Doubling Down on Audacity, or: On President Hillary

It’s an open secret that the Obama presidency stinks on ice. Nick Gillespie of the libertarian Reason mag prophetically came up with the locution as early as April of 2009:

Question to the folks, including some of the libertarian persuasion (you fools!), who were bullish on Obama back when the alternative was John McCain, the Terri Schiavo of presidential candidates: When are you going to admit that Barry O stinks on ice? That for all his high-flying and studiously empty rhetoric he’s got the biggest presidential vision deficit since George H.W. Bush puked on a Japanese prime minister (finally, revenge for that long run of Little League World Series losses in the ’70s!).

Google “Obama” and “stinks on ice” and you’re rewarded with an avalanche.

You fools. But that’s not to say Americans think John McCain would have been a better president. Me neither; albeit an unapolegetic gentleman of the right, there’s a limit to partisanship and what I can say with a straight face. Americans sensed there was something not quite right with Sen. McCain, and his first two executive decisions, his choice of VP and ditching the campaign trail in reaction to the budget crisis, showed an astonishing lack of prudence, the thing we need most in a Commander-in-Chief.

In a recent Bloomberg poll, “Twenty-nine percent say things would be better if McCain were president, while 28 percent say things would be about the same and 35 percent say the nation would be in worse shape.”

There’s little nostalgia for what might have been with a President McCain. 29 percent represents the GOP hard core more or less. By contrast, “34 percent say things would be better under a [Hillary] Clinton administration, [with] almost half — 47 percent — saying things would be about the same and 13 percent say worse.”

Now, the crosstabs are limited, but I think there’s less than meets the eye here. 44% of the Tea Party types [27%, according to the poll] went Hillary over Obama. If they hate McCain as much as he hates them, the better numbers for a Hillary presidency over a McCain presidency start to reconcile right out of the box.

Me, I think Mrs. Bill Clinton was arguably the best of the three. Unlike BHO, she knew where the White House bathrooms are, and unlike McCain [metaphorically] and her husband [literally], she knows how to keep it in her pants. Hillary is a statesman.

[I was going to do more analysis and crosstabbing on the Bloomberg poll because it’s been a 24/7 news hit, but you know, I found its 45% approval for BHO a high outlier, its questions leading, and its poll sample highly questionable, like 27% reporting income above $100K, where the true nat’l number is perhaps a third less. Polls. Whatever.]

Back to BHO, I think Gillespie was rather wrong—Candidate Obama had a vision for this country.

President Obama is right back on the trail with what is putatively a “jobs bill,” but its main feature is raising taxes on the rich. Dude has a serious bug up his ass about “wealth inequality.” Wealth “equality,” the bastard child of “the rich must pay their fair share?”

My problem is, I dunno what a “fair share” is, and I’ve never been moved by arguments of “tax fairness,” whether it be from the right [too much] or left [too little]. Whatever works. We all benefit from a country at relative peace, roads, running water and sewers, food that probably won’t kill you and almost uncountable other little things. Let’s get real. If Bill Gates had spent most of his adult life in the crapper with dysentery, you wouldn’t even be reading this on yr computer screen about now.

The capital gains tax, on money made not of a man’s labor but the money he already has [or inherited or stole] is the last thing I’d consider as sacred. 15%? 50%? Whatever works, and fills the public treasury to the maximum and most efficient degree.

The last thing anyone should hold sacred for its own sake is money. So guess what’s on the block? Capital gains. “The Buffett Rule,” “The Millionaire Tax.” We all sort of agree that we shouldn’t tax a Bill Gates or Warren Buffett on the way up, but when do we decide he’s stopped creating wealth for all of us and he’s on the way down, and it’s time to hit him bigtime?

This new Obamajob thing. Will it create jobs? Can it ever pass? It doesn’t even matter anymore. I’m not one for psychoanalyzing pols, esp the guy who sits in The Big Chair. We all got our mishigas. But one thing I’ve noticed in life is when somebody gives a pontifical self-analysis, believe the 180.

