Thursday, November 12, 2009

Obama started running for President years ago. He won the Democratic nomination the summer of last year. He won election over a year ago. He took office close to 10 months ago.

At all of those times, he knew the economy was in trouble. At all of those times, he knew that we weren't 'winning' in Afghanistan.

Plenty of time to start thinking on what he wanted to do to address both of those problem areas.

He signed on to a stimulus plan that was supposed to turn around the economy. He fired the commander in Afghanistan and replaced him with someone more to his liking.

And while he continues to 'dither' on what to do about Afghanistan, he is convening a forum on joblessness in December where he will reportedly listen to ideas as to how best rescue the economy.

Not a bad idea.... seven months ago! It isn't as if he - or anyone else - should have been thinking that the stimulus plan was working (truly he didn't believe his Administration's hype about 'jobs saved or created', did he?). He's known for months that unemployment was going up and expected to go even higher, with hundreds of thousands of monthly layoffs. He's known for months that businesses and individuals are pessimistic and he should have known that pessimistic businesses don't hire and pessimistic individuals don't buy.

Back when Obama signed the stimulus into law, there should have been some thinking and planning about what to do if the plan didn't achieve what it was supposed to achieve. Only a fool goes into an operation unprepared for the possibility that Plan A isn't going to work... it's only prudent to have a Plan B in mind (as well as a Plan C and possibly a Plan D). Mechanics have a Plan B ('if replacing the alternator doesn't work, we'll replace the entire engine'). Generals have a Plan B ('we will sweep around the front, if we run into resistance, we'll fall back and call for airstrikes'). Car salesmen have a Plan B ('I'll start with emphasizing how nice they look in the car, if that doesn't work, I'll throw in a free oil change').

The only people who don't have Plan Bs in mind are those who are delusional to the point where they can't imagine their ideas not working.

Perhaps Obama could have spent some of the time he's spent golfing and taking his wife out on dates and going to Copenhagen to make a pitch for the Olympics and traveling the world apologizing for the United States on something else.... like coming up with a Plan B? And even if he didn't want to spend the time on it, with hundreds of White House staffers, as well as staff he could have drawn from other agencies and departments, there wasn't a shortage of people that Obama could have asked to start preparing his some options if Plan A didn't work... if only Obama had thought that coming up with a Plan B was a good idea.

So with the economy continuing to suffer, where is Obama's Plan B? Apparently, he doesn't have one. Apparently, he is just now starting to gather ideas that could go into formulating a Plan B. Correction, he is going to wait until December to start gathering ideas. Add to that the time necessary to sift through those ideas and coalesce them into a coherent proposal and the time necessary to work that proposal through a Congress that is going to grow increasingly preoccupied with the fall elections and it is pretty clear that we're not going to see anything for months and months to come... and given that no program is going to have instantaneous results, even more months until we start to see the benefits of whatever they end up coming up with.

And to add insult to injury, not only does he not have a Plan B, he is apparently just now concluding that he needs a Plan B, that Plan A isn't working (common sense deduction on my part: if he had done so earlier, then he would have issued his call for a forum earlier as well, right?).