11.30.2010 0

5 Stories that Mattered in 2010

  • On: 12/23/2010 09:40:21
  • In: Uncategorized
  • By Rick Manning

    At this time of year, it is traditional to look back on stories and actions that got our nation to where it is at the beginning of a new year. These five stories either changed the way we look at our government, or the world in such a way, that they will likely have a profound effect on our world in the years to come.

    Obama Blows the BP Oil Spill

    There are times in every Administration where the basic competency is challenged and they either pass the test of they don’t. Obama’s aura of competency was shattered into a million pieces by the federal government’s less than inept response to the BP spill.

    Between having sit-downs with movie producer James Cameron to discuss the spill, and the federal government denying and delaying request after request by Gulf Coast states to lift federal rules to deal with the crisis, Obama was revealed to be an empty suit who was unable to react to a crisis. When his big solution was to send his Attorney General to try to find someone to indict, while those same someone’s were still trying to cap the well, it became clear that Obama was looking to cast blame and not find solutions.

    This event forever shifted the narrative on who Obama is, and destroyed the veneer of competency that his Administration was given by his main stream media allies.

    ObamaCare Passes

    Perhaps no event crystallized opposition to the Nancy Pelosi House and Democratic leadership in the Senate than the passage of ObamaCare. This event took an energized Republican base and turned them into an energized Independent and Republican voting bloc that took down a Speaker of the House.

    The Tea Party Rises

    Rejecting both political parties, the tea party rose to dominate U.S. politics in 2010. With power felt in the Republican primaries resulting in Christine O’Donnell defeating D.C. insider favorite Mike Castle for the Republican Senate nomination in Delaware, as well as, defeating Utah incumbent Senator Robert Bennett and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski in primaries, the tea party showed itself to be a potent force inside Republican politics. The largest victory for Republican House of Representative members in almost 100 years showed that the tea party wielded enormous power in general elections in spite of Murkowski’s write-in victory, and O’Donnell’s crushing defeat.

    Ultimately, the question for 2011 and 2012 is whether the tea party movement momentum can be sustained, or will they go back into the fabric of American society like other grassroots uprisings in American history? And the true test of the new Boehner speakership will be how he responds to the pressure between the new tea party members of his conference and some of the old bulls who want to tinker with the system rather than make wholesale changes to the federal government spending patterns. How Boehner balances these competing interests may well determine whether the tea party supporters are helpful to Republicans in the 2012 elections or go their own direction supporting third-party candidates.

    The Budget Deficit/National Debt

    An issue that is about as sexy as a dishrag, but government overspending and bloated, overreaching government became the driving issues of the 2010 election, and promises to dominate the Washington, D.C. landscape in the next two years.

    As the national debt rapidly approaches $14 trillion, that is 14,000 billion dollars, or 14 million, million dollar bills, federal and state legislators will be dealing with the most basic fiscal problem that can exist: the government has promised to spend more money than it takes in — by a lot.
    As politicians seek to address and in some cases, spin, this issue, they won’t be able to miss the enormity of the problem, as the 2010 budget shortfall is the equivalent of about ten months spending on all discretionary programs including national defense.

    Tough decisions will need to be made on both discretionary and entitlement spending, and House Republicans will have to decide if they want to take the political risk of proposing real solutions to the problem that have zero chance of acceptance in either the Senate or the White House, or play around the edges, get some minor cuts, and claim victory in the hopes of winning the presidency and control of the Senate in the 2012 elections.

    The World at War and the China effect

    With American troops in harm’s way in Iraq (I know this war has been declared over by two presidents, but it just won’t go away), Afghanistan (which in the next two years we will pass the one decade mark in-country), or North Korea (are they crazy or just Chinese proxies testing our resolve?), the world at war will be a major story over the next two years.

    In the next two years, Obama will be desperate to appease the Cindy Sheehan wing of the Democratic Party that got him nominated, by getting our troops out of Afghanistan (his “good” war) regardless of the situation on the ground.

    Iran is likely to have a nuclear weapon, with the exact Holocaust-denying genocidal leadership that would be willing to engage in mutually assured destruction in an attack on Israel.

    China, Russia, Brazil and Venezuela will be seeking to destroy the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, helped along by our government’s penchant for spending what we don’t have.

    This tension with China and its surrogates is likely to be the most important foreign policy story of the upcoming decade, and will determine America’s future in the 21st century.

    Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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