Monday, January 11, 2010

I Told You So

As the back rooms in the White House and Congress are currently filled with high-level Democrats making deals on the healthcare bill, we are being treated to blatantly partisan politics to a degree probably not seen since the days of the first Adams administration. The following snippet from ReasonTV is a good summary of the rampant hypocrisy that seems to trouble no one in power:

I hate to say "I told you so," but I did warn about what would happen if Barack Obama was elected president, long ago in this post. I first noted that the choice we were being given was no choice at all, since both candidates -- McCain and Obama -- were equally bad choices. I likened the process of electing one of them to the highest office in the land to a giant game of "Chicken":

I submit that the presidential election has come down to a great big game of "Chicken." Two groups of voters, who constitute by far the majority (the second largest group will be those who elect not to vote at all), are literally egging each other on: "Your candidate stinks! I dare you to vote for that candidate of yours! Go ahead---but if you do, then I'm going to vote for ours! So there---that will teach you to vote for a [fill in your epithet of choice]. I can do it, too!"

Sounds childish? It is. Given what we all now know, the rational choice on November 4 should be: "Neither of the above. Go back to the drawing board and give us better choices." Instead, however, we all hold our collective noses and vote, consoling ourselves by saying under our breath: "Maybe it will be better next time." (As for those voters who genuinely believe that their candidate will do what he promises, well, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.)
Right -- so you didn't actually believe Obama when he guaranteed to have the negotiations over the healthcare bill televised on C-SPAN, did you?

Then I warned what would happen under an Obama presidency, given that he was from an academic background, with zero practical experience in running a business, let alone a whole country:

(Note to Democrats: If Obama wins, any attempt at a radical agenda might succeed for the first 100 days or so, but then will come the inevitable backlash, and the special interests will eat each other up in the ensuing melee. Obama will not be strong (or experienced) enough to pick a course and stay with it, and Pelosi and Reid will move greedily into the power vacuum his vacillations will create. Think Washington is a jungle now? Just you wait.)

As I say, I hate to have to say it, but I told you so.


  1. Dear Mr. Haley,

    Yes, you did tell us so. And at the time you did I believed (and still do) that you were right. I also fully agreed with you as to the nature of the differences between McCain and Obama (what differences?).

    For which reasons I voted in the primary for the only candidate whose approach to governance in a democracy makes any sense at all, and is the only elected national official who has a demonstrated history of voting as he says he will—a certain Representative from Texas and former physician. When he wasn't selected to represent his party, I voted in the general election for the next closest, in the sense of political philosophy, to the person I described above, the candidate of a third party, and the only one in the running at that time whose philosophy of government actually accords with my own.

    The unfortunate thing about your prediction is that you were correct. It does not speak well for the engagement with reality of the majority of voters in the U.S. Our nation may or may not be given the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past century, which simply culminated in the election of the current incumbent.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  2. Unfortunately, "I told you so" is not particularly helpful at this point. I too foresaw most of what has come to pass, but what I still do not see is what to do about it.

    We are where we are. If we are to survive as a nation in any semblance at all to the nation that we have been, someone must step forward and exert some real leadership. I do not see any suitable candidate anywhere in sight. This is the greatest void I think I have ever seen in my nearly 70 years. There is a true leadership vacuum in America today. All of our past leaders are suspect for what they have done, for the lies they have told and the treachery they have clearly committed. We are desperately in need of true, honest, humble leaders with clean hands who wish to serve America. Where are they?

  3. Martial Artist and Dr. D, thank you for your comments. As you both note, it is no good thing to be able to say that we each were correct. Nevertheless, the fact that we were gives us more authority to speak in the current situation than those who simply went with the crowd.

    The current void in leadership will be filled -- of that I am certain. The question is whether it will be leadership of the kind that is needed, or only more of the same kind that has brought us to this pass.

    While the Democrat leaders fight over the spoils, the voters are deserting them in droves. (Look at the incredible turnaround in the Senate race in Massachusetts!) By this fall, we will need to have built upon that seismic shift away from the official leadership, so that any endorsement from Reid or Pelosi will be seen as the kiss of death. The wonderful thing about mid-term elections is that those on the outside do not need to actually win anything, but need only prevail enough to see that those on the inside lose sufficient seats to ensure that they cannot stay in power.

    If Pelosi and Reid lose their majorities, they will be out, regardless of what else happens. The ones who take their place will be mere caretakers, or position holders, until the real election, in 2012. And if we knock out Reid and Pelosi in 2010, Obama will not have anybody he can play Chicago-style politics with until it is his turn to face the angry voters in 2012.

    By then there will have been plenty of time and opportunity for a real leader to emerge from the pack.

    Just prognosticating . . . (can't stop; it's too fascinating to watch the entrenched leadership self-destruct).

  4. I wasn't reading you very much back in 2008 so I missed these forcasts. You were spot on with your prognostications. I did vote for McCain only because I thought that his administration would be one we could more easily recover from if we found true leadership.

    I am afraid that will still not happen unless there is a seismic shift in our politics in this Nation. I caught this quotation on another blog which took it from a discussion with Judge Napolitano about our Constitution yet somewhere else:

    Congress does not draw to its halls those who love liberty. It draws those who love power.

    I think that the quote is appropriate to polotics at all levels. Until we mute this tendancy and get people that have a greater love of liberty than power, we will be stuck with the same old stuff.