Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Obama Administration: What to Look For (Part 1)

It’s still three weeks away from Nov. 4, and yes, anything can happen, but right now--barring some kind of a super-major international incident--voters will more than likely put Barak Obama into the White House. McCain started getting traction early in September, until the economic freefall on Wall Street sideswiped his campaign. McCain would have been politically wiser to opposed the $700 billion bailout plan when it was first offered, and highlight the Democrat’s major role in keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from being put under sensible regulations that he called for in the Senate. For all intents and purposes, it’s water under the bridge now. For the best handle on how the race will wind up, you may want to check the Evans-Novak Political Report, which is usually very reliable in its election predictions--and for McCain-Palin supporters, it doesn’t look good.

So it may be wiser for me at this point to give a good preview of what we may be looking for in an Obama administration. We do have a precedent in recent history: a Democratic candidate who is a neophyte so far as national politics is concerned; who claims a fervent Christian belief in the face of some non-Christian stands; and who rides to power while the Republican candidate struggles with the albatross of an unpopular president around his neck. The year was 1976, and the new president was former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter.

International scene
Jimmy Carter became most famous for his Human Rights Campaign, which Carter seemed to apply only to faithful allies, while ignoring more serious human rights abuses in bigger states like the Soviet Union and China. This planted the seeds for the overthrow of the Shah of Iran--by no means the most humanitarian leader, but nonetheless a faithful ally to the U.S. in the volatile Middle East--and the takeover by the Ayatollah Khomeini (an even more evil dictator), whom Carter’s UN ambassador, Andrew Young, likened to a saint, even in the months immediately preceding the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by student radicals (one of which was likely the current nutty president of Iran, who Obama wants to meet with “without precondition”). Carter’s inconsistency in his foreign policy helped stoke this crisis; after helping to undermine the Shah, he decided to allow the Shah into the U.S. for medical treatment (to show he was “tough“ after all), which enraged the Ayatollah and his Iranian followers, leading to the embassy takeover. Had Carter been consistent, he would have sent the Shah to Mexico City instead for the treatment.

The worst part was, of course, Carter’s decision to negotiate for the hostage’s release, instead of taking military action (aside from a poorly-planned rescue attempt) which more than likely would have nipped the Islamic Revolution in the bud. We’re now still paying for Carter’s weak leadership, as this revolution has spread and inspired the formation of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.

And we can plan to pay for Obama’s weak leadership in foreign policy as well. More than likely, he’ll bring back veterans from previous Democratic administrations for more inept foreign policy decisions. And no doubt, terrorists and dictators will “test” Obama and find he will do nothing to really stop them. And should there be another terrorist attack on U.S. soil (there has been zero such attacks since Sept. 11, 2001 thanks to President Bush), we can look for an imitation of the Clinton administration’s “law enforcement” approach that Obama bragged about (he claimed this approach led to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993--maybe he forgot to notice the fact that the towers no longer exist).

Yes, it will be an interesting first two years on the world scene: the Islamic nations will no doubt be cheering Obama’s victory, while bully states including Russia start gobbling up more territory, knowing the Great Leader will do nothing to stop them. Look for China to take even more aggressive action against Taiwan. Obama will, of course, take action--largely “symbolic” actions--such as Carter’s boycotting of the 1980 Moscow Olympics in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Voltaire once said that there is nothing more frightening to witness than ignorance in action, and we’ll be seeing those words come to life on the world scene with the junior senator from Illinois in the Oval Office “leading” America (and I’ll be sure to remind those who harped about VP candidate Sarah Palin’s lack of foreign policy experience--while ignoring Obama’s inexperience--to eat their words).

Next: The Domestic Agenda

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