Candidate Obama a year ago this month:
.... During a rally in Roseburg, Oregon, Saturday, Obama presented himself as the front-runner almost without question, attacking presumptive Republican nominee John McCain on foreign policy, the environment and healthcare.
Reviving Friday's furious row sparked by President George W. Bush's suggestion that Democrats wanted to appease terrorists, Obama said that not talking to North Korea and Iran had only made those states stronger.
"I want everybody to be absolutely clear about this because George Bush and McCain have suggested that me being willing to sit down with our adversaries is a sign of weakness and sign of appeasement," he said.
He also attacked McCain's plan for a gas tax holiday....
Pitching his message to Oregon's environmentally-conscious voters, Obama called on the United States to "lead by example" on global warming, and develop new technologies at home which could be exported to developing countries.
"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.
"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.
I hardly need say that President Obama is right on course; four months into his presidency, North Korea and Iran are acting out on the world stage and the U.S. is undetermined to stop them. Fine. That's what he promised.
And we are indeed being forced out of our SUVs (and into the little tin cans he favors), we can't eat as much as we want (because we have no jobs and there is no money anywhere) and very soon - if Congress passes his Cap and Trade plan - we will have to pay so much for electricity that we won't be able to afford to comfortably heat and cool our homes like we always did before.
All that is fine. Obama made himself clear, he got 9.5 million more votes than McCain did, so he's The Won. We can hardly complain that he kept his word. immediately. So immediately that it made a lot of heads spin (and some explode).
The part that is unclear to me is the reason he gave for all this suffering we're doing.
We can't drive our SUVs... and expect that other countries are going to say OK.
We can't eat as much as we want... and expect that other countries are going to say OK.
We can't keep our homes on 72 degrees... and expect that other countries are going to say OK.
What "other countries" ?
I don't get it. What other countries? Does he mean we take our orders from the OIC? Or is he talking about the poor countries, the ones to which the United States gives enormous aid?
In what I consider The Good Ol' Days (everything up until now), Americans were undoubtedly prosperous and we consumed a lot, but we were also generous and we gave a lot.
The U.S. [gave] an estimated $26 billion in foreign aid in 2008 — 70 percent more than when President George W. Bush took office (the figure doesn’t include funds related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). More than 150 countries get financial assistance from the U.S.
(And that doesn't even include what we give the UN or the tribute we pay to non-countries such the Palestinian Authority in the Terror-tories.)
These mystery countries -the ones that Obama is certain will not "say OK" for our prosperity to continue- are they not some of the same countries that have been helped by American generosity? Are these countries, which whom we have generously shared our wealth and prosperity, are they really going to like it better when we can't afford to help them anymore?
The logic of Obama's plan simply escapes me.
If we in Omerica use less energy, eat less, and live with less heating and cooling, how does that benefit anyone? Sure, it will make us poor, miserable and ultimately unproductive if that's what he wants, but what good does it do these "other countries"?
If we don't mine our coal or drill for our own oil and natural gas, will more people in Afghanistan and Burkina Faso have air conditioning?
If we can't afford to eat as much in Omerica, does that make food cheaper and more plentiful in Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan?
If we don't drive our SUVS but ride our bikes instead, does that really mean less bikes and more cars for China?
Doesn't all this assume there is a limited pie and the less we take, the more is left for others?
I'm afraid I'm not going to make a very good Socialist, because I really don't get how we're going to spread wealth around if we don't have any.
Back in the Good Ol' Days, if we wanted more, we just made more. pie.