A (False) Choice Election

The Obama Administration and the Democratic Party have decided that the 2010 election should be about “choice.” That is, the President and his Democratic comrades don’t want to have the election be a referendum on how the country is currently doing under their stewardship.  Therefore, their goal is to make this election about “choice,” and they define the choice as being between the current policies and the “failed policies of the past” when Republicans controlled the White House and the Congress.  President Obama says it is like disciplining a teenage driver who has just driven the family car into a ditch and now says he wants to get behind the wheel again.

For a person who speaks often about rejecting “false choices,” the President and the Democratic Party seem to be presenting voters with precisely that.  No one is arguing that we should go back to the days when Republicans in control of Congress spent like drunken sailors.  If that were really the choice, most Americans would be suicidal, because the choice would be between the failed policies of the past and the failed policies of the present.  I think many Americans, whether the Democrats admit it or not, recognize that the economic policies of the Obama Administration have failed.

As bad as the economy was at the end of the Bush Administration, the record of President Obama and his supporters doesn’t exactly shine by comparison.  The President has presided over a sustained spike in the unemployment rate, a lingering recession that is teetering on the brink of the dreaded “double-dip,” a pork-laden “stimulus” bill that failed of its essential purpose of providing jobs and has saddled our children with unnecessary debt, bailouts of failing businesses and industries to no appreciable positive effect, budget forecasts that project massive, unsustainable deficit spending far into the future, a moribund housing market, and a host of phony programs like “cash for clunkers” that have done nothing except waste tax dollars.

Unless you were one of the lucky people who got a bailout, cash for a “clunker,” or some other form of government booty, the policies of the Obama Administration and its allies in Congress have accomplished nothing that is positive.  In the meantime enormous government interventions in the economy, through social engineering programs like the “health care reform” legislation, promise to bring new intrusions into our daily lives.  When average Americans look at the dismal record of the economic policies  enacted so far — all of which have failed to live up to the earnest promises of their proponents — they understandably must envision the impending impact of the “health care reform” legislation with fear and loathing.

The only good news for the President and the Democrats is that the American people are no more fooled by the Republicans than they are by the Democrats.  Both parties have let us down; neither has any store of credibility when it comes to governing and spending and taxing responsibly.  If the 2010 election goes favorably for the Republicans and they suck at the job of running the country, no one is going to have the slightest hesitation in voting them out of office and turning to some new alternative.

To borrow the President’s car metaphor, the Republicans may have driven the economy into the ditch, but many of us believe that the President and Congress, like Thelma and Louise, are driving us pell-mell toward a cliff.  I’m hoping that the Republicans will act like sober adults behind the wheel, but I’d even hand the keys to a teenager rather than sit idly in the rear seat and watch as apparently suicidal drivers hopelessly attempt to evade the consequences of their bad decisions and irresponsible policies.

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