by McQ | October 13, 2008 5:15 pm
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, despite the fact that the economic crisis breaks on the side of the Democrats, I’m not sure, at least in this case, that’s a net advantage. David Broder is looking down the road as well and sees pretty much the same thing. He feels that if Obama does win (and, frankly, the same would be true if McCain won) he may have the shortest honeymoon in the history of the presidency:
But in a few weeks, the winner of the election will take custody of the problem, and his name and reputation — not Bush’s — will be on the line.
The fallout from this financial collapse will be felt in so many ways one can hardly begin to describe them. Old allies such as Britain, France and Germany that have been dragged into this morass by the United States will think twice about following our lead on anything.
Adversaries such as Iran and Russia may be tempted to test us, knowing that our resources are depleted and our people distracted. And here at home, political dilemmas will crowd the scene.
If, as seems likely, the economic crisis swells the ranks of Democrats in the House and Senate, the new president will face an early test: Repair the battered financial system or move ahead on the Democrats’ domestic agenda.
The numbers in the first budget Obama would have to prepare will look scary indeed. The deficit could approach an unimaginable trillion dollars. His economic advisers would undoubtedly counsel him that he must, at all costs, signal to the world that he will impose the kind of discipline needed to prevent runaway inflation and a run on the dollar.
But the larger the Democratic majorities, the greater the pressure will be to deliver promptly on the promises Obama has made in the campaign.
That first paragraph is what many on the left don’t seem to understand. After so many years of blaming everything on Bush, they don’t seem to realize that an Obama victory changes that forever. It will change from being a Bush/Republican problem to a Obama/Democrat problem. The party that was so good at sniping for 8 years will suddenly be in the “put up or shut up” position of fixing the mess.
Caught between the promises of a vast and costly domestic agenda favored by Democrats and Obama and the financial crisis which can’t be ignored, some very hard choices are going to have to be made and, yes, real leadership displayed.
Trillion dollar deficits? Or deep and lasting spending cuts? The abandonment of the trillion dollar domestic agenda, or the plunge into even more deficit spending, the suspension of PAYGO and indulgence in the political pork necessary to hopefully ensure reelection?
Would a President Obama have the courage to say, when speaking of existing and planned programs, “we can’t afford that right now”, or would he use of smoke and mirrors to pursue his agenda on even a reduced level because of the perceived political necessity (benefit?) of doing so?
And after promising tax cuts for 95% of Americans, given the financial situation, will he actually be able to keep that pledge? Or will we hear a Clintonesqe disavowal claiming the situation has changed and the promise can’t be kept (and in fact, taxes must be raised)?
Last but not least, given the investment by the voters in his promises of “hope” and “change” how will he deliver on those promises under the conditions which will prevail?
And that all assumes a very calm and tranquil world, which is extremely unlikely as well. In fact, what is more likely is rogue and upstart nations will do things to test the mettle of a new and inexperienced president. Tis the way of the world.
To begin with, I’ve always thought that anyone who actually sought this job should have their heads examined. In the case of this particular election, I’m not so sure the person who comes out on top will actually end up being “the winner”. What I do believe, however, is he’ll be no more than a one-term president.
[Crossposted at QandO]
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