by Kelly Sloan | 10:04 am, April 20, 2012 | Comments Off
When your senior advisor bemoans the current path of the economy on national television, all is not perfectly well in your campaign for a second crack at the Presidency. Nevertheless, David Axlerod’s comments on Fox News Sunday may have been more of an unintentional adumbration than a mere rhetorical faux pas.
When Axlerod said that “The choice in this election is between an economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead…and an economy that continues down the road we are on”, he revealed an abiding sense in the Obama White House that they do not feel that they have taken the country far enough down their intended path – that something remains fundamentally wrong with the foundations of America, and they simply have not been availed enough of an opportunity to fix it.
This might seem an odd observation to conservatives, especially tea party activists, many of whom were galvanized into political action by what they saw as the clear excesses and dramatic overreach of the Democrat Congress, and Obama White House, but not to many on the left.
Stripped of the public option — the lynchpin of the left’s ultimate goal, the single-payer health system — Obamacare is a disaster on several levels, but is at least a somewhat diluted disaster.
Cap and Trade was not passed, nor was any other crushing environmental legislation. The EPA, BLM, and other federal agencies have been given marching orders to take up the slack, and have been dutifully doing their level best to prevent energy production on federal lands, but they haven’t been able to stop drilling on private land, such as in North Dakota. Meanwhile, Solyndra’s epic failure has turned public opinion against the subsidization of experimental “green” industries with public money, even if it is euphemized as “investment”.
The stimulus failed, as pretty much every competent economist predicted; despite wild-eyed rants from Paul Krugman to double down, throw in everything, it will work this time, really!!, public opinion and common sense averted a second round of profligate binge spending of taxpayers money, beyond the normal, everyday profligate binge spending of taxpayers money.
Guantanamo remains open, terrorists are not being tried on Court TV, and America has only abandoned some of her responsibilities to national security, not all of them.
While most of us may view all of these as frightening near misses among direct hits, Obama and co. see them as critical failures.
Axlerod’s comments, especially when juxtaposed with the Presidents own undisciplined remarks about the Supreme Court, reveal a frustration on the left with a system that has prevented them completing the re-ordering of American society.
They do, however, believe that such a victory remains within their grasp, if only President Obama receives second term. He muttered as much to the Russian Chief Puppet, President Medvedev a few weeks back.
What a second Obama term would mean, exactly, depends a lot on what sort of Congress he faces, but suffice to say that four more years unfettered by electoral concerns, Obama would produce a deluge of ever more aggressive initiatives designed not simply to inflict his statist vision on America, but to permanently change the social and political fabric such that the very concept of the United States would be redefined.
This is what comes from electing Presidents with ambitions that are larger than their offices. In Obama’s case, the self-inflation is largely ideological – liberalