I always root for the representative of this great nation.
Archives for August 22, 2010
As is happening all too frequently in the past year, as the “number of restaurants operating nationwide dropped this year for the first time in more than a decade, a survey shows, with California accounting for almost a third of the losses.”
Wonder what our junior Senator, Mrs. Barbara Boxer, and my Congressman, Mr. Henry Waxman is going about this:
With consumers and businesses keeping a lid on expenses, more and more small and mid-size restaurants are throwing in their dish towels and closing up shop.
Southern California lost nearly a thousand more restaurants than it gained during the 12 months that ended in March, representing a net 2% drop that was twice the national average, according to the New York research firm NPD Group.
Nearly all the closings were among independently owned restaurants: small, family businesses that just couldn’t hold on as customers held back.
Doesn’t look like their stimulus has done much to stimulate the restaurant industry in Southern California. Just drive down any major commercial thoroughfare in Los Angeles and you’ll see an increasing number of Obama-Waxman-Boxers (OWBs), retail or restaurant space now gone vacant, their once colorful display windows now empty, save for a “For Lease” or “Available” sign.
Back in February, Jonah Golberg, (paralleling a notion I would later put forward) dated the onset of Obama’s troubles to the very “dawn of his administration“, indeed, to the first massive bit of legislation, he and Democrats pushed through Congress:
Politically, the stimulus offered the president a chance to break the back of the GOP, while at the same time fulfilling his promise to transcend the gridlock and partisanship of recent years. If he had offered something close to half-a-loaf to Republicans at the time, he wouldn’t have won total GOP support, but he would have gotten a sizable chunk of their votes â€” enough for the White House to claim a real bipartisan victory and force a Republican buy-in to Obama’s agenda. The climate going into the 2010 elections might look very different if the Republican Party had an ownership stake in Obama’s economic policies.
Now, Glenn Reynolds* alerts us to a piece in the Los Angeles Times where Aaron David Miller offers a similar view, claiming that while Obama may have “arrived at the right time; unlike them, he may have badly misread his moment, and America’s.” Note, I say similar. Miller doesn’t seem to offer as harsh an opinion of the president as some on the right do, but he does find that, in misreading the country, the president was guilty of “overreach”:
Obama was a man on a mission in 2008. But he has allowed his agenda to obscure his capacity to see where most Americans were and what they wanted.
First, he was convinced that the country was so badly served by his Republican predecessor that most Americans understood the need for sweeping change and were prepared to support it. Second, he misread his crisis: the recession. . . .
Obama may have had no choice but to introduce a large stimulus bill to stop the economic bleeding, but healthcare reform (and the way it was done) represented an overreach and stressed a political system that was already dysfunctional.
Read the whole thing. And I say that not because I agree entirely with Miller’s perspective, but he does offer a thoughtful non-conservative critique of the president, a lover’s lament if you will.
One could read Charlie Spiering’s latest piece for the Washington Examiner as evidence of a certain nostalgia for the New England-born Texan. He just made things a lot easier for the netroots. They had, in W, an all-purpose bogeyman against him they could project their inner demons and direct their fury. Lefties of all stripes had a common enemy whom they could attack in unison.
In short, he brought them all together.*
But, as Spiering reports, with Bush back in Texas and keeping a low profile, his absence is, well, tearing them apart:
In the ‘old days’ of the Bush administration, life in a online liberal discussion forum was great. Everybody was having a great time bashing the president and marveling at each other’s brilliance. But in the age of Obama, these once fertile fields of partisan rancor have been tainted by ideological dissent.
Read the whole thing.
*And in some sense, Obama, at least the promise of Obama, also brought them all together, during the 2008 campaign and in the early, heady days of his Administration.