American Elephants

Americans Want a Do-Over! by The Elephant's Child

The president’s post-electoral press conference was noted for his complete refusal to recognize what had happened.  “We got a shellacking,” he said, but he didn’t mean it.  He insisted that the American public was just worried about the economy and jobs, and impatient to see results.

Spending went up only because he and his team were forced to deal with a crisis.  The election merely convinced him that his priorities will not change. The American people do not want to re-litigate the past, he said. Yes they do. That is exactly what they meant.  They want ObamaCare repealed. That was their number one issue.

Democrats were determined to push health care through, without the inconvenience of anyone actually reading the bill, because they were convinced that it was something Americans really wanted, and as soon as they passed it, people would be pleased.  They regarded the objections to ObamaCare as simply Republican obstructionism paid for by Big Pharma and Big Health-insurers. Once health-care reform was actually put into effect, people would quickly come to love it. The American people don’t want some ninety-odd agencies standing between them and their doctor.

Democrats, including Max Baucus — who supposedly wrote it — admitted frankly that they hadn’t read the bill.  Oddly enough, a significant number of the dumb peasants out in flyover country did read parts of it, and they didn’t like what they read. And they discussed it and thought about it and discussed it, and became convinced that it simply would  not work.

Obama paraded a group of doctors in white coats, but in this election 42 doctors (35 M.D.s, 5 D.D.S., an optometrist and a psychologist) were running for national office.  That tells you what the doctors think.  34 oppose ObamaCare.  When the AMA came out in support of the health-care overhaul, the AMA lost approximately 21,000 members.  I know of 2 physicians who were running for the legislature here.  An earlier survey by Investors showed that over 40% of doctors would seriously consider leaving the profession if health-care reform became law.

“Nothing soured voters on Obama’s big-government agenda as much as the health-care bill,” said Cato’s Michael Tanner.  “Democrats who supported Obamacare went down to defeat in disproportionate numbers.” Democrats seem bewildered by the public’s lack of enthusiasm, but a little questioning makes it clear that they don’t know what is in the bill, and upon hearing what is in it, quickly admit that there are things that need to be fixed.

Too many. Big ideas, ill-considered, unworkable, with what seem like unlimited unintended consequences already afflicting us all.

Morning in America! by American Elephant
November 4, 2010, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Conservatism, Election 2010, Freedom, Politics | Tags: , ,

Nice vid. Slick, savvy, celebratory.

(She’s running.)

India: An Opulent Visit to a Fascinating Country. by The Elephant's Child
November 4, 2010, 7:06 am
Filed under: Economy, Foreign Policy, Literature, Statism | Tags: ,

Way back in 1978, M.M. Kaye published a big blockbuster novel,with nearly as many pages as the health care bill,  a “towering novel of love and war” about the India of the 1850s — the RAJ.  M.M. Kaye was born in Simla, the summer place of the British viceroy; and when she married, her husband was an officer in Queen Victoria’s Own Corps of Guides, so she knew India well.  The story she told was based on bits of history about a colorful royal wedding and procession.  She described the procession:

Close on eight thousand humans and more than half as many baggage animals were worse than a plague of locusts; it was clear that without planning and forethought their effect upon the country they passed through could be devastating and equally disastrous. …

The mile-long column moved at a foot’s pace, plodding through the dust at the same leisurely pace as the elephants and stopping at frequent intervals to rest, talk or argue, to wait for stragglers or draw water from the wayside wells. …

The four state elephants bore magnificent howdahs of beaten gold and silver in which the Rajkumaries and their ladies together with their younger brother and certain senior members of the bridal party, would ride in procession on the day of the wedding, and it had also been expected that the brides would travel in them on the journey.  But the slow, rolling stride of the great beasts made the howdahs sway, and the youngest bride (who was also the most important one, being the Maharajah’s full sister) complained that it made her feel ill, and demanded that both she and her sister, from whom she refused to be parted, be transferred to a ruth — a bullock-drawn cart with a domed roof and embroidered curtains.

What made me remember this and drag it out, was the account of President Obama’s visit to India.  It is announced as a “strategic ” visit with a special interest in celebrating Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights.

In ledgers with trillion-dollar stimulus packages and $600 billion Fed “easings,” the $200 million-a-day price tag for these 10 days will be little more than a blip on the ledger.

Fully five fully loaded jet aircraft will fly Obama, his helicopters, and his party of 3,000 in luxury that would embarrass a rajah. The entire Taj hotel — 570 rooms — has been reserved along with space next door.

Why the president requires an entourage of 3,000 to support a face-to-face meeting with India’s prime minister is unknown.  All that remains to be required are the caparisoned elephants and the howdahs of beaten gold and silver.

I suppose that Mr. Obama assumes that the President of the United States should travel in style befitting the nation which he regards as no more exceptional than any other.  But it is fairly annoying to the peasants in flyover country who are currently unemployed through no fault of their own, but rather  through the direct actions of the U.S. government.

If I remember correctly, Franklin Delano Roosevelt once served hot dogs to the King and Queen of England.

ADDENDUM: The $200 million a day figure is widely circulated nonsense.  I apologize.  American presidents do travel with large entourages.  The security detachment is large, and protection of the president is important.  It does, however, give rise to the notions of  an” Imperial” presidency.  Perhaps it can’t be helped, but Obama seems unusually unconscious of the extent to which his actions appear profligate when the country’s economy is in such dire shape.

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