As time goes by, more sober assessments compare him to Jimmy Carter in terms of effectiveness or George Bush in terms of his policies regarding domestic surveillance.
But the comparisons are not really close. In terms of domestic policy – which is Obama’s primary focus – the comparison to Jimmy Carter is flawed. It’s flawed because the US economy has changed in the intervening 30 years and Carter was not nearly as ambitious..
Mark Steyn made the point in a monologue on the radio the other day.
This is worse than the seventies. In the seventies people had to worry about inflation and losing their job. Now you have much higher home ownership so you have people who are worries about their homes being worth a lot less. You have more people invested in the stock market directly or indirectly so that your 401Ks are now cut in half. So there is no limit to the damage that a president with determined statist policies can inflict on you.
The point about 401Ks and the stock market is especially important. Thirty years ago, a large portion of the so called “working class” was covered by pension plans. Today, most people – unless they work for the government – don’t have pensions, they save for their retirement with 401Ks, 403Bs, and other plans that depend on a rising market to provide the worker his or her retirement income.
This is like Jimmy Carter on steroids. He can clobber your home, he can clobber you savings and your pensions, he can clobber your job, and he can basically end the dollar as a world currency. He can clobber your health care, he can get you on every front.
So what makes so many people still like him? He’s cool!
So he would have to be the coolest dude on the planet to make it worth voting for him just for his sheer cool instead of what he’s saying.
The lesson here is, listen to him on the radio, don’t watch him on TV. Or read him in the cold grey light of print. Do you actually like what he says in the cold grey light of print? Do you like the policies; cause if you don’t no matter how cool he is it’s not going to make up for your collapsed home price and unemployment and a shattered retirement savings plan.
Forget about a Jiminy Cricket foreign policy or a health care system that feeds the elderly pain killers as a substitute for treatment because it’s more efficient (read cheaper). Obama’s primary impact on the American people may well be to leave the elderly impoverished. The result could include people working well into their 70s. It could also result in a shift in domestic arrangements as the elderly and their children move in together – recreating the multi-generational extended family in one home, a throwback to earlier times.
You're not going to grandma's house cause grandma and grandpa are living with you.