There Is No Stopping Obama

Nine days ago, there was a special election in upstate New York’s 20th Congressional District. This election was billed as the first test for the Obamessiah’s agenda of radically remaking the United States. Unfortunately, his backed candidate appears to have won.

There are still about 600 absentee votes left to be counted and Republican Jim Tedisco hasn’t officially conceded. But the reality is that the special election in New York’s 20th District is essentially over and Democrat Scott Murphy is the victor.

Tedisco only trails Murphy by 401 votes but it’s hard to find many Republicans who think he has any chance of winning. Several leading GOP officials and operatives have already publicly thrown in the towel. Privately, Republican operatives tracking the race admit there aren’t enough GOP votes left for Tedisco to overcome his triple-digit deficit.

The Republican radio silence on the race is revealing. Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, who made the special election a national priority for the party, hasn’t commented on the race in nine days. Tedisco’s campaign has also gone dark, with no press releases issued about the election since April 14. All of his campaign staff has returned to work in the state Assembly, and all that’s left is a press secretary on loan from the NRCC and the legal team that’s assisting him during the post-election phase.

Thursday night, Capital News 9 reported that sources tell them Tedisco could concede as early as Friday afternoon.

If there was any serious opposition to Obama and his policies, the GOP would’ve won this seat. Furthermore, Jim Tedisco was a popular state Assemblyman and the man who defeated him, Scott Murphy, was an unknown before this election.

Furthermore, a USA Today/Gallup Poll came out that is nothing but good news for the President.

President Obama’s opening months in the Oval Office have fortified his standing with the American public, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, giving him political capital for battles ahead.

As his 100th day as president approaches next Wednesday, the survey shows Obama has not only maintained robust approval ratings but also bolstered the sense that he is a strong and decisive leader who can manage the government effectively during a time of economic crisis.

“A lot of things were ignored over the last eight years, and I think it’s all coming home to roost,” says Benjamin Bleadon, 51, an insurance broker from Skokie, Ill., who was among those surveyed. “He has given the perception that he understands the issues and that he has taken control … and we’ll just have to wait and see if it works.”


Now, 56% say he has done an “excellent” or “good” job as president versus 20% who rate him as “poor” or “terrible.” An additional 23% say he has done “just OK.”

His excellent/good rating on national security is 53%. On the economy, it is 48%.

“He is seen as someone who was handed a large array of challenges and is dealing with them in a sensible way,” adviser David Axelrod says.

The first thing we libertarians and small government conservatives need to admit is we cannot stop Obama’s radical agenda politically. Obama has the support of the American people first of all. Secondly, we are politically discredited from the Bush years.

All we can do is try to educate enough people to realize the dangerous path we are on before it is too late in the time we have left and hope we have enough support to do something.

How we can do that….I leave that to you the commentors for frankly, I don’t have the first idea where to start.

I want to leave with one final thought:

America is at that awkward stage; it’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. –Claire Wolfe

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.
  • Robert Stacy McCain

    Kevin, no one is unstoppable. The key to stopping Obama is for his opponents to ignore the polls and realize the most important thing about the Democrats’ economic agenda: IT WON’T WORK.

    Obama’s popularity in April 2009 is high mainly because the media have helped convinced Americans that the Democratic economic agenda will fix the nation’s fundamental problems. But it won’t. So think of what the unemployment rate, the inflation rate and the interest rates will be on Labor Day 2010. And think how popular the Democrats will be then — especially if political leaders will stand up now and clearly speak the truth about the “stagflation” crisis into which Obamanomics will inevitably lead us.

    What we need is for some congressional staffers to start reading Hayek and Mises — and Thomas Woods’ new bestseller, MELTDOWN — and start writing some decent speeches explaining economic reality.

  • ka1igu1a

    the libertarian candidate dropped out and supported Scott Murphy because of the strong arm tactics of Tedisco…

    And McCain, don’t you have a hill to go die on?

  • Doug Mataconis


    You are correct on one point — if the economy tanks then Obama will take the blame for it and, most likely, Republicans will benefit from that. Of course, if the economy improves, Obama gets the benefit and the GOP is most likely as screwed in 2010 and 2012 as it was in 2006 and 2008. In either case, the most important thing to remember is that, by and large, the Republican Party’s fate is out of it’s hands.

