Friday, February 19, 2010

American Journey

The Old Excuse for Present Failure:
by Charles Krauthammer

In the latter days of the Carter presidency, it became fashionable to say that the office had become unmanageable and was simply too big for one man. Some suggested a single, six-year presidential term.

The president's own White House counsel suggested abolishing the separation of powers and going to a more parliamentary system of unitary executive control. America had become ungovernable.

Then came Ronald Reagan, and all that chatter disappeared.

The tyranny of entitlements? Reagan collaborated with Tip O'Neill, the legendary Democratic House speaker, to establish the Alan Greenspan commission that kept Social Security solvent for a quarter-century.

A corrupted system of taxation? Reagan worked with liberal Democrat Bill Bradley to craft a legislative miracle: tax reform that eliminated dozens of loopholes and slashed rates across the board — and fueled two decades of economic growth.

Later, a highly skilled Democratic president, Bill Clinton, successfully tackled another supposedly intractable problem: the culture of intergenerational dependency. He collaborated with another House speaker, Newt Gingrich, to produce the single most successful social reform of our time, the abolition of welfare as an entitlement.

It turned out that the country's problems were not problems of structure but of leadership. Reagan and Clinton had it. Carter didn't. Under a president with extensive executive experience, good political skills and an ideological compass in tune with the public, the country was indeed governable.

It's 2010 and the first-year agenda of a popular and promising young president has gone down in flames. Barack Obama's two signature initiatives — cap-and-trade and health care reform — lie in ruins. Desperate to explain away this scandalous state of affairs, liberal apologists haul out the old reliable from the Carter years: "America the Ungovernable." So declared Newsweek. "Is America Ungovernable?" coyly asked the New Republic. Guess the answer.

The rage at the machine has produced the usual litany of systemic explanations. Special interests are too powerful. Filibusters stymie social progress. A burdensome constitutional order prevents innovation.

If only we could be more like China, pines Tom Friedman, waxing poetic about the efficiency of the Chinese authoritarian model, while America flails about under its "two parties ... with their duel-to-the-death paralysis." The better thinkers, bewildered and furious that their president has not gotten his way, have developed a sudden disdain for our inherently incremental constitutional system.

Yet, what's new about any of these supposedly ruinous structural impediments? Special interests blocking policy changes? They have been around since the beginning of the republic — and since the beginning of the republic, strong presidents, like the two Roosevelts, have rallied the citizenry and overcome them. (end Krauthammer)


The Tea Party movement in America is a grass roots cry for rational leadership at the national level. Barack Hussein Obama can't deliver it because he simply doesn't know how - or where to begin. His only job before politics was "community organizer" (rabble rouser). Our national reputation around the world is that of a country, poorly led. The Chicago Political Machine can't run Chicago without paid thugs and Illinois, which is bankrupt as California, is an example of epic failure.

The voters delivered the Democratic Party what it has been begging for: A Super Majority in the Legislature and a Utopian Socialist at the helm of state. And in a year, they spent more than George Bush did in the proceeding eight years with virtually nothing to show for it.

The Democrats shine a jaundiced eye on average Americans who can see plainly what they've done and bristle at the thought that their incumbent politicians (if polling is accurate) will be voted from office in November.


WoFat said...

The most important job in the world should have more stringent requirements.

Stephanie Faris said...

I've found in my time that it doesn't matter how lousy a President is, he's probably going to be around all 8 years. Same with Governors. Why? Because nobody good runs against an incumbent. Not in those high posts, anyway. They position themselves to run once that President's 8 years are up. We had a HORRIBLE governor in TN before the current one and even at the 4-year mark we knew he was horrible, yet nobody ran against him. I was stunned. I then realized what was going on.

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