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Friday, November 07, 2008

The Good News

Well, the good news is as follows:

1) The economic mess is pretty serious, and Obama is already getting terrible advice.  It was going to be hard for whoever won this year to win in 2012, I think that even the sycophantic and slavish media won't be able to cover for Obama for that long.  See Massachusetts, 2006-2007.

2) We've got some scandals waiting for us.  I think we'll get another whack at Rezko.  There's some interesting stuff to come out about how Obama financed his campaign.  Also, if you've really studied Obama, you'll notice that his wife is a vain, jealous, and acquisitive woman. There's no way that she doesn't cause trouble down the line.

3) Iraq is won, at this point in time.  We won the war there - or, rather, George Bush and General Petraeus won the war there against all of the efforts of the Democrats to force a surrender.  Obama won't be able to surrender in Afghanistan, given his commitments and a need to appear "strong."  I also enjoy that Obama is pretty much stuck letting a Republican General become the victor in not one, but two, major wars.  But more on that in a moment.

4) It looks like the Republicans will end up, depending on what the Democrats can steal, with something like forty-two to forty-three seats in the Senate.  That'll be enough to hold the line on some things.  At the very least, I think that can inflict an early defeat by stopping card-check unionization from going through.  I think that they should wage an epic "No New Taxes" battle against Obama - but I don't know if some of the weak sister Republican Senators will have the guts to go through with that.  Of course, at the same time, some of those Democratic Senators in Red States might have pressure put on them.

5) Universal Health Care is already a dead letter.  A blessing of the financial crisis.  There's no way it, or anything resembling it, can be paid for at this point in time - not without massive tax increases that would force a larger number of Democratic Congressmen to join with the GOP for the sake of their own preservation. 

6) The Democrats are going to overreach.  They can't help themselves. I haven't decided where, yet.  There are two obvious options - if they go for the Fairness Doctrine, they'll absolutely unify and enrage the right.  There's another, perhaps more dangerous one - they might try to prosecute Bush Administration officials for imagined "crimes" relating to the War on Terror (more on that as well, in a moment).

7) The 2010 Senate outlook is, at this moment, very favourable to the GOP.  Look up and down the list of Democratic seats up in 2004 - and there's not a single one that they cannot, with the right candidate, take a serious run at.  Think of the "Dream Team" of challengers that could be lined up: Gov, Rell in CT, Huckabee in AR, Schwarzenegger in CA, Bill Owens or John Elway in CO, Gov. Lingle in HI, Mark Kirk in IL, Michael Steele in MD, Gov. Hoeven in ND, Gov. Guinn in NV, Rudy Giuliani in NY, Senator Smith in OR, Jim Douglas in VT, Dino Rossi in WA, and Paul Ryan in WI.

Credibly, with the money and the right candidate recruitment - there are people in place who could make a credible run at every single Democratic Senate seat.  We wouldn't win all of them, of course, but we could make the fight on their ground.

That means the right man at the RNC - who, personally, I think is Newt Gingrich.

8) The Presidential field is also very strong for the GOP in 2012.  As I've stated elsewhere, my first choice is General Pertaeus - as a historic rule Generals who are identified as war-winners get to be President.  But there are other good options - Sarah Palin, with the right management, could make a credible run.  If we follow the rule that "the runner-up last time is the nominee the next", which has mostly held true for the GOP in the last few decades, then we have to take another look at Huckabee and Romney.

There are also a host of strong, conservative, reformist Governors who could well be Presidential material - Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, and Mark Sanford all immediately come to mind.  Though, personally, I don't think that Jindal's time is in 2012.  His problem is simple enough - if Obama is popular, then he'll be seen as a Republican imitation.  If he's unpopular, then a lot of people will look at him and wonder about his own capability.

And there's another name we shouldn't forget, given the schizophrenic nature of the American people.  Suppose the economy gets worse and things go disastrously abroad and the American people swing wildly in the opposite direction again.  Well, there's one guy who can let them do exactly that - former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Of course, there's still some bad news out there.

1) The best hope that we have for the economy is that the GOP Senate stymies Obama's most odious measures (tax hikes, universal health care, etc) and that he loses focus and ends up devoting time to pointless liberal pieties (the environment, poverty, etc, etc.).  There's no chance, for at least four years, of the kind of serious regulatory and fiscal reform that's required.  And, in the long term, that really is a serious loss - since year after year as the Baby Boomers age and retire we draw closer to financial armageddon.

2) There's a smaller but real chance that Obama will be able to do something beyond stupid and convert recession into depression.  In that category, I would include any large tax increase, anything that throws up new major trade barriers, and anything Kyoto-like.  I'm pretty confident that the GOP will be able to hold the line against that sort of nonsense.  But there are no guarantees in life.

3) Obama's election makes another major terrorist attack pretty much a certainty.  The reason for this is simple enough - Obama is going to end up staffing the DOJ, DHS, and DOD with ACLU-type liberal lawyers who are going to obstruct necessary measures to combat terror, such as various surveillance programs and a thousand little black ops that we know nothing about.  One of the key insights of the counter-terror strategy of the Bush years has been to realize that al-Qaeda insists on mounting large-scale, dispersed, and spectacular operations - operations which can be best disrupted through dispersed efforts against the various elements of the organization.

Obviously, this will be bad for many people - most of all the people who are going to be killed when the attack or attacks that Obama's incompetence brings on.  Will it be bad for the people who opposed that man from the beginning?  Well, I suppose that's another - and an entirely inappropriate - question.

4) A lot of people are going to lose their freedom during the Obama years.  I'd expect, at a minimum, we're looking at the loss of Ukraine and Georgia to the Russians.  Probably more.  If I were the Chinese, especially since they're facing increased domestic dissension with the economic crisis, I'd take the once-in-a-lifetime chance of having a cowardly weakling in the White House and grab, at a minimum, Taiwan. And if I were the rest of Asia, I'd be watching my back as well - the Chinese leadership is riding a dragon at this point.

Of course, I'd add, that this is kind of a good news/bad news thing. While I'd hate to see Ukraine and other places fall and their people be enslaved under foreign tyranny, I also have to admit - as someone whose first published work was about what the war on Central Europe might have been like if the Cold War had gone hot - it wouldn't exactly break my heart to see the Cold War come back.  Any excuse for new fleets of Aircraft Carriers, new Tank Divisions, and new long-range bombers would be something of a happy occasion for me.

There's also the vexing question of a nuclear Iran.  Well, I'll get to that one in a moment.

Remember, there are still two and a half months of the Bush Administration left.  That's time that can be put to good use.

Let's get real.  We know a lot about the character of Barack Hussein Obama.  He's not a strong man.  He has never shown any temperamental inclination towards courage over timidity.  The greatest thing he's ever done in his life is to barely win a Presidential election with the entire media on his side against a guy saddled with a President with 25% approval ratings in the midst of the greatest financial crisis in decades.  We have no reason to trust him - President Affirmative Action is a creation of a toxic combination of media bias and white liberal guilt.  We should expect him to prove to be as shallow, race-baiting, and useless as he was during his own campaign.

So, while George Bush has time, he should do what he can to limit the damage that he can do.

First of all, we need to take out Iran's nukes.  If the Israelis are willing to do it, fine.  If not, then the United States has to act. Indeed, it should probably be the United States that does it since the United States has more and better weapons than the Israelis do.  Many of those bunkers are buried quite deeply, after all.  As well, there's another obvious point that people have missed - the weak line in this, like any enterprise, is human rather than material.  The main objective of the assault against Iran should be to kill as many of the scientists and engineers who are working on the program as is humanly possible. Getting the home addresses of a bunch of mid-level scientists and technicians shouldn't be a particularly difficult intelligence task.

The second thing that President Bush ought to do - indeed, I think he really owes it to the people who served him that he does - is to issue a wide range of pardons for people who have been involved in the conduct of the War on Terror.  While I don't quite think that the more responsible elements of the left are deranged enough to go after the senior people in the Administration, I can very clearly see that there's a real possibility that they might go after people like John Yoo and others in relation to "torture" and other such nonsense.  The President should spare these people the possibility of any sort of trial or other legal ordeal by granting a blanket pardon with regard to "crimes" allegedly committed during the War on Terror.

I would note further that the President doesn't even have to do this publicly.   The Constitution provides no limits on the Presidential power to issue pardons and requires no particular form no nor no formal process of notification.  Before he leaves office, the President can simply have a series of pardons signed and witnessed and then hidden away somewhere (perhaps better of have multiple copies in multiple locations).  Then, if the circumstances ever require them, they can be produced.

