Political commentator Peter Beinart recently wrote that Americans have two desires, “for freedom and for order.” Unfortunately, the next four years promise neither. Obama will soon have too much power over Congress with too little experience and an agenda more liberal than America has seen since the ’30s.
Checks and balances have failed: The Democrats now have more seats in the House of Representatives than they have had since 1993; they already have a 58 seat majority in the Senate. If the undecided seats are won by the Democrats they will be “filibuster-proof” and have complete control over Capitol Hill’s agenda. Americans now must depend on Obama’s promise to reach across the aisle and work with the Republicans. However, his appointment of the legendary “win-at-any-cost” Congressman Rahm Emanuel suggests he may be gearing up for a fight that he will certainly win.
Although Congress is ready to get in line behind their new leader, the economy is not. The Rockefeller Institute calculates real tax revenue in the third quarter fell below 2007 levels in 74% of the states that released figures. New York state is facing a $12.5 billion deficit next year. Obama claims his top priorities are middle-class tax cuts, repairing the fundamentally flawed healthcare system and educational reforms. The borrow and spend strategy is the same that world leaders have been using for the past decade, the same strategy that, some argue, triggered today’s financial crisis.
A good senator seizes as many grants as possible for his state. A good president does not. Obama needs to accept that, despite his liberal ideology, some businesses should fail. Already, the President-elect is working with Bush in an attempting to negotiate a $50 billion bailout of the three largest car producers in America that are hemorrhaging funds. As the notorious Ted Turner put it, “We can’t keep every loser alive.”
Obama’s campaign was fun. Now we need to grow up. We have a freshmen senator who votes “present” to avoid an unpopular voting record. Campaigns can run on aspirations. Administrations can’t.