    What we need is for some congressional staffers to start reading Hayek and Mises — and Thomas Woods’ new bestseller, MELTDOWN — and start writing some decent speeches explaining economic reality.

    See this is where I think conservatives get it wrong.

    If all these tea parties result in is a return to power of the same Republicans who got us into this mess to begin with, then they will have accomplished nothing.

    Speeches don’t matter, actions do. And, by it’s actions, the Republican Party has proven to fiscal conservatives and libertarians that it cannot be trusted.

  • southernjames

    The only hope, at least the way I see it, is to try to fight back and eventually defeat the propaganda war being intensely waged. And “war” is not hyperbole.

    As the market continues to tank, and unemployment continues to rise, and if we start seeing signs of hyper-inflation coming our way – the WH press corp and other media propagandists such as the news arms of the three major networks, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, Time, Newsweek, AP, Reuters, and most of the major newspapers – will continue to support the WH message that “The One” simply needs “more time” for his initiatives to work, in order to offset the effects of 8 years of “corporate greed” and “wall street greed” and “corporate mismanagement” or whatever other anti-capitalism buzzwords du jour may fit.

    It is two pronged. We will continue to see the message combined with the ongoing and well coordinated viscious smear campaign directed at ANY dissenting voices, whether those voices come from “right wing extremist hate speech talk radio,” “FauxNews,” or from the right wing “teabaggers” who are greedy idiots at best, and possibly racists at worst — and who “never minded big government when THEY were in power!!”

    “And 80% of whom are older than 60 anyway.” THAT is the latest Goebbels LIE passed off as truth – it is getting repeated over and over and over and over. James Carville and company keep reassuring everyone that Limbaugh’s audience is mostly old retirees; and the tea party crowd is also mostly old retirees.

    On the one hand, there may be cause for some mild optimism – only 100 days in to The Messiah’s term, and his gaffes and stumbles and back-tracking are piling up so fast, sooner or later even the MSM may even notice; and in spite of that Gallup poll, I have read that his approval rating has been slowly and steadily dropping – and is now down to something like 54% with no leveling off in sight. And only 100 days in, and for the first time in my lifetime, there are 300,000 people taking to the public square to hold protests who AREN’T either from the Left, or marching for or against abortion.

    On the other hand, we have the Taliban getting closer to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal with each passing day, N. Korea test firing missiles; yet our commander in chief is planning to CUT missile defense – I suppose after his DOJ finishes its witch hunt on prosecuting the last administration’s lawyers for rendering legal opinions. You think everyone in intelligence is keeping their heads low and taking no chances now on doing ANYTHING?

    So whether we can counter the massive propaganda brainwashing campaign as respects the economy within the next 2-6 years or not, may end up being moot – as the groundwork for another 911 – except the next one will probably be worse – is being laid. After that happens – well, all bets are off, aren’t they, as to what sort of political landscape we’ll have in the aftermath. If one allows oneself to think about that too much, the idea of stocking up on ammo and dried food becomes more rather than less appealing, with each passing month.

  • Doug Mataconis


    What if the economy doesn’t tank ?

    Or, what if it does and the public still supports Obama and the Democrats over Republicans ? That’s what happened with FDR during his first term and it’s not entirely unlikely given that poll after poll after poll since November has made it clear that the public still has a very negative view of the GOP and of Republicans in Congress.

  • southernjames


    I guess that is the scenario the Administration is counting on. Maybe it was you or somebody else on here who speculated that perhaps the REAL underlying agenda behind on the Trillion dollar Spendulus initiatives is to get the economy just barely improved enough for 2010 and then again 2012 to solidify the left majority and also get Obama re-elected. Then his “transformation” (his words) of the country into what he and his allies on the left (or his controllers?) envision can proceed full steam and unabated.

    Then the crap he has been tossing out in order to test the reaction and test the waters on – but then backs off of – he will no longer back off on, but can go for – full steam ahead.

    So I don’t have any answer to your question.

