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The (Non-Conservative) Opposition PE-BHO Faces

November 8, 2008

The Wall Street Journal had a wonderful piece regarding the troubles that PE-BHO will face when he becomes PO. 

 

Meet the President-elect’s real opposition:

David Obey. The Appropriations Chairman wants to slash defense spending as a money grab for more social programs and entitlements. Fellow spender Barney Frank recently added that a military budget cut of 25% was about right. A military crash diet wouldn’t leave the funds for the surge in Afghanistan that Mr. Obama advocates, and it’s a sure way to hand the national security issue back to the GOP.

Chuck Schumer. The Senate Democrat and his friends are already threatening banks if they don’t lend more money instantly under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Other political masters want to use Tarp to nationalize large swaths of U.S. industry such as the Detroit auto makers or to bail out states like New York that are in debt. If Mr. Obama doesn’t want to have to pass a Tarp II, he’ll have to say no.

George Miller. Some Democrats are starting to target the tax subsidies for 401(k)s and other private retirement options. Mr. Miller, who heads the House Education and Labor Committee, calls them “a big failure” and recently held a hearing to ponder alternatives, including nationalizing pensions and replacing them with special bonds administered by Social Security. The proposal has also caught the eye of Jim McDermott, who chairs the relevant Ways and Means subcommittee. Mr. Obama won big with his promise of tax cuts for the middle class, which doesn’t square with attacks on middle-class nest eggs.

John Conyers. The man running House Judiciary is cheerleading the Europeans who want to indict Bush officials for war crimes. Other Democrats are thinking about hearings and other show trials. This is far from the postpartisan reconciliation that Mr. Obama preaches.

Henry Waxman. With President Bush soon to be out of office, the Californian’s team of Inspector Clouseaus at House Oversight won’t have any “scandals” left to pursue. The word in Washington is that Mr. Waxman is looking to unseat John Dingell as Chairman of Energy and Commerce, in order to shove aside a global warming moderate. That could pave the way for huge new energy taxes. Voters will punish Mr. Obama if they get hammered every time they fill up the gas tank or buy groceries.

Pete Stark. The Chairman of a crucial House subcommittee dealing with health care doesn’t think Mr. Obama’s proposal to significantly federalize the insurance market goes far enough. He wants a single-payer system like Canada’s. Mr. Obama may want to strike a deal with Senate Republicans on health care, but Mr. Stark will be pulling him left at every turn.

All of these feudal lords — and many others — also come with their own private armies: the interest groups that compose the money and manpower of today’s Democratic Party. The American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch and others on the anti-antiterror left want Mr. Obama to limit the surveillance and other tools that have prevented another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense will insist on onerous caps — that is, taxes — on coal and other carbon energy. Those won’t help Mr. Obama carry Ohio and Indiana again in four years.

With these people keeping a check on Obama as well as the netroots, it is going to be hard for him to govern effectively. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday regarding whose administration the PO’s will be modeled after. While conventional wisdom has indicated that PO will try to mold himself after Clinton or FDR or even Kennedy, my friend made an argument that the PE-BHO wants to be the Democrat Reagan. He wants to be re-elected with overwhelming numbers and loved by an overwhelming majority. It makes complete sense, when the Discovery Channel had its “Greatest American” special a few years back, Ronald Reagan was ranked number one  and obviously the four contributors of this site owe our beliefs and philosophy to the man. 

Obama will want to create a coalition of 49 states like Reagan did in 1984:

 

1984 Electoral Map

1984 Electoral Map

To do so, he obviously has a lot of people to win over and would need to move to the center or center-right. With those people mentioned above, he will have a hard time doing so – especially in light of his press conference yesterday and his starting position.

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