WASHINGTON -- What strikes me about politics over the past couple of years is how obvious it all has been. In 2008, as the junior senator from Illinois campaigned across the country, demonstrating his gifts as a motivational speaker and community organizer, all one had to do was review his recent life to know that he was about to bring down on the country -- ever so incompetently -- the most left-wing government in American history. And so he has -- with the utmost incompetence. Think of the paucity of swine flu vaccine, in large part the consequence of his government's meddling with production.
As I say, it was all so obvious. No president in modern times has come to power with less political experience or less managerial experience. On the other hand, no president has come to power with a clearer record of political extremism. As senator, Barack Obama had the most left-wing voting record in the Senate, brief as his record was. Back in Illinois, he had a record of associations with extremists that would have sunk any other presidential candidate. Think of his friendship with Bill Ayers -- a co-founder of the Weather Underground, which actually bombed public buildings in the 1960s. Think of Obama's attendance, week after week, at religious services during which the Rev. Jeremiah Wright thundered forth with diatribes lilting with such lines as "God damn America." The radical direction of the Obama presidency was foreordained.
As for this week's electoral setbacks for Obama, they, too, were obviously in the cards. The economy is wobbling out of a recession that it should have been emerging from months ago. Yet how could it, with business utterly bemused by the Democrats' plans for the future? Small businesses, the source of most job expansion, are not hiring, and they are unlikely to when faced with the staggering debt that the Democrats have built up, the entrepreneurs' awareness of the entitlement crisis facing the country, and their apprehensions over how they are going to fund health insurance for their present employees once the Democrats have saddled them with the trillion-dollar health care monstrosity. Right now, the economic future facing the country is stagnation or perhaps 1970s stagflation.