I stayed up Tuesday night and watched both Hillary’s and Obama’s speeches. Both of them were very good in their own ways. I was particularly stuck by what Obama had to say regarding the lack of any actions on the country’s many problems. He said that years have gone by, and nothing has been done about health care, our dependence on foreign oil, exporting jobs overseas, etc. He’s absolutely right. Congress has fiddled while Washington burns.
However, it will take more than Obama, Hillary, or McCain to begin to make the changes we need. The reasons for this are as follows:
(1) The President, powerful as he is, is still limited quite a bit because of our system of checks and balances. The President is highly dependent on Congress to pass anything he proposes. Looking back at John F. Kennedy, he talked a good line but got very little through Congress. It took LBJ, the consummate politician and insider, to get anything passed (and we’re still paying the price of his Great Society).
(2) Congress is owned by the special interests, and won’t go against the oil companies, the insurance companies, and other powerful business interests. So the people’s business rarely gets done, unless our interests happen to coincide with the interests of the powerful special groups. We need a complete turnover of Congress to get anything of substance done.
(3) While Obama talks a good line, we have to remember he’s one of the most liberal people in Congress, so he’ll follow the left-wing social agenda rather than tackle the tough issues. He’ll be more interested in gay rights than in reducing our dependence on foreign oil or stopping the exporting of jobs overseas. Since leftists are anti-business, he’ll do more to discourage job formation than prevent the hemorrhaging of jobs out of this country.
(4) For all the promises of getting the troops out of Iraq, no President in his right mind is going to create a power vacuum in that region. Since we created this mess and disrupted the power balance in the region, we now have to see this through. Hopefully McCain will be able to manage the Iraq situation more skillfully than that idiot George Bush has done (I’m assuming McCain will be elected because of the Democratic Party divisions).
More on government incompetence in a future post.