    There are so many unknown factors which come into play, it is hard to predict the future at this point. How does one make ANY assumptions, as to what will be happening one year from now?

    A year or perhaps a little more than a year ago, it was “common wisdom” among a lot of VERY smart people, that Hillary would get the Dem nomination. A year ago, who would have predicted the “Tea Party” movement of 2009? A year ago, I sure as hell was not expecting the value of my 401K to drop by 47% from then to now, with no rebound in sight; a year ago, I had no concept or plans in the back of my head to EVER own a firearm (But now I do and I also joined the NRA); a year ago, nobody I know was expecting that the median price of homes in my town would fall by 50%. So what lies ahead….??

    9/11/2001 ended up being the defining moment of W’s 8 year presidency, and what happened from there (e.g., the Iraq war) dominated his tenure. Yet on September 10th, if there had been a discussion somewhere like here on what we should all expect out of W’s first term, the talk would have been about economic stuff – can he push reform on social security; what’s the deal with this “no child left behind” stuff in education, etc. Right? So what lies ahead……?

    How does the equation on any assumptions we try to make now, about things like how the mid-term elections will turn out, change if a year from now Israel has been nuked, and so has Tehran by them, in retaliation? Or if a year from now, NK has invaded SK. Or China has launched a punitive missile attack on Taiwan for some perceived encroachment/slight. Or the newly fanged Russian Bear suddenly decides its time to start re-building its old Soviet empire – – by force? Or suddenly a massively violent revolution breaks out in Mexico – and tens of thousands of refugees come storming at our border? And simultaneously while any one (or more, heaven forbid) of these events are happening, some massive Quake hits California, and/or we get another Katrina slamming into a big city like Miami?

    Seems like all we can do is try to stay on message – try to counter the propaganda – – and I would also respectfully suggest that libertarians and small govt conservatives also stay focused on THAT big picture/goal, and set aside the philosophical differences on other areas.

  • Jeff Gannon


    The Bush administration has damaged the Republican brand for a very long time. This is only the beginning.

  • southernjames

    It is not just the Bush Admin that has damaged – possibly fatally – the Brand. But also all those moderate “RINOs” (although it is probably unfair to call them that – they are I suppose the ‘true’ face of the party now) who did not stand up to W, not only on things like spending, but on stuff like W’s boneheaded moves like the Harriet Meiers nomination. It was non-stop howling from the (maligned and sneered at) “right wing base” that got THAT withdrawn.

    The elected officials who were perfectly happy to become all ‘porky’ themselves when in the majority, and who are now perfectly happy to be “go along get alongs” once again, and just do what they need to do to get re-elected now that they are back-benchers again, need to be defeated, and thrown out of the party.

    One of the worst is the party leaders’ own hand-picked chosen candidate for Pres – John McLame. Mr. Centrist, who is “such good friend” with his dear (socialist) “colleagues” across the aisle. What a disaster he was.

  • Doug Mataconis


    It wasn’t just those RINOs you speak of that were silent as George W. Bush proceeded to screw us all over — the so-called fiscal conservatives kept their mouths shut as well.

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  • chrisfrmchi

    911 truth is the only redemption for the republicans / conservatives.

    You don’t need to believe in a particular theory just that WE NEED A NEW INVESTIGATION before we commit more troops to the Afghanistan War.

    9/11 Truth throws all Neo-Cons and Bush people under a new bus, the Ron Paul movement will provide you cover.

    Obama won’t support it because he is committed to send more troops to Pakistan and Afghanistan, its the shatterpoint for him. The Left’s Anti-war will start soon to question 9/11 also. The brave republicans/conservatives now that would support 9/11 truth separates them from the Bush Torturing Neo-Cons.

    We need a new investigation into the single event that has defined this decade. We can agree that the whole story hasn’t been told. The people on the commission have admitted that.

    Lets do it before this giant error grows bigger.

  • uhm

    Go Agorism, live freely, help and educate the community (help them better themselves, teach the philosophy of liberty, help them see the continuity of the imperial presidents, and understand the oligarchy running the show) so they can end the tribal warfare that causes the division that is exploited by the imperial class, and speak truth to power. People need to see that Obama is a continuation of Bush.

