View Full Version : U.S. Issues Some reflection on Where we stand

07-12-2010, 08:34 AM
Spent a good bit of time over the weekend with some good friends who represent pretty much the full spectrum of political leanings.

We discussed, sometimes emotionally, a lot of "stuff" but what was interesting to me was the consistency of the overall negative feelings about what the administration and policy is doing to each of our perceptions of the current state and the future.

These folks range from early retirees to small and medium business owners to teachers and homemakers. A Bank president, a retired car dealership owner, a dentist, 2 lawyers, about 3 farmers would capture the majority of folks

No one had a positive feeling, even the Obama voters, about the economy and where Obama has us headed. The shortfalls in local and state sales taxes caused by the lack of jobs and lack of consumer spending is pretty hard hitting. The federal stimulus was and is seen as a giant failure. Even those in the construction business who do government work said its a joke.

National security, basically the border issue was universally seen as a collapse of the federal responsibility to maintain a secure border and the most strident Obama voter and her husband were right there with the most right wing. This is seen by this group as a real long term hit on Obama that he cannot walk away from.

Made worse was the suit vs Arizona and how badly the PR is managed. Some said that no President they could recall had such a adversary relationship with the states. Health Care seemed to bring it out, now immigration, and the hard work states are having to do to cut spending while Obama ignores the reality of the federal budget ( or lack of one in his case).

As regards the two wars, the relations on a foreign level, and his treatment of Israel it was fun to just listen. Again, the consensus is that our foreign policy is disjointed, seems very knee jerk, and will be a long term headache to rebuild confidence in the US and our ability to regain some consistency in how we behave, how we support our friends, and how we maintain a posture vs. enemies. The feeling was if they, the Obama folks, expect to blame Bush forever, they are pretty well screwed.

That brought out real discussions about Obama himself and what sort of mindset he has that seems to avoid any responsibility for anything that has not gone well, any promises he made that have not happened, and from or Obama crew at the gathering a very real feeling that he has let them down on the leadership and honesty/transparency promise they had so heartily bought into. That was quite the discussion with a lot of we told you so's from the right and a lot of yes we should have listened from the left.

What was quite interesting was these are well informed people. Well educated, and not prone to follow the radio guys or just have a single source of information. Many have friends all across the US and not a few have traveled overseas a good bit. They would have a lot of anecdotes of discussions or correspondence with people who have fears and concerns, not all the same but significant anyway.

There was some hope that Gen Petraus will get control over this Afghanistan issue and that he has made it clear to Obama he is not going to have his decisions and recommendations made into political fodder. The feeling by some was that Obama let his emotions get n the way. Having some people who were very well informed on the truman/McArthur situation added a lot. As they pointed out Truman and McArthur had multiple disagreements, many public before Harry had had enough. They pointed out how immature and poorly Obama managed this situation and was so fast to eliminate a critic. But they also pointed out that with a close look at Obama's closest advisors, no one has any experience or background that lends stability to any military situation.

The lawyers in the group were both Obama supporters, one male, the other female and both see Eric Holder as a bad pick, too close to the President, and not very inspiring in his understanding of the law. Not sure where that came from but they both had low levels of regard of the man as a lawyer.

Oh well, anyway it was fun. We covered unemployment and prospects for a turnaround (the ones who actually employ folks had very very low expectations), the stock market...most fear the impact of new taxes on dividends and cap gains as a big negative and most saw OUS investments as a better bet (emerging markets and more stable political areas) than any US dependent investment; BP the evil demon who will recover and may even show Obama to be a bit of a reactionary and Obama will loose in overseas respect with his childlike demands and grandstanding.

The lawyers pointed out that business for them is booming. The foreclosure business is outstanding, one was involved in the liability side of litigation and said business was over the top, and they saw great opportunity under Obama that they have not seen in a long time.

anyway, lots of fun discussions and debate among all.