"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." — P.J. O'Rourke
Despite my sincere best wishes for the incoming administration, I remain a prisoner of reason and empirical evidence. We all should want President Obama to succeed, for as he goes, so goes the nation and the republic.
However, as mainstream enablers wallow in self-congratulatory euphoria, the London Daily Mail offered a chilling reality check in a Jan. 8 editorial. “A victory for the cult of the cult,” the Daily Mail editorial proclaimed. “Victory for style over substance, hyperbole over history, rabble-raising over reality.”
Notwithstanding the presumption of any newly elected administration, the statistical reality remains that about half of the electorate does not embrace the gospel according to the winner. A big brother welfare state is not the American dream. “Group think and herd mentality” remains anathema to the masses who continue to fight for “individual initiative and the right to be out of step with meager political fashion.”
Obama has a tough row to hoe. His challenges will be many and frankly are only exacerbated by the hubris of certain blind partisan hacks Jonesing over what they presume is carte blanche to do what they want when they want because they want.
Fox News is reporting, “Bush bashers say they aren't going to let the inauguration of Barack Obama get in the way of their effort to have the president prosecuted on war crimes.” Although the Democratic president-elect has cautiously indicated “lukewarm enthusiasm for prosecuting members of his predecessor's administration,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (rabid partisan hack) says she could/would support a criminal probe of Bush administration officials. I guess all that rhetoric about reaching across the aisle was really a promise to pimp slap the neutered minority?
Sen. Charles Schumer (the guy who equates contrary views and opinions to his gospel with those of pornographers) wants Hitleresque censorship of criticism that does not conform to his view. This is the same school of “thought” that feels freedom of the press is cool when it nails a Richard Nixon (Republican) but evil and mean-spirited when it probes a Bill Clinton (Democrat).
Contemporary media are not even close to the Pulitzer/Hearst yellow journalism battles of the late 1800s — yet. But if Schumer and company think they can put out the hugely successful conservative talk radio fire by dumping a bucket of gasoline on it, they are way wrong. Rivers cannot be stopped by dams. Dams create lakes and new robust habitats.
Obama’s most significant challenge will not be from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, or Rush Limbaugh, but from his own family of way left sycophants intoxicated by the presumption of absolutism and the steroid euphoria of invulnerability.
Obama is a gifted and charismatic speaker. However, his talk time is over and now he has to act, manage, and lead. Furthermore, he must do so (in thought, word, and deed) as a uniter and consensus builder. That can not and will not be accomplished in an environment of presumption and corrupted power.
There are consequences to the things we do and don’t do in life, regardless of how lofty the position. The new president must reconcile a variety of mutually exclusive parameters and do so sooner rather than later. The traditional “honeymoon” for our 44th president will be alarmingly brief. Inevitably he must alienate huge constituencies regardless of whatever he does or doesn’t do.
Regardless of partisan proclivity, we should all pray for President Obama (for in doing so, we are praying for our nation). Frankly, his subtle early waffling on formerly strident talking points is a good thing. It suggests he may be serious about dealing with serious issues and not susceptible or gullible to partisan wants and needs. He is a smart guy and hopefully his intellect can overcome the visceral (although certain of his Cabinet choices suggest otherwise).
The social democracy that has been suggested by wonton “progressive” Democrats has failed miserably in Europe. “Most of Europe has come to the painful conclusion that social democracy leads to mediocrity, failure, unemployment, inflation, higher taxes and economic stagnation.”
"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift,” Abraham Lincoln said. “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of many by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
Perhaps as the new administration drapes itself in the mantle of Lincoln, it could and should remember his words?
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