    Politically many Libertarians will never be happy and will happily have a greater evil than a lesser one like Ron Paul that shares many of their values. This is documented fact. At present any Republican with some Libertarian ideals will come from the Ron Paul faction and to many Libertarians that is unacceptable.

  • Eric Dondero

    I think the first step is admitting that most Libertarians were wrong all those years bashing Bush and the Republicans. Look what it has given us: A severely weakened GOP, which amounts to the only hope of any sort of opposition to Obama’s Fascism.

    If you all are looking for someone to blame for the rising tide of Fascism in America via Obama, look in the mirror.

    All you all who bashed Guiliani are to blame. All you all who called Bush a “nutty social conservative,” or “NeoCon,” are to blame. All you all who wouldn’t lift a finger to help the GOP cause these past few years, cause it might be seen as “damaging to the Libertarian Party,” are to blame.

    Look in the mirror you all.

    “We’ve seen the enemy, and it is ourselves.”

  • Akston

    I wish libertarians had been that effective against big government GOP hacks like Bush and McCain, but the truth is: The GOP is suffering because too many of its members chose temporary power over standing for anything.

    That is why the GOP is such an easy target today. Blaming libertarians is just silly.

    “We’ve seen the enemy, and it is ourselves.”

    I’d ask you to speak for yourself, Mr. Self-identifying-libertarian-who-is-supposedly-not-a-collectivist, but since you defend exactly the types of big government policies President Obama is implementing, you may mean “ourselves” to be big government GOP. In that case, you’re correct. It is you.

    The practitioners can call themselves whatever they wish. Lincoln would still say that dog only has four legs. I condemn their actions. I have no problem with GOP members that support small government, fiscal restraint, and the rule of law. When I see them, I tell them so.

  • Denali_Dragon

    First of all, New York is not the entire country. Hell, the 20th District is not even all of New York. One special election does not nationwide approval make. Let’s have a little perspective.

    As for the glowing USA Today/Gallup poll, once again they are not the only measurement of the American public’s approval or disapproval of Obama and his presidential ‘performance.’ The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for April 24 shows that while 36% of the nation’s voters strongly approve of the job Obama is doing, 31% of voters strongly disapprove, giving him a Presidential Approval Index rating of +5, hardly the margin you might expect from an “unstoppable” President.

    RealClearPolitics shows that polls taken between March 31 and April 23 of this year illustrate the American voters continued disillusionment with the direction of our country with an average of 54.4% of the voters saying we’re moving in the wrong direction and 38% believing we’re moving in the right one.

    Yes, conservatives and libertarians are discredited by the Bush years and yes, Obama does have the support of many Americans. But those numbers are becoming fewer and fewer each day. 51% of Americans interviewed by Rasmussen Reports viewed the Tea Parties favorably and 25% of those interviewed said they personally knew someone who attended a Tea Party. I’m pretty sure most of those folks aren’t big Obama supporters. And then we have the stunning 11% that would actually support their state seceding from the United States–one in ten! Sheesh. Do these sound like people that are happy with the three-ring Obama-and-Pelosi spending circus going on in Washington?

    Then we have my personal favorite, the MSNBC Live Vote: Give Obama a Grade. As of this writing, over three million people had responded–and the F’s were leading the A’s 39% to 37%, with a few B’s, C’s, and D’s thrown in between. The gap has been even larger in days past; I checked at one point and the F’s were leading the A’s by six percentage points. I bet Chris Matthews is starting to wonder if that thrill up his leg is going to be followed by something that will bite him on the butt.

    We do need to fight like hell to stop this madness in its tracks, no doubt about it. People that rely on the MSM for their news (unfortunately, most of America) are not going to hear about a lot of the underhanded, overblown agenda of this anti-American administration. So we need to do whatever it takes to get the truth out–Tea Parties, advertisements, Revolutionary War re-enactments, blogs, boycotts, reading aloud from the Constitution and Bill of Rights from every street corner in America–whatever works. It’s a sad fact that most people are woefully ignorant of everything that’s at stake, so we must educate them and fast. However, we cannot for one minute let ourselves think that Obama can’t be stopped and that everything we love about our country will be lost. Every military and survival instructor worth their salt will tell you the key to staying alive and in the game is largely psychological. To be trite, if you think you’ve lost, you have. Well I, as well as many others in the oft-dismissed and dissed flyover country, have no intentions on losing. The cretins in the Capitol may be in it for the long-haul, but so are we. Nobody said it would be easy, but nothing worth having ever is.

  • Doug Mataconis


    I think the first step is admitting that most Libertarians were wrong all those years bashing Bush and the Republicans. Look what it has given us: A severely weakened GOP, which amounts to the only hope of any sort of opposition to Obama’s Fascism.

    The only people to blame for a “severely weakened GOP” are the Republicans, like you, who stood by and said nothing while George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress expanded the size and scope of government at a pace unprecedented since the days of LBJ.

    The only people to blame for a “severely weakened GOP” are the Republicans, like you, who stood on the sidelines and cheered while George W. Bush and his puppet master Dick Cheney led us into a war based on lies and faulty intelligence and then, even after toppling Saddam Hussein, failed to follow through on anything approaching a viable post-war plan — resulting in a quaqmire that lasted six years.

    The only people to blame for a “severely weakened GOP” are the Republicans, like you, who backed crappy candidates like Rudy Giuliani (Mr. $ 40 million for one delegate) and then slavishly followed the line when the crappiest candidate of all, John McCain became the nominee.

    Don’t blame me, I opposed all that bullshit. I opposed Giuliani. I vowed never to vote for John McCain the moment he flushed the First Amendment down the toilet. Don’t blame me, I vote for Bob Barr.

    It’s people like you who need to look in the mirror

  • Eric Dondero

    Yeah, I guess I should “blame George W. Bush” for appointing the very first Libertarian Party past State Chairman to a Cabinet level post in his administration: Gayle Norton as Interior Secretary.

    Guess I should blame Bush for appointing other Libertarians like Bill Evers, Leon Drolet and Gerald Roberts to prominent positions in his administration.

    I guess I should blame Bush for hiring Peter Ferrera of the Cato Institute to work up his Social Security privatization proposal in 2004.

    Best way to win in politics: Embrace your enemies and bash your friends, especially when they’re hiring your folks to help them construct policy positions. Not!

  • Eric Dondero

    If you’re looking for “big government hacks” turn your attentions to all those Anti-War Libertarians, who were screaming “The War in Iraq is Lost!!!” blah, blah, blah.

    Those few on the Right, who denounced the US Military and the War in Iraq, are to blame for our current downturn in support for the GOP. This is the one thing that Patriotic American voters, mostly Blue Collar men, (Firefighters, Police Officers, Northeastern guys, tough Michiganders,, liked about Republicans: That they were tough on Al Qaeda and Islamo-Fascism.

    Then we turned them away by this attitude of “Well, we’ve got an Anti-War faction too.”

    They said “fine… I agree with Obama on economics, and you’ve given me no reason to support the GOP on foreign policy.”

    If we had stood firm in favor of the War in Iraq, maybe some of those Blue Collar guys would have stuck with us.

    But as it is, we got a little “wobbly.” Even Bush (Rice, Cheney and ther others), got wobbly towards the end, as well.

  • uhm

    The US government could have tried to buy them off like they did the Sunni Insurgency in Iraq.

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  • Bradley A. Porter

    Hi Kevin. Thought-provoking post.

    I sort of go into this in more depth in my own blog post pinged above (here, but I wanted to dive in here, because I think a lot of the commentators are missing one critical fact here. If there is one thing that should begin to dawn on Republican and Libertarian activists alike, it is this:

    We live in a center-left country.

    That sounds, on some level, fairly intuitive and almost non-controversial, but I think the behavior, strategy, tactics, and to a large extent beliefs of a lot of us small government advocates are predicated on the idea that that is not, in fact, true. That anytime the American political scene swings to the left (which is, at least in modern American history, most of the time), it is somehow a mistake, a result of trickery or subterfuge or whatever (a smattering of expressions of that belief you can see pretty well illustrated in this comment thread). To put that another way, Americans don’t actually agree with a left-of-center approach to governance, they’re just being either tricked or forced into thinking they do.

    Not only is that amazingly patronizing and condescending, I think the evidence is fairly conclusive that it’s just wrong. Obama was elected (in a relative landslide, given our day and age), and continues to hold the support of not just a plurality but a robust majority of Americans, as do most of his specific policies, not because he is a Fascist supervillain who has enacted, with the media’s help, some kind of mind control on the American voting public. In fact, the simplest answer here is really the correct one. Obama is supported by most people because most people agree with him and approve of his approach. In most circles, again, that would be noncontroversial, but I just know whoever read that sentence here probably bristled at it.

    I don’t say all that to jab at liberty activists. Far from it. I say it because without an understanding of the basic playing field, we can’t hope to succeed on it. I don’t think your post is true, that we can’t hope to political have any impact. But to have an impact, I think we have to pick our battles, to articulate a persuasive case as to why policy X is bad and why policy Y is a better alternative. If you tour around most small government circles these days, that is not being done. What is being done instead is an attempt to use dog whistle buzzwords (“socialist”, “liberal”, “fascism” whatever) in place of an actual argument, to try to make the defining issue not a robust debate about this or that policy, but a national referendum on center-left vs. center-right.

    Here’s the hard truth: we have succeeded in pushing for that national referendum, and we have very convincingly lost it. We succeeded in 2008, and lest there be any doubt about “buyer’s remorse”, the moment we succeeded in making NY-20 a referendum race, we got a clean answer: the Democrat representing Obama’s policies swing from 22 points behind to winning the district. The simple truth is that Obama is accurately and in good faith representing, as he was elected to, the views and inclinations of most of America. And Scott Murphy will be doing the same for his district.

    We can’t keep assuming that there is a silent majority of “real Americans” out there and all wee need to do is blow the dog whistle and they’ll be activated. We can’t keep assuming that because it simply isn’t true. Where we have managed to swing things to the right—say, the Reagan era, Contract with America, etc—we have done so my articulating a specific and well chosen list of conservative objections and persuasively making our case on those points. We didn’t win those eras because America was just naturally settling back to its resting point of political attitude (conservatism), we did so because we got out there and made the case better than they did (because, I believe, we’re right, which is different than saying everybody else agrees with us automatically).

    What the right has done in the last several months is fall into this trap of just kind of waiting for center-right majority America to turn on Obama. My guess is they keep waiting right through huge losses in 2010 and Obama cruising to reelection with Reagan-like numbers in 2012. At some point, we need to stop and reassess.

    Passion and a belief in the rightness of our cause (assuming even that that cause is viewed the same by all of us, which I’m suspecting is most definitely not the case) is not enough. We actually have to change minds. The only way we can even begin to do that is if we make a sober and lucid assessment of the battlefield.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Yeah, I guess I should “blame George W. Bush” for appointing the very first Libertarian Party past State Chairman to a Cabinet level post in his administration: Gayle Norton as Interior Secretary.

    Name one libertarian-leaning public policy position she got Bush to adopt.

    Just one.

    And provide links to support your assertion.

    I’ve asked to do that for almost two years now, and you’ve never come up with anything.

    Guess I should blame Bush for appointing other Libertarians like Bill Evers, Leon Drolet and Gerald Roberts to prominent positions in his administration.

    Same thing for them.

    Name one libertarian-leaning public policy position that Bush adopted as a result of their advice.

    Just one. With proof.

    I guess I should blame Bush for hiring Peter Ferrera of the Cato Institute to work up his Social Security privatization proposal in 2004.

    You mean the SSI reform he abandoned at the first sign of Congressional resistance ?

    Nice try there, but the fact that GWB was a political coward on that one made Ferrara’s advice irrelevant.

    Best way to win in politics: Embrace your enemies and bash your friends, especially when they’re hiring your folks to help them construct policy positions. Not!

    Worst way to win in politics: Embrace your enemies just because they hire a few libertarians, proceed to ignore their advice, and then run the least free-market Republican Presidency since Richard Nixon.