The young will pay for a President Obama
By Michael M. Bates
It’s lamentable that Obama and Biden only tell the truth when people give them money. It was at a San Francisco fundraiser that Obama voiced his belief that residents of small towns in Pennsylvania and elsewhere “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
More recently Biden told contributors at a Seattle fundraiser:
“Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
Biden’s prediction may be accurate. So it’s worth remembering what happened with President Kennedy. Like Obama, Kennedy wanted direct negotiations at the highest level with no preconditions. He met Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna within months of assuming office and shortly after presiding over the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
Saying the results of the summit were bad is an understatement. Kennedy’s secretary of state, Dean Rusk, charitably observed the president “wasn’t prepared for the brutality of Khrushchev’s presentation.” A Rusk assistant thought the president was “shattered.” Admitting to reporter James Reston the experience had been the “roughest thing in my life,” Kennedy went on to say the Soviet leader “just beat the hell out of me.” Britain’s prime minister, with whom Kennedy met afterwards, reported to the queen that JFK seemed “rather stunned – perhaps baffled would be fairer.”
The Soviet dictator assessed the new American leader. He wasn’t impressed. Later he wrote that Kennedy “looked not only anxious but deeply upset. I recall vividly the expression on his face. Looking at him, I couldn’t help feeling a bit sorry and somewhat upset myself.”
Within weeks of the Kennedy - Khrushchev meeting, the Communists began erecting the Berlin Wall. A few months later, the Soviets installed nuclear missiles in Cuba. They were aimed at the United States. The Cuban Missile Crisis, bringing the world to the brink of war, ensued.
Some observers, James Reston for one, believed Kennedy committed 15,000 troops to Vietnam as a show of resolve after his Vienna humiliation. Kennedy biographer Robert Dallek notes that Kennedy “now needed to convince Khrushchev that he could not be pushed around, and the best place currently to make U.S. power credible seemed to be in Vietnam.”
We all know how that turned out. Biden’s assertion Obama will be tested like Kennedy is realistic. What Americans might contemplate is how a president even more inexperienced and naïve than JFK will react under fire. If Obama’s perceived weakness leads to more military commitments, as Kennedy’s did, the results will be arguably more calamitous than what happened in Vietnam.
We don’t presently have a draft, but men between ages 18 through 25 are required to register with Selective Service. Obama has stated he thinks women should also have to register. Additionally, he’s signaled that he’ll consider placing women more widely in combat roles.
I wonder if young people, a segment heavily favoring Obama, have considered what his election may mean. If he follows the Kennedy model, it could result in thousands of draftees, including women, dying in far away places as the former community organizer flexes his tenacity. How’s that for hope and change?
Even if that doesn’t happen, an Obama presidency will prove most costly in other ways. Liberal journalist Al Hunt has summarized Obama’s program neatly:
“He suggests the country can have universal health-care coverage, make a huge downpayment on energy independence and fund expensive alternative-energy sources, enact a variety of new domestic initiatives and cut taxes for 80 percent of Americans. All in his first term.”
Take a quick look at those promised tax cuts. Obama’s Web site promises “a tax cut of $500 for workers or $1,000 for working couples.” Earlier this year, Bush’s economic stimulus checks were for up to $600 per individual and $1,200 for a couple. Those were derided as too puny by many Democrats, including Michelle Obama, who said in July:
“You’re getting $600 - what can you do with that? Not to be ungrateful or anything, but maybe it pays down a bill, but it doesn’t pay down every bill every month. The short-term quick fix kinda stuff sounds good, and it may even feel good that first month when you get that check, and then you go out and you buy a pair of earrings.”
Sorry, Michelle, Americans will have to forget the earrings if your snore-y and stinky husband, as you’ve described him, gets elected.
The upside for her, however, is that Michelle’s too old to be drafted. And her age means she won’t endure a lifetime of paying for a plethora of destined-to-fail social welfare schemes that only a Marxist - Karl, not Groucho – could believe in.
The young will disproportionately pay the many prices of an Obama presidency. The sad part is that even young folks intelligent enough to vote against this walking disaster will be forced to share the burden for many of their years.
This Mike Bates column appeared in the October 30, 2008 Reporter Newspapers.