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October 13, 2008

What if Barack Obama Had Been Elected in 2004?


Despite the fact that Barack Obama has arrived where he is today by either disqualifying virtually all of his political opponents or having them succumb to scandal, despite the fact that he has no legislative accomplishments aside from repeatedly voting “present,” despite the fact that he has accumulated no foreign policy experience whatsoever aside from a speech in Berlin, and despite the fact that he has demonstrated awful judgment in his associations and his policy positions, too many Americans apparently still believe that he is qualified to be our chief executive and commander-in-chief.


Well then, what better can we do than determine how Obama would have handled the presidency had he been elected in 2004? Let us for a moment pretend that, putting aside the fact that in 2004 he was a state senator playing poker with other low-level Illinois politicians engaged in Chicago-style politics, Obama won the 2004 Democratic nomination and the presidency.


First and foremost, the Iraq troop surge that John McCain advocated, and that George W. Bush finally embraced, would have never taken place, and we would have never found ourselves overwhelmingly winning the war as we are now. Judging from Obama’s own promises, we would have withdrawn from Iraq while violence was at its peak, and handed it to Al Qaeda and other terrorists who would have turned it into a massive, undefeatable base from which they would launch operations in the Middle East and the entire world.


America would have been humiliated and rendered unwilling to get involved in any military operation around the world. Any sense of security in the Middle East would have been eliminated for at least two or three generations.


Had Obama’s mentor, Joe Biden, been his vice president at the time, the “foreign policy expert,” as we have been misled to believe, would have convinced his protégé to adopt his plan to partition Iraq into three pieces, which is one policy that the Iraqis are in complete agreement to oppose. Such a plan would have handed the Shiite south (including Iraq’s only sea outlet) to Iran on a silver platter, deprived the Sunnis from any significant oil revenue and invited the Turks to have their way with the Kurdish north. Yes, how comforting it is to have Biden at Obama’s side.


In addition to destroying the Middle East, Obama’s policies would have damaged relations with countries that are begging for free trade agreements with the United States, as we have seen in his opposition to crucial and valuable agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama. Since the 2004 election, the United States has approved or implemented free trade agreements with Australia, Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Peru, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. If Obama in most cases cannot stand up to pressures from labor unions and special interests that oppose these agreements despite their clear benefit to the U.S., there is no reason to believe that America would have made such progress on free trade agreements had he been president.


On the domestic front, things would not have looked much better. Obama would have revoked the Bush tax cuts, which would have brought about a decrease in investment long before today (indeed we are currently seeing this fall in economic growth partly because of the impending tax hike that would result from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, which investors now know is likely under a Democratic Congress, and certain under a Democratic president).


Of course, a decrease in investment means a decrease in jobs, a fall in the stock market, and probably a recession. All of these would have been magnified by strong support for the culprits behind today’s crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, of which Republicans, including McCain, had long ago called for an examination. But they were stopped by Democrats such as Obama, who is the second-highest recipient of political contributions from Fannie in history – despite having been in the Senate for only months. Skyrocketing government spending would not have helped, especially if it included shady pet projects such as the $1 million earmark that Obama requested for the hospital that had recently tripled his wife’s salary.


Social policies would have also succumbed to Obama’s extremist tendencies. The loss of one conservative and one moderate U.S. Supreme Court justice would have paved the way for Obama’s nomination of judges that would have given liberals a 7-2 majority on most issues and at least a 6-3 majority on all issues. Important cases like D.C. v. Heller would have turned out less pleasantly than those of us who have read the Constitution would expect, and meaningful gun rights would have been a thing of the past.


Another case, Roe v. Wade would have seen no hope of being overturned for at least another generation, leading to continued abortion on demand. Well, on second thought, perhaps it would have been overturned, but not for the reasons most Americans hope for. Barack Obama would have been dissatisfied with abortion being limited to pre-born babies. As he has thrice indicated in the Illinois State Senate, where he voted to end the life of those babies who survive failed abortion attempts and completely leave the woman’s body alive, Obama would have sought to apply abortion rights to post-birth babies as well. Unfortunately, there is no indication yet of what age a baby girl or infant would have to be before Obama decides to give her the legal right to live.


So where would we be had Obama won in 2004? We would have a wrecked Middle East, damaged relations with dozens of countries, a humiliated military, economic troubles that make today’s problems look like Disneyland, rampantly corrupt spending practices, a hard-left Supreme Court, no gun rights and post-pregnancy babies in severe trouble. Never mind that Obama would have had a close spiritual advisor who explicitly hates America (that was back when Obama couldn’t “disown” him more than he could disown his white grandmother and the black community), a first lady who had not yet been proud of her country, and pals hanging out in the White House who had literally planned to bomb the White House.


Why, then, would Obama be any better if we elect him in 2008?

© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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