Well, there we go.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on November 7, 2008 in U.S. politics | Permalink


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Adam I won't comment on the early part of your analysis but T see some things wrong with your view of the Iranian nuclear program.
1. Do we know where the hidden labs and production facilities are? How do you propose to find them. It seems to me you have far greater faith in the US intelligence gathering capability than I have. To get this kind of information requires operatives in country.
2. It is easy enough to build bunkers deep enough and hardened enough to withstand a nuclear strike. I have visited one in Germany and one in the UK. What do you propose to use against such a facility. Anything big enough would cause horrible collateral damage. The publicity fallout from that would cause the US incredible damage.
3. Get rid of technicians and engineers? See point number one.

President Bush and his staff would face immediate censure and face prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Very few would support him.

Posted by: DML | 2008-11-07 11:14:58 PM

1) Bomb enough things, and we'll hit the right targets eventually.

2) Deep-penetrating bombs. If necessary, B61 free-fall tactical nuclear weapons. After all, all of the evidence will be incinerated - we could always claim that we set off an Iranian nuke, or some such nonsense. Surely the U.S. has some unattributable nuclear weapons.

3) I think that the technicians and the engineers are something that we could track very well. If they're all in one secure location, great. If not - it could be as simple as looking them up in the phone book or getting a staff list. Surely someone can be bribed to get that.

After that, it's just a matter of programming in the right coordinates.

As for the rest - that's the beauty of it. He's already leaving office. The election is already over. No one can do anything about it or, really, to stop him from doing it. Indeed, the side advantage of this would be how much it would distress the left and how it would embarrass and upset Obama.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-11-07 11:22:48 PM

Adam, You are inhabiting a wierd space. Nuff said.

Posted by: DML | 2008-11-07 11:44:00 PM


Reading your article, I'm half-convinced you're a closet liberal/socialist and that your position is a satire of hard line neoconservative ideology... If that's the case, I tip my hat to your clever work.

However, if your article is serious, I have a few objections...

"Any excuse for new fleets of Aircraft Carriers, new Tank Divisions, and new long-range bombers would be something of a happy occasion for me."

Why? Isn't politics ultimately about ideals? Isn't everybody's ideal a peaceful world? Isn't yours? Who benefits from the military industrial complex other than a bunch of people at the government trough? In a peaceful world, wouldn't it be better to conserve the labour currently employed in the military equipment industry, and use it elsewhere (in markets that produce something of value that is non-destructive)?

"Bomb enough things, and we'll hit the right targets eventually."

Yeah, you'll destroy lots of stuff (at least some of which probably deserves to be destroyed), but you'll inevitably miss at least a few of your "targets." And you won't destroy all of Iran's nuclear science even if you bring down the current Iranian government.

If the Republicans did what you are suggesting, they would not hold power again for at least a generation, in which time the Iranian Muslims would have ample time to redevelop their nuclear science and take revenge on America in the most destructive way possible (and with some justification, much as I hate to admit it).

"Universal Health Care is already a dead letter ... There's no way it, or anything resembling it, can be paid for at this point in time..."

Sorry, but you're underestimating Obama-style socialism. The Democrats will simply do more of what Bush did and borrow/print more money to pay for their stupid schemes.

The American government won't be truly unable to pay for things until the world rejects the dollar and stops lending money to Americans, which will happen, but is probably a ways off yet, given all the new-found "hope" in the air. The way American policy is going, however, it seems inevitable.

If only big government warmongers like yourself would get out of the Republican Party, they'd have a chance of restoring the personal and economic liberty that made America great in the first place.

Posted by: Jeremy Maddock | 2008-11-08 3:33:39 AM

Jeremy - "peace", as an ideal, ultimately means control of the world by the West. We can only achieve peace - actual rather than theoretical peace - through a Pax Romana.

We have two choices, in that regard, either we can embrace the delusion of peace through hope or we can accept the reality of peace through strength. The more weapons we have - and the more willing we are to use them - the more likely it is that we can ultimately have peace. It is weakness that invites aggression.

Second, voters don't give a damn about enemy casualties. THe only degree to which the Iraq War was a political drain on the GOP was to the degree that the media focused on American losses ad nauseum. Look at all of the places that Clinton bombed, and no one really gave a damn.

Indeed, that's the lesson - in terms of public support - that we ought to take away from the last few decades. Simply put, the American people are perfectly happy to support war, but not happy at the loss of any American lives, even when the trade-off means that a campaign is won more effectively and with the loss of fewer overall lives.

Personally, I'm convinced that air and sea power alone can win modern wars if applied with sufficient ruthlessness and disregard for enemy life.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-11-08 9:57:55 AM

If only big government warmongers like yourself would get out of the Republican Party, they'd have a chance of restoring the personal and economic liberty that made America great in the first place.

Posted by: Jeremy Maddock | 8-Nov-08 3:33:39 AM

He's Canadian, he would love to be an American but I guess he doesn't want to leave sociaist Canada with all the things like healthcare and such.

He also is missing a few marbles and screws but I doubt even if found they could fix the problems he's having.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-11-08 2:02:24 PM

Jeremy--It's not satire. Adam is the guy who watches Star Wars and roots for the Emperor. He's been posting this kind of psychopathy in various online venues since before he was old enough to drive.

Posted by: AWJ | 2008-11-08 10:47:53 PM

Well, AWJ - I'd point out that, if you watch the trilogy in totality, the Emperor's actions - except for the cartoonish destruction of Alderaan - are pretty easy to justify and support.

After all, before the rise of the Empire the Republic was spiraling out of control, with numerous major regional conflicts and with no effective government. Moreover, the Jedi were the sort of foul, arrogant, blood-based aristocracy that everyone has some reason to resent.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-11-09 12:53:03 AM

If Palin runs for President in 2012, at least she has name recognition going for her... but that may not work in her favor

Posted by: movie fan | 2008-11-09 12:54:05 AM

"Personally, I'm convinced that air and sea power alone can win modern wars if applied with sufficient ruthlessness and disregard for enemy life."

For "enemy" read "civilian". In Adam's world, literally any citizen of a country defined by the US government as being "hostile" is fair game for assassination, regardless of whether they're even supporters of the enemy government.

In fact, has Adam ever proposed a solution to any problem, whether the Iraq war, Iranians detaining British soldiers found in their waters or French urban riots (to name three genuine examples) that doesn't involve wholesale and indiscriminate slaughter on a massive scale? And has he ever thought about seeing a psychiatrist to find out what might lie at the roots of this bloodlust?

Posted by: Wetherby Pond | 2008-11-09 9:24:41 AM

Uh - who's 'WE', kemo sabe...

Your remarks about Michelle Obama are way off base.

Let me guess - Rush LimpBow is your hero.

As WC Fields so aptly stated:

"Go 'way, kid. Ya bother me"

Canadian, eh?

Posted by: mommadona | 2008-11-09 2:02:45 PM

Much of this is just silly. As an example, I will just pick on your 2010 Senate predictions. John Elway or Bill Owens beats Ken Salazar in CO? Arnold beats Barbara Boxer? Come on. Rudy beats Chuck Schumer? Have you ever been to NYC? Rossi beats Patti Murray? I seriously doubt it.

And, the thing you fail to consider is that Governors rarely leave during a decade cycle because the party needs the governor for redistricting. So, none of the governors you list will be available in 2010 unless they are term-limited.

Posted by: JC | 2008-11-09 3:57:56 PM

And has he ever thought about seeing a psychiatrist to find out what might lie at the roots of this bloodlust?

Posted by: Wetherby Pond | 9-Nov-08 9:24:41 AM

Well, he is obsessed with big phallic objects (missiles, rifles....)

Draw your own conclusion

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-11-09 7:21:39 PM

Let me guess - Rush LimpBow is your hero.

Posted by: mommadona | 9-Nov-08 2:02:45 PM

Nah, Augusto Pinochet is one of his life long heroes. Adam may be a Rush Limbaugh wannabe, but he looks up to people who actually commit atrocities, the man has standards after all (heck, why he is still allowed to post here on the Western Standard, where no specific standard is really required).

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-11-09 7:24:06 PM

What the hell is Yoshida still doing on here?

I thought he was fired after he went off his meds awhile back


Posted by: epsilon | 2008-11-09 9:00:31 PM

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