January 20th - 2 years in the White House for President Obama. I'll mark the milestone by revisiting my Top Ten Predictions for Obama’s First Term. Here are the updates:
10. The Hip House
It didn't take long for the coolness factor to fade away. I'll concede that more young people are politically engaged, though it be through The Daily Show. Better than total apathy, perhaps.
9. The dis-armed forces
What can I say - I was wrong on this one. He's been down right bellicose. Dare I say, Obama's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech was a justification of the Bush Doctrine. But as a concession for the left, he's come through on his Iraq pledges. A parsimonious House will cut defense spending over the next two years, though not out of allegiance to an anti-war agenda. The erudite residents of Nob Hill won't be doing cartwheels though - they'd have liked to see the money funneled into windmills and family planning clinics.
8. Baby love
S-chip passed, so I guess I was right. I didn't know how right I'd be though inasmuch as Obama Care passed as well. If you've got a penchant for Social Justice, you've gotta be happy with this one. I mean, who cares how much debt we'll accumulate in the long run... at least we covered everyone, right?
7. America! What a country!
What made Obama think that he could gain international favor through contrition? We appear weaker to our allies and adversaries alike.
6. Roe v. Wade through 2040
If you're pro choice, so far, so good. The appointments of Sotomayor and Kagan are in keeping with Obama's position on Roe v Wade, not to mention a "Constitutional blind spot", and how to address it through the Judiciary.
5. Yo, bra’ Man! No More Excuses!
A racial quiescence imbued the first six months of Obama's presidency, until he weighed in on the Skip Gates Saga. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd say he commented specifically to introduce the issue. So much for a post-racial America.
4. Same deal, different century
Ding, ding, ding - I didn't exactly go out on a limb on this one though. It wasn't a secret that Obama wanted to expand entitlement programs. So what's in this New Deal? Perpetual unemployment checks, more food stamps, s-chip, and coming soon, Obama-Care. I was wrong about one thing though - it's actually quite easy to quantify... can you say "deficit spending"?
3. Will work for food (stamps)
Though the economic outlook isn't as bad as it was 2 years ago, the working man works for less, if he works at all. Despite Bush's tax cuts being extended, there's still not a lot of hiring going on out there. It looks like 9% unemployment is the new "normal".
Filled up lately? It's not a surprise that gas prices are going up. But there's hope... our President will lift additional restrictions on off-shore drilling in time to lower prices before for the 2012 election. Somewhat of a push on this one though. At this point, there's not enough political capital to even bring up Cap & Trade.
1. The check is in the mail
Our national debt grew by an additional three and a half trillion dollars in the past two years. If we keep spending at this rate, we won't have to worry about the impact on our grandchildren, or even our children. The price will be paid within the decade.
So two years in, we're not the "socialist republic" I thought we'd be. Why? Perhaps 235 years in, checks and balances are working. Either that, or our President is not as far to the left as I thought he was. Maybe a little of both. It'll be interesting to see if he moderates in the second half. Ah, politics... you gotta love this stuff.