On November 4, 2008, as it become obvious that Barack Hussein Obama would defeat John Sidney McCain and become the nation’s forty-fourth president, I told readers at my home blog to “Say hello to the Punk Presidency.”
That moniker came not from whim but from study. By Election Day in 2008, the question was no longer whether our new president was a punk. It was only whether he would only fit the word’s relatively benign definition as a “young, inexperienced person” or would be much worse than that, namely a “petty criminal or hoodlum” whose administration would abuse its awesome power and access to the treasures of the richest and greatest country on earth in ways previously unseen.
It wasn’t long before it became obvious that the country had selected the latter, after which a grievous and ongoing financial toll which continues began to accumulate. Anyone who knows anything about the history of Democratic Party politics and presidencies could have predicted that the paeans to fiscal responsibility Obama mouthed during the 2008 campaign would be thrown overboard as soon as the electoral vote count reached 270. But few expected to see so much brazen, politically driven profligacy so quickly.
Once in office, Obama started with an $800 billion stimulus package which turned out to be little more than temporary layoff prevention for certain public employees and the distribution of billions to “green” and “clean” energy firms which could never survive in the marketplace on their own. It was sold to the public largely as a recovery-motivated attempt to bring about “shovel-ready” jobs. We’re supposed to believe that Obama only later discovered, thanks largely to barriers imposed by government red tape and organized labor, that there really isn’t any such thing as a shovel-ready job. In hindsight, it’s reasonable to contend that Team Obama knew this from the start, and didn’t care. There were cronies and contributors who needed care and feeding.
Separate but of course related, the jobs of UAW members at General Motors and Chrysler had to be saved, without meaningful worker sacrifice, by hook or by crook. Well, actually the latter, considering that Chrysler’s post-bankruptcy ownership structure was built by separating certain secured lenders from their legally superior position as creditors in bankruptcy, while GM’s reorganization and re-emergence denied unsecured bondholders their rightful due. Beyond the Obama government’s tens of billions in direct bailouts, both companies will continue to enjoy billions in benefits, at taxpayers’ current and future expense, from their Treasury-granted permission to use loss carryforwards from their bankrupt predecessors, something which politically non-favored enterprises coming out of bankruptcy cannot do.
During the Chrysler hijacking, prescient commentator and political analyst Michael Barone wrote: “We have just seen an episode of Gangster Government. It is likely to be part of a continuing series.” That is exactly what has transpired. A very small sample: Due diligence-compromised Energy Department loans, including to Solyndra, a company which managed to move its principals (here we go again) into a position ahead of the American people in bankruptcy; the blatant bribes employed in ensuring ObamaCare’s passage; the utterly meritless and temporarily thwarted anti-fracking campaign by the EPA’s Al “crucify them” Armendariz against Range Resources (and the likely dozens of others in the EPA and at other regulatory bodies quietly attempting and possibly succeeding in similar takedowns which haven’t yet been stopped); condoning to the point of virtually sanctioning Black Panther voter intimidation at the polls in Pennsylvania, effectively giving the green light to anyone else who wishes to engage in similar activities this fall; and serial, often media-assisted intimidation of opponents, their donors, and out-of-favor executives.