRA and I believe the time will come when that will be our only weapon at hand to defend this wonderful country and our own personal freedom.
    If Obama wins….God Help Us and give us wisdom to choose the right path back to sanity and safety from the
    socialist steamroller. It will be extremely difficult, but it can be done.

  27. Karen:

    That previous entry titled “Steve” is so on target. All I can say is AMEN. The spread of Marxisim goes deeeper though—the ideals have penetrated our public education system and polluted the minds of the up and coming youth and young adults. I know—I’m a 45-year-old working on teacher certification at a small Colorado college, and the curriculum of the entire program promotes Marxism a la Bill Ayers. God Bless America, land that I love, stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with a light from above. God help us. Once freedom is lost, usually only bloodshed can bring it back. Sad, but true.

  28. Steve:

    Thank you for the kind words, Karen
    All is not lost….I am a so-called Bible thumper who firmly believes that ” that which is done with evil intent will result in benefit for those who seek the truth”
    49% of this great country didn’t fall for the liberal agenda and the exposure it got through this crazy election has been a wake up call to millions of people who believe what we believe.
    So hang in there & be strong…..you are part of the solution. You are in a grand position to make a huge difference in the lives of young people…..and that difference is eternal!

  29. If Obama Wins…. | Road Sassy:

    […] the title of a fine post by Scott Irwin at The Razor. He takes a sober look at some of the good that could come from a win […]

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