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Carter Was Right About Malaise! And We're Wrong About Obama and Cardigans!

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Over at Ballon Juice, John Cole takes umbrage at Matt Welch and my Sunday Wash Post op-ed about Obama's flagging domestic agenda. Go here to read our piece and go here to check out a live (now dead) chat on same. The short version: Obama can either become a latter-day Jimmy Carter or a Bill Clinton, depending on how he chooses to govern. If he remains a crisis-mongerer a la George Bush, hello one term.

The Juice man speaketh:

Yeah—Obama sucks because the minority hates him, the economic crisis he inherited will last into next year, and because the decades of mistakes will take more than a few weeks to correct. I suppose the most annoying thing about the Carter comparison is that it comes around the anniversary of the malaise speech, and you should read it again to see how much of what Carter was right then about, he is still right about today:

What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests. You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another. You often see a balanced and a fair approach that demands sacrifice, a little sacrifice from everyone, abandoned like an orphan without support and without friends.

I'd start by condemning Reason HQ and forcing sneering glibertarians to go Galt.

Whole post, plus an update in which Cole defends cardigans and slags libertarian fashion (if there is such a thing).

Obama did not simply inherit the "economic crisis." As a senator, he aided and abetted it for as long as he was in office and certainly by voting for TARP. And as we pointed out in the Post piece, his gutless signing of a pork-laden omnibus spending bill and an emergency war supplemental don't exactly increase Obama bona fides as anything other than a budget buster. Indeed, read Obama's own budget to see the prez's own take on just how big a hole in the economy his proposed plan will create over the next decade.

As for Carter, let's agree on this much: The problem in Washington isn't that the government is incapable of action. There's way too much action going on, much of it ill-thought-out and most of it destructive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Carter had his moments for sure. The deregulation of interstate trucking and airline ticket prices are among the two best policy shifts of the past 40 years or so. The malaise speech is not one of his, or the country's, high points. For more on that, read Ron Bailey on the matter.

For more on Obama's flagging numbers, go here.

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  1. “With all due respect, sir, enjoy your single term.” — General Dick Panzer

  2. You see a [willing Democratic Congress and Democratic President] twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests.

    Fixed.

  3. “Ballon juice” is so almost French.

  4. Obama did not simply inherit the “economic crisis.” As a senator, he aided and abetted it for as long as he was in office and certainly by voting for TARP

    And yeah, this is my favorite part. Obama just a’showed up in Washington DC, hayseed in his teeth, carpet bag in hand shoutin’ “Hooowee, skyscrapers ‘n everythang, just like I pitcherd it!”

    Senator Obama had been doing the work of government for quite some time.

  5. Senator Obama had been doing the work of government for quite some time.

    Well, not too long. But he did get there just in time to participate in the worst part.

  6. Long enough to authorize PATRIOT acts and confirm telecom immunity.. I could go on.

  7. He was also suing banks in the 90’s for not making enough risky loans.

  8. Sneering Glibertarians would make a great punk band name.

    Oh, if only we would just BELIEVE in Hope and Change, our hard hearts and stubborn insistence on facts would melt away and we would finally see the glory that will soon spread across America thanks to the government.

    I weep for us.

    Also for America, but that’s just because of a lack of belief.

  9. We have given hope to America that any woman or person of color can someday become a really lousy president.

  10. Hey, at least Obama isn’t interfering in sovereign countries internal affairs.

    Oh wait …

    If you’ve been following this, you’d realize the US and the EU are completely in the wrong here.

  11. Who cares what non-entity douchebag John Cole thinks, anyway?

  12. Yeah-Obama sucks because the minority hates him,

    The way the opinion polls are going, Mr. BJ, that would be the majority hatin’ on the Big O.

    libertarian fashion (if there is such a thing).

    Leather jackets, perhaps?

  13. EU are completely in the wrong here.

    According to the mainstream American press, those words cannot exist in the same sentence. Rewrite and resubmit.

  14. a system of government that seems incapable of action.

    I wish!

    -jcr

  15. Not really sure who this is and why anyone should care. Is this actually a widely read blog?

  16. I mean Ballon Juice, not Reason. Sorry for any misunderstanding…..

  17. Gee, could the problem be that Washington has become a one-stop shopping center for every rent seeker from Tierra del Fuego to the Great Slave Lake? Now who could have predicted that? Oh, that’s right, us sneering Glibertarians.

  18. Balloon Juice = Moving Goal Posts.

    Yeah, Obama inherited a recession, and responds by proposing trillion dollar fiscal deficits as far as the eye can see…

    And that makes it all better. Consider me unconvinced by the power of that argument.

  19. “”Ballon juice” is so almost French.”

    Slang for a used condum?

  20. “Leather jackets, perhaps?”

    Open carry.

  21. Before the Messiah had appearedm it was a team blue statist place, now Balloon Juice is all about Obama worship.

  22. Balloon juice would be hot air if I’m not mistaken.

  23. The economic malaise will continue because our genius president really thinks now would be the perfect time to institute three different massive job killing programs. He and Joe Biden (who sadly may actually have a high IQ than Obama) didn’t just “misread” the economy; they “misread” their economics textbook.

  24. Having aided and abetted the worst of the last Administration, John Cole is ready to do the same for this one. With righteous rage.

    After this one’s done, you going to go for three, John?

  25. I’d start by condemning Reason HQ and forcing sneering glibertarians to go Galt.

    Do what you will, silly mystic. What you see as Reasonoids are mere holographic projections, while we, in our inter-dimensional spa, warm ourselves by burning remaindered Keynesian tracts, snacking on the caviar of endangered fish.

