Friday, January 04, 2008

Reheated Carterism.

As I said on Wednesday I think that the most likely next president of the United States is Barack Obama and his victory in Iowa strengthens that view. This is unfortunate because he will be completely crap in the office. There is a lot of talk about him representing a generational shift but his ideas are the most old fashioned out of any plausible candidate. He is the black Jimmy Carter. His domestic policy is a populist assortment of price controls, tariffs and inflexible labour laws, as Thomas Sowell puts it:
Senator Barack Obama recently said, “let’s allow our unions and their organizers to lift up this country’s middle class again.”
Ironically, he said it at a time when Detroit automakers have been laying off unionized workers by the tens of thousands, while Toyota has been hiring tens of thousands of non-union American automobile workers.
Senator Obama is being hailed as the newest and freshest face on the American political scene. But he is advocating some of the oldest fallacies, just as if it was the 1960s again, or as if he has learned nothing and forgotten nothing since then.

He thinks higher teacher pay is the answer to the abysmal failures of our education system, which is already far more expensive than the education provided in countries whose students have for decades consistently outperformed ours on international tests.
So Obama is an idiot on domestic policy, so what about Foreign policy? A lot of his support is because he opposed the war in Iraq, however whilst that conflict was heavily mismanaged for the first three years Obama's criticisms of the war had little bearing on the actual failings, unlike say John McCain who pinpointed the lack of troops as a major failing quite early on. His criticisms of Iraq don't stem from a seriously considering the limits of American power either, judging by his statements following the Benazir Bhutto assassination he appears to believe that the USA could if it ran it's foreign policy correctly end radical islamism in Pakistan, and could have done so in the six years from late 2001 to late 2007. He is simply not a serious man.

On either foreign or domestic policy it is hard to see how he differs in anyway from previously failed presidents like Jimmy Carter or Lyndon Johnson. However he has a highly telegenic personality and will be able to package his polices as serious thoughtful measures, proving that you can in fact polish a turd.


Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Maybe they should do without a President this time round.

Ross said...

Yeah, then they would effectively be in a parliamentary system and they could be governed by an American equivalent of Gordon Brown. In fact lets be extra generous to the Americans and offer to let them have Brown anyway.