Saturday, November 5, 2011

The case for American optimism

Mr. Podhorest makes the case for optimism in the face of a stagnant economy by framing the events of the last years. I can agree on his perspective in general. But I disagree in particular on one paragraph. After describing the increasing turn-over of federal governments in the last decade, from Democrat to Republican and back again, Mr. Podherest offers this explanation:

Voters were not being flighty or silly or stupid. These dramatic shifts were substantive, the result of inarguable policy failures. Bush’s failure to win in Iraq and to handle Hurricane Katrina competently caused the 2006 Congressional thumpin’; the Republican party’s failure to manage the financial meltdown competently led to Obama’s easy victory in 2008; Obama’s failure to generate the recovery he had promised with his stimulus and his swelling of government caused the 2010 shellacking. Voters took a chance that Obama could bring about the change he had promised; the bet didn’t pay off, to put it mildly; and they tore up their tickets. If the 2012 election follows the same form, and at this moment there is no reason to think the dynamic will be different from what it has been since 2006, it will not go well for him.

The Case for Optimism « Commentary Magazine
Sat, 5 Nov 2011 19:20:00 UTC
I believe this argument is fundamentally incorrect. Dissatifaction was not born by policy failure. It was born by the alarm of outlandish government over-reach and spending.

For there is concrete evidence that the American public has been searching for party that will decrease federal spending and power since the days of Jimmy Carter. It drove the Presidency of Reagan, the ouster of Bush I, the acceptance of Clinton despite his moral vacuity, the disgust with an out of control Republican Congress, the failing of Bush II, and the hope for Obama, now dashed as his true colors become apparent despite media cover.

And the populace has ultimately been disappointed for over 40 years.

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