Shire Network News #175 has been released. The feature interview is with British foreign policy specialist and non-insane person (the two tend to be mutually exclusive these days) Robin Shepherd about a new TV documentary in which the UK’s foreign policy is portrayed as completely in thrall to sinister, shadowy "Zionist" businessmen, who manipulate politicians and journalists from the shadows. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.
Below is the text of my commentary.
Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News asking you to "Consider This!"
US President Barack Obama has been in office for 10 months now. While that’s not very long — heck, it’s barely long enough to win a Nobel Peace Prize — I think it’s worth taking stock of where he is on some of his campaign promises and Presidential goals.
Let’s start with the closing of the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He said he’d close it in a year, but two months away from that date even he doesn’t think that’s going to happen. But he did make a big splash when he moved Kalid Sheik Muhammed, the 9/11 mastermind, to the target of his mastermindedness, New York City, to try him in federal court, right alongside guys who commit mail fraud. Yes, the guy who planned the largest terror attack on the US is going down the same path as Nigerian scammers who send you letters promising you large sums of money. That seems adequate, no?
How about that lynchpin of his presidency, health care reform? Well, looks like the tough sell just keeps getting tougher. With only 38% of Americans favoring the plan proposed by Obama and the Democrats, this is looking like those mothers of yesteryear who gave you castor oil for what ails you. The worse it is, the better it must be for you.
Well then, how about the economy? Sounding very fiscally conservative, he told Fox News (yes, that Fox News), "It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession." What he failed to note is that he is the one adding to the debt. In a scene reminiscent of Mel Brooks’ "Blazing Saddles", he’s holding a gun to his head and threatening to pull the trigger if he doesn’t start behaving. In Washington these days, it’s not so much that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. It’s more like the left hand doesn’t even know there is a right hand.
Then there’s the idea that the world loves us now, all because Obama is the anti-Bush. A new day would dawn in foreign relations. Except that it’s not. In his recent trip to Asia, this self-proclaimed "first Pacific President" not only didn’t get any concessions from China, he participated in a press conference where questions were forbidden. Way to stand up to those Communists, Obama. Not even the eeevil Bush ever bowed, er, stooped that low. Later, he lost the participation of Japan in refueling US warships destined for Afghanistan. On the upside, he did get some pretty cool pictures of the Great Wall of China. I’m told that, from up in space, Barack Obama’s ego is visible to the naked eye.
Oh, there was almost a foreign policy win with Iran, to get it to ship its uranium to Russia to keep it from building bombs. Except that last week, shock of shocks, Iran reneged.
Well, never mind what the rest of the world thinks! They say they love us, but their actions say something else entirely. Let’s look at the domestic polls to see how his own people love him. There was such enthusiasm a year ago, when people flocked to elect the first African-American as President of the US. Well, since then, the bloom has fallen off the rose. His poll numbers dipped below 50% in November, 10 months after taking office with one of the higher initial ratings in recent history. Now, pretty much all Presidents get into this territory sooner or later; even Reagan hit it in 10 months. But that means that Barack Obama, the post-racial, feel-good, history-making, hope and change man of the hour is tied for the 3rd worst drop in ratings in the past half-century. The eeevil Bush took 37 months to make it there. Heck, Nixon took 25! Nixon!
So it appears, then, that The One(tm) has fallen short of wildly exaggerated expectations. Who’s to blame? I’d say the guy who set those expectations. A former Obama supporter has come out with a T-shirt of the iconic Obama poster with the word "Hope" on the bottom, but it’s smeared, as though painted in watercolors and then rained on. Below the word "Hope" is the phrase "is fading fast".
Something tells me that Obama is no different than he was just 10 short months and one Nobel Peace Prize ago. It’s just that people have now actually taken the time to see who he really is. I kinda’ wish, though, that they’d done this prior to the election. A new face in the Oval Office doesn’t make enemies lose their self-interest. Heck, it doesn’t even do that for allies! It doesn’t magically turn the economy around, nor make budget-busting proposals palatable (especially when you complain about budget-busting as though someone else is doing it). I’ll tell you one thing it does, though; it gets a populace to finally consider this.