August 27, 2010

August 26, 2010

We've Made a Deal: America Picks Door Number 2

By Larrey Anderson

In the next few years, one of two doors will open in America. Door Number 1: Progressive thought will be proven correct. America's economy will bounce back, and we will become a semi-socialist, politically correct paradise -- much like the European Union pretends to be. Or Door Number 2: America will face several years of extreme economic suffering and corresponding political upheaval at all levels of government.

Notice that there is no door number 3 in this deal -- i.e., Republicans make gains in the House and Senate in the 2010 elections and make America peachy-keen. Not yet. If the political stars are perfectly aligned, maybe 2012. Let's get the 2010 pipe dream out of the way before we see what's behind doors 1 and 2.

Less than ninety Democrat seats in the House are (realistically) up for grabs. At most, the GOP could win about fifty of those districts. Optimistically, this means a GOP-run House with a minimal majority probably led by Speaker of the House John Boehner. This is the same John Boehner who called the first TARP bill a "crap sandwich" and then voted for it...twice.

Imagine, in a year or two, Timothy Geithner screaming to a GOP-controlled House that the banking system sky is falling (again) -- and that if the Treasury doesn't get a trillion bucks, the financial system will collapse. The, most likely, Democrat-controlled Senate is chomping at the bit to "save" America. What is to stop Boehner from eating another crap sandwich? He's already had one.

On the Senate side, only a third of the members are, as always, up for reelection in 2010. It is highly unlikely that the GOP will win control of the Senate. But if it does, the usual suspects will be in charge. Any new "Tea Party" senators will not have much clout.

Let us grant conservatives' sincere wish that every elected GOP member of both Houses will have his or her "come to Jesus" moment after the 2010 elections. Every one of them will strive to do everything possible to get us back to solid constitutional ground -- a real federal government with absolute respect for the Ninth and Tenth Amendments applied to every piece of legislation. President Obama (remember him?) will be sitting in the Oval Office for two more years with both his veto pen and the power to appoint federal judges.

At best, there will be a political stalemate in D.C. until 2012. Worse, the leadership of the GOP will do what it has always done: extend a hand of fellowship across the aisle -- only to be bitten and take the fall. And worst, the GOP might be successfully blamed for causing the stalemate. The Democrats and Obama would then be fully back in charge in 2012.

Does anyone really believe the GOP will out-spin the Democrats during the next two years in the mainstream media? And that (enter your favorite GOP presidential candidate's name here) _________ will beat Obama in 2012 -- unless the economy has clearly tanked and/or there is a huge crisis in foreign affairs?

ObamaCare is already in place. It will slowly come online. (Don't think for a moment that this was not done intentionally.) There is almost nothing the GOP can do to stop it. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will be insolvent. Because of the gridlock, real reform in any of these crucial areas will be all but impossible during the next two years.

Unless Israel pulls off a miracle, Iran will probably have nukes. America, and the rest of the West, will depend more and more on an increasingly unstable Middle East for energy. Foreign policy will remain in the hands of our current Commander in Chief.

Toss in a number of other facts, like the ban on offshore drilling and EPA's regulation of carbon dioxide, and we are back to reality: the 2010 elections aren't going to save America. What will happen?

Door Number 1: Liberalism will work. We have had nearly five hundred years of socialist promises of a Utopia -- that government can fix anything if it spends enough of our money [i]. We now have almost five hundred years of historical and economic evidence that this is not true. Woe to ye of little faith. Just because something is improbable doesn't mean it is impossible.

"We are the ones we have been waiting for." Obama meant it when he said this (over and over again). Perhaps "we" are the utopian ones. Maybe Obama's crack economic team has nailed down the multiplier effect of John Maynard Keynes. This is the economic hallucinogen that envelops the Obama administration -- when the government borrows and then spends money, that very same money magically multiplies and creates even more money (over and over again). It's possible.

And maybe all those windmills we see popping up everywhere will fulfill our energy needs, create millions of new jobs, save the planet, provide cheap and reliable energy, and allow all of us to plug in and drive, for almost forty miles, our Government Motors Volt for free! (After the buyer coughs up forty grand, plus dealer fees, taxes, title fees, doc fees, and licensing.) It's possible.

The problem with this scenario is that it is not probable. The existence of Door Number 1 is barely more probable than a leprechaun granting a wish, or Santa Claus coming to town. Socialist utopians have been performing this same song and dance routine for five hundred years. Have the "ones we've been waiting for" got it right this time? It's possible -- but not in the least probable.

That leaves us, for now, with Door Number 2. This is a door we don't want to open. But we built it. Democrats hammered away as fast as they could -- always believing they were building Door Number 1. Republicans worked a little bit slower -- not knowing, most of the time, what the hell they were constructing.

Americans convinced themselves, for years, they would not have to exit through this portal. A quarter of us still believe that Door Number 2 is, really, Door Number 1. It is not. Door Number 2 is completely finished, and presently, it's the only egress available.

Someday we may elect politicians with the courage to cut federal spending by 40% [ii], privatize Social Security and medical care, and transfer a host of federal programs back to our states and local governments. But not yet. We haven't had the political willpower in the past to take these necessary steps. And with all due respect to the magnificent warriors in the Tea Parties, whose efforts will be sorely needed in the future, we don't have the politicians with the guts to do it now.

We exit through Door Number 2 because we have allowed our politicians to build it. It is our only choice. And what's outside Door Number 2 is not pretty.

Larrey Anderson is a writer, philosopher, and submissions editor for American Thinker. He is the author of The Order of the Beloved, and the memoir Underground. His next book, The Idea of the Family, will examine the role of procreation in human self-awareness.

[i] Thomas More coined the word "Utopia" in a book by that title in 1516. Questions remain about whether More penned the book purely as satire. Whatever More's intentions, progressives have been pursuing the socialistic dream portrayed in the work ever since it's publication. With rare exceptions (some of the Scottish philosophers, like Adam Smith, and our Founding Fathers' beloved John Locke) political philosophy has been dominated by utopian socialism.

[ii] A 40% cut in federal spending is about what it would take to balance the current budget.

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