The liberal outrage over the tax deal is warranted. They, too, are learning that all of Obama’s statements come with expiration dates, and that they labored, long and hard, throughout 2007 and 2008 to elect a man who will, in the end, ratify most of President Bush’s policy choices.
Guanatanamo Bay is not closed, and will not close. At least 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq through 2011. There is talk that U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan through 2014. Rendition will continue. Government wiretapping has expanded, not receded. Obama has refused to release controversial photos that allegedly show detainee abuse. The Obama administration asserts the authority to kill al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, even ones that are American citizens, without trial. There will be no KSM trial in Manhattan; the administration now sees the wisdom of military tribunals. There have been no summits with the leaders of Iran, or North Korea, or Cuba, or Syria. (Obama met Chávez at a Latin America summit.) Obama’s Middle East peace initiative has gone nowhere, a fool’s errand considering the deep-rooted, longstanding furies and divisions in the region.
Domestically, there will be no card check. There will be no cap-and-trade. There will be no amnesty, no DREAM act. The man who denounced Bush’s recess appointments now uses the tool regularly. Bill language isn’t posted online for five days before being signed into law. NAFTA will not be renegotiated; new trade deals with countries like South Korea are signed instead. No “windfall profit tax” will be enacted. He has frozen federal workers’ pay. His deficit commission rejected a VAT and proposed a slew of spending cuts that liberals find unacceptable.
Obamacare? The GOP is hell-bent on repealing it. If Obama loses in 2012, it’s gone.
But hey, liberals, cheer up. You got the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Act.