President OOPS-Bama

Rejoice! The Amazing Ozbama is slowly disintegrating into OOPS-Bama.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the quietly growing, simmering buyers’ remorse - the realization that the President is anything but his promise, that his change is far more sweeping and radical than most Americans imagined. Ever so slowly but steadily, people are becoming disenchanted if not outright terrified or enraged. The latest to say “Oops!” is none other than Colin Powell.

By way of disclosure, I know Colin Powell personally, appeared with him at numerous public events over a span of several years, support the objectives of his charity (America’s Promise), appreciate his service to the country, and respect and like him. But I was greatly disappointed (although not very surprised) by his abandonment of the Republican party and of John McCain in order to endorse Obama.

I say I wasn’t surprised because, at risk of being misunderstood, I imagined in advance of his decision that the prospect of the first black American president would be irresistible, as the prospect of a President Kennedy was to my father and many other Irish Catholics in 1960. (Of course, JFK was a tax-cutting fiscal conservative so supporting him made some sense for other reasons). If Powell admitted supporting Obama on that basis, it would be perfectly understandable.

Of course, Powell did not admit such a thing. Rather, he asserted that Obama offered needed changes in economic, social and international directions. He is now singing a very different tune.

Recently, from Powell: “… one of the cautions that must be given the president is that you can’t have so many things on the table that we can’t pay for it all. I never would have believed we would have budgets rising into the multi-trillions of dollars.” In his speech way back at the 1996 Republican convention, Powell complained about the size and intrusiveness of government and cautioned that we couldn’t afford more entitlements requiring higher taxes. In the recent interview on CNN, he echoed the same thoughts, advocating the smallest tax burden possible, and warning that Obama “has to start taking a very, very hard look at what the cost of all this is.”

Amen, friend. Of course, since you encouraged voters to buy this czar-making drunken sailor with a messiah complex, you do bear some of the responsibility. Apology accepted. But please keep pressing the issue – and find a fiscally sane Republican you can support.

This, of course, has not been made nearly as much of by the media as was Powell’s original endorsement of Obama. I recall the pundits on MSNBC, for example, gloating over that endorsement and endlessly repeating Powell’s comments day after day then. I haven’t noticed equivalent glee or exposure of his buyer’s remorse now. Gee.

Recent Rasmussen polls show that, on the economy, on taxes, and on international affairs and homeland defense, a growing number of Americans expressing greater trust in Republicans than in Democrats. It’s a bigger, broader manifestation of buyers’ remorse.

And now OOPS-Bama is handing his Democrats a big, fat, ugly hot potato. He’s making a power-grab for the entire health care system, a demanding that it be done with reckless haste, at epic cost during a time of already unimaginable national debt, with unclear and indefinable benefit, and a specter of evil unintended consequences even the blind can see.

The July 8th USA TODAY reported the failure of security at federal buildings – including the one housing the Department of Homeland Security. Journalists easily took in bomb-making paraphernalia, assembled it once inside and strolled the hallways undetected. Ten attempts, score 10 for the bombers, 0 for the government’s security. Do we seriously expect folks who can’t protect themselves and their own buildings to protect our health? Will they protect our right to unfettered health care choices, and the quality of our health care? 

These people didn’t notice the Madoff scam growing under their regulatory noses for a decade. They encouraged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to – as Barney Frank put it – “gamble” with loosey-goosey lending criteria.  They’ve managed Social Security and Medicare into impending bankruptcy. They can’t or won’t account for billions of dollars – lost abroad, in Iraq and elsewhere, and spent at home, in TARP. These people can’t manage the entry to a building. Should they be managing the entire health care system?  More than half the voters already think not. More will wake up. Unlike the dinner specials at Denny’s, you can have substitutes here.

Like giant trees grow from tiny acorns, veritable revolution grows from small, smoldering buyers’ remorse. Colin Powell is the latest canary emerging from the coal mine where the remorse is smoldering. The revolution? It just may look a lot like the Reagan Revolution. If conservatives can get their act together, America is getting ready to welcome their leadership.