“I think one of the criticisms that is absolutely legitimate about my first two years was that I was very comfortable with a technocratic approach to government … a series of problems to be solved. …

Carter, Clinton and I all have sort of the disease of being policy wonks.”

Um, no, 180. Clinton and arguably Carter were policy wonks. From the first, BHO left the details to others, even the drafting of his signature achievement, the Obamacare bill. BHO is completely disinterested in whether something will work, although I’m sure he hopes it will. That’s an ideologue, “vision” up the wazoo, Mr. Gillespie.

Even now, there is no Obamajobs bill. Pass it, said President Obama, a week ago. “If you love me,” at that. I suppose the American people could call to double down on the audacity of electing him in the first place, if only the bill existed in the first place.

Let’s pass it anyway. What could possibly go wrong?

[This is not to say the GOP won’t come up with somebody as bad as McCain in 2012 and BHO still won’t be the better choice. At least he knows where the White House bathrooms are now. This is no small thing, metaphorically speaking.]

Tom Van Dyke

Tom Van Dyke, businessman, musician, bon vivant and game-show champ (The Joker's Wild, and Win Ben Stein's Money), knows lots of stuff, although not quite everything yet. A past contributor to The American Spectator Online, the late great Reform Club blog, and currently on religion and the American Founding at American Creation, TVD continues to write on matters of both great and small importance from his ranch type style tract house high on a hill above Los Angeles.


      • Yeah, I’m going to sound like a broken record here (a record? what’s a record, Grandpa?), but I think posts like this one should get cross-posted to the League page. Probably E.D. is the one to ask, but it seems to me that the one-off posts like the one directly below this are better for the sub-blogs and the longer think pieces like this one work well for cross-posting. I actually had the same thought with your colleague’s recent post about abortion, which I believe just showed up here. Anyway, I liked this one too.

          • Merci, gents. I’ve been on hiatus for several years from politics in essay-length form. This is fun, and I’m in Mr. Kelly’s debt for spurring me to rediscover my inner O’Rourke. You can get innings in for your POV if you opt for the bon mot over the banal.

            To call BHO a socialist or Jimmy Carter Jr. is a snooze. Far more devastating that he’s not even a Jimmy Carter.

            As for cross-posting to the mainpage, I think I’m on double-secret probation or something. Any intercessions with the dean are appreciated in advance.

            Again, thx to those here gathered for making the trip worthwhile.

  1. TVD,
    did you miss who quit McCain’s campaign when Hillary stepped down?
    The right has this wonderful tendency to be able to come up with Hillary Nutcrackers and other sexist crapola, and then venerate her because she didn’t win.

    Hillary has become the voice for Reagan Democrats. Which kinda-sorta makes sense.

    I’m anti-Hillary, because she was senator from NEW YORK STATE. We were better off choosing the unknown, and probably blackmailable, then the person who was already buddy-buddy with the hedge funds.

  2. Great piece. I am starting to think of you as kind of a principled pragmatist, which I hope you don’t take as an insult.

    I have been hearing a lot of people ask the ‘What if Hillary…’ question these days. A question I always wonder is ‘What if Obama…’ – meaning the guy that Obama touted himself as being, that would clean the slate and start from scratch. At the time I wanted that. Would it have been better, in retrospect? I don’t know that I have figured out where I stand on that question.

  3. There’s not very much love for John McCain and there’s good reason for that. But out of those three I’d still take him. Under President McCain we don’t have PPACA and that makes all the difference.

  4. “Um, no, 180. Clinton and arguably Carter were policy wonks. From the first, BHO left the details to others, even the drafting of his signature achievement, the Obamacare bill. BHO is completely disinterested in whether something will work, although I’m sure he hopes it will.”

    And before I forget, +1 to this.

Comments are closed.