Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Daddy's Big Shoes

As Barack Sulks
By now, we must all have grown weary of the trend in television commercials that portray children as the cool brains behind the family at the expense of Mom and Dad. Oh come on, you've seen them...youngster strapped into the car seat in the back of the vehicle, hawking products that Mom up there (driver's seat) is too dense to appreciate.

It seems that denigrating the wisdom of age has become fashionable, and the inherent restraint of that wisdom archaic. It's almost like advocating for Junior to spend at will upon finding his parents' checkbook full of signed, blank checks. While the thought of adults actually pre-signing blank checks - which can easily fall into the wrong hands - is unconscionable, the temptation on Junior's part is equally understandable, albeit impossible to condone. Yet we have basically done that very thing with President Obama.

The country elected a man directly from the U.S. Senate, a rarity in and of itself, and did so rather convincingly. The fact that he had not even completed a full year in the Senate before deciding to run for the White House seemed not to matter to an electorate decidedly ill informed. There was "history" to be made, after all, and as is usually the case in any rush to make the record books, this bid for the books may rank higher than Obama's youth at taking office, but only in the bad-results category.

Obama may have been the fifth youngest president to inhabit the White House - falling behind only Grant, Clinton, Kennedy and Teddy Roosevelt - but his qualifications for leadership pale in comparison to those of these four younger men. Grant was a United States Army General, Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas for eight years, Kennedy commanded two torpedo boats in the South Pacific in World War II  before serving 13 years in the Senate, as well as six years in the House, and Teddy Roosevelt was the Police Commissioner of New York City, Governor of New York, and Vice President under William McKinley.

Big Shoes to Fill
Barack Hussein Obama was a community organizer, Illinois State Senator, and briefly a U.S. Senator. He's never commanded combat troops, he's never run a state budget, he's never been in a position to actually run anything or decide anything. In fact, it might be safe to say, the only thing Obama has ever commanded is attention.

This is the man who is calling on the 112th session of Congress to "act like grownups". Democrats can try as they might to blame our current fiscal mess on the previous administration, but the numbers don't lie. Bush 43, despite the challenges that strained our nation in his two terms, enjoyed a comparatively robust economy until the Democrats regained both chambers of Congress.

Obama's election during his own parties control of Congress is analogous to a young boy finding those signed checks while being egged on by the neighborhood teens seeking a good time. And now that Mom and Dad have decided to put a halt to it, the "kid" says they should grow up?

Speaker Boehner is leading the Republican charge to hold fast for deep budget cuts. With the prospect of a government "shutdown" looming on Friday, Obama says that this is no "time for trying to score political points and maneuvering… Not on this.” Considering that a government shutdown is largely symbolic - police will still patrol, traffic lights will still function, etc. - and 86% of the people favor a shutdown over a compromise on spending cuts, now is the perfect time for political points.

Now is the perfect time to stop the insane spending of our government, and return to fiscal sanity.

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1 comment:

Justin said...

This is an absolutely spectacular post! I especially appreciated the historical context you place on President Obama's inexperience. I didn't realize that Grant, Roosevelt, and Clinton were all younger than Obama when taking office...but I had made the observation to my dad that, while Kennedy was also elected from the Senate, he had AT LEAST had the war-time experience of people's lives depending upon his personal leadership and decisions. Obama has NEVER had to bear the sort of responsibility that falls on his shoulders now...and, regrettably, we're all seeing just how narrow those shoulders are.