The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

The First 100

So, President Obama will mark his first hundred days in office with…yet another primetime press conference. What happened to having these things during the day?

Anyway, since everyone’s doing their own assessment of his time in office to date, figured I’d weigh in. Here’s the rules:

1. I’m only counting things that either the President did/said himself, or that came from a senior official (such as a Cabinet secretary). This absovles Robert Gibbs of his many-and several-gaffes.

2. While DVDs, iPods, and “reset” buttons may be mentioned to prove a larger point, these things cannot be attributed to the President (reason why below).

3. On financial matters, the fact the Obama did inherit all our current economic issues will be taken into consideration.

Standard grading scale applies; A through F. So, with apologies to A&E, here we go.

National Security: Well, all the campaign promises were fulfilled here-and quickly: close Gitmo, end the war in Iraq, refocus the GWOT on Afghanistan. Except we don’t know what to do with the remaining detainees, the drop-dead “end date” for Iraq was a done deal before Obama took office (I’ll mention the uptick in violence there, but I’m not concerned…yet), and the Global War on Terror is no longer a “war” or “on terror.” That’s not enough to fail him, but once you add in the release of the enhanced interrogation memos-and their associated pictures- for clearly political reasons, and the fact that DHS considers vets and pro-lifers “extremists”, well…Grade: F. Or, as it’s said in the blogosphere, an epic fail.

Foreign Policy: The European tour didn’t get us much in terms of substance; an increased NATO committment to Afghanistan went nowhere fast. Russia’s not enthused, China continues to build up their military, North Korea has a (semi) functional tube propelled by rocket power (call it what you want), and Iran still wants nukes. The Czechs think we’re on the “road to hell,” but Hugo Chavez kind of likes us again (after calling the President an “ignoramus”). Alas, no major alliances have been broken, and in context, the world’s not that much worse off than it was at the close of the Bush days. Grade: C, for not making things increasingly worse. Stop bowing to kings and you’d get a B.

Speaking of the administration itself, 3,000 holes is a lot, but given vetting and clearance time, not the biggest of issues. Bad start, though…turns out more people don’t pay their taxes than originally thought. Geithner survived, but has no help. Keeping Gates on at DoD was very smart; Napolitano, not so much. And is there not one pro-life Democrat that could be the ambassador to the Vatican? Hell, take Tim Kaine; he did sign off on the “choose life” license plates here in VA. And find a good Navy chief yeoman to run your protocol shop. Grade: A for attempting to  find the best people, C for scaring them all off. No need for the additional vetting; Single Scope Background Investigations work just fine. Trust me.

Contradictions in terms: The United States will “fulfill our sacred trust and serve our returning heroes as well as they’ve served us…” by making them pay for their own healthcare. That one gets the VA Secretary an F for letting Obama think this idea out loud for more than two minutes. It’s squashed now, but it never should’ve been viable in the first place. Napolitano gets an F for reasons already stated. If I still lived in DC and had kids on their way to school, I’d fail Arne Duncan as well; since I don’t-and since all he’s done in office is kill the DC voucher program-he gets a C for screwing the kids. Bob Gates gets an A for staying on, and a C for not fully explaining how much national defense really costs (you either pay for the “Cold War-era” weapons systems you campaigned against, or you spend billions to build new ones. You don’t get both). Hillary Clinton gets a B for not putting her ambitions above Obama’s agenda, but there’s plenty of time for that to still happen.

Economic Issues: Showing outrage at Citibank for wanting to buy a new jet after receiving bailout money-good. Feigning outrage at AIG for paying bonuses after receiving bailout money-bad. More bad: firing GM’s CEO. And if you’re going to pass a reinvestment bill that’s a fulfillment on campaign promises, that’s fine…but don’t call it a stimulus. Asking government agencies to find $100M in spending cuts is good, but PAYGO is a no-go, especially since your party likes to raise taxes rather than truly cut spending. Grade: C. In fairness, no one knows head from tail on our current financial situation…but not wanting to “waste a good crisis” doesn’t give you an excuse to play hell with our economic security (though the fact that that’s what’s going on won’t be obvious for a few more years).

Overall Grade: C. President Obama’s screwed up where I expected him to, not made things severely worse in some areas, and is taking big risks in others. My suggestion to him: table your ambition until we get out of this economic hole. We really can’t afford everything you want to do right now.




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  1. Coby Dillard on The First 100…

    The black conservative blogger grades the Obama administration a C for its first 100 days, which will be on April 29: “National Security: Well, all the campaign promises were fulfilled here-and quickly: close Gitmo, end the war in Iraq, refocus the G….

    Booker Rising

    April 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm

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