    …slags libertarian fashion (if there is such a thing)

    ‘Cause the Black Leather Jacket is like, a uniform, not a fashion statement, right?…

    …Cole takes umbrage at Matt Welch and my…op-ed

    Ahem: “Welch‘s and my…”

    Are you guys with the Pronoun Liberation Movement, or something? Or, is Cole offended by your op-ed, but EVERYTHING about Matt Welch just pisses him off?

  26. the economic crisis he inherited will last into next year, and because the decades of mistakes will take more than a few weeks to correct.

    Admit it, Cole. You really did think throwing money at the problem was going to lead us to the promised land. As one wit on this board put it early in the year, ‘diggin’ a hole and fillin’ it up, ‘diggin’ a hole and fillin’ it up, I’m saving the economy!’.

    Hey, you got what you wished for ever since you pooped up on your first red diaper, a very liberal administration and a very liberal congress to pass the kind of legislation you have been dreaming of writing for decades, and what do you find on the other side, sweet cheeks? That it ain’t fucking rainbows and it ain’t a fucking pot of gold.

  27. You know what really has Chait and Cole steamed about this article? They know that Obama is a politician. Big ‘D’uhhh’, to that, right? However, when you consider that as a singular fact, you realize that it is only a matter of time before Obama comes over to the Dark Side to save his own ass.

    Soon enough the rainbow fantasy will smash into reality, and he will abandon the liberals on the Domestic Agenda. The hand writing is on the wall when you consider that he has already done this in matters of foreign relations. The audacity of Welsh and Gillespie to publicly invite him over to the Dark Side was a bit more than they will stomach.

    Come over to the Dark Side, Obama. We’ll have a pack of cheap black market cigarettes ready for you when you get here.

  28. Barack — I am your father!

    Look at your birth certificate — you know it to be true!

  29. More deep thoughts from John Cole.

  30. The deregulation of interstate trucking and airline ticket prices are among the two best policy shifts of the past 40 years or so. The malaise speech is not one of his, or the country’s, high points.

    Do not forget about his ordering the use of covert operations to support the mujahadeen in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion.

    He was also suing banks in the 90’s for not making enough risky loans.

    Proof?

  31. My first question: why and the fuck are you even mentioning that site much less trying to debate the assholes at Balloon Juice, or whatever the fuck it’s called? They are more allergic to dissent than Keith Olbermann. The tone of that site reminds me of another left-wing echochamber, Crooks and Liars, where those who don’t have a D behind their name are automatically assumed to be pieces of shit beneath contempt, barely even American.

    “Yeah-Obama sucks because the minority hates him, the economic crisis he inherited will last into next year, and because the decades of mistakes will take more than a few weeks to correct.”

    Can these assholes please let this “few weeks” talking point die? How many weeks count as a few? Twenty five? The stimulus shit-burger that Obama championed from day one has turned out to be a monumental failure on the same order of magnitude as New Coke. Even by the administration’s own criteria it has been a failure. And of course it is impossible for these morons to do anything other than blame Bush. Obama’s failures are legion and they are his very own. Unless you think the pork-laden, liberal-interest group awarding stimulus and Obama’s disgraceful behavior in regards to the Iranians and just about every other tinpot dictator around the globe is somehow the fault of George Bush. Sure Obama was left a bag of shit by Bush, but trying to blame Bush for the record deficit spending, the taking over of American businesses and the proposal of healthcare and environmental legislation that would leave us envious of the economy of Bangladesh is asinine, and as the polls show, people are no longer falling for his shit. The “lets pat ourselves on the back for electing a black guy” euphoria is becoming a distant memory and the Obama people are terrified, and desperate, because frankly that was all the grossly incompetent, monumentally underqualified piece of shit had going for him.

  32. “If he remains a crisis-mongerer a la George Bush, hello one term.”

    If I recall correctly, Bush served two terms.

  33. Heh, John Cole. Haven’t heard his name in years. Does he still claim to be a conservative?

    “The minority hates him?” Okay, but 37 percent is a pretty big minority. If you don’t re-weight for an alleged massive Dem party affiliation advantage, Obama is only +2 and is now polling even with Romney for re-election.

  34. Mr. Gillespie,
    I am SOOO MAD at you for persuading me to click on the link to that john cole-blog bullshit. BTW, who the fuck is john cole? I thought there would be some inkling of intelligent life on that blog… but none was to be found. Thank you for wasting 3 minutes of my life.

  35. I don’t think John realizes he is simply repeating the same mistakes he did when he was defended everything conservative/republican from 2001-2004. He is just wearing the blue jersey now.

  36. Sneering Glibertarians would make a great punk band name.

    Seriously…NO IT WOULD NOT!

  37. “If he remains a crisis-mongerer a la George Bush, hello one term.”

    If I recall correctly, Bush served two terms.

    Big planes ramming into huge buildings and exploding live on TV while the whole country watched.

    Call me a scare monger but that actually was a crisis.

  38. libertarian fashion = wrapping your blue stained body in a Gadsden Flag

  39. I like the Balloon Juice site, but it really is a liberal echo chamber, where everyone who doesn’t agree with liberal viewpoints is stupid, evil, a troll or all three.

    By the way, what (from a substantive, not a political standpoint) was wrong with Carter’s “malaise” speech?

  40. I was reading Balloon Juice when it was still a republican blog. It’s one of the only big-name blogs out there where the authors are open to changing their mind, admitting they’re wrong, and who aren’t (cough) taking a paycheck to spew talking points. It’s also hardly the only place to be smacking down Reason and its writers lately. This place has become ridiculous. Sometimes there are good points, but it’s hard to take it seriously when the kitchen sink strategy is so clearly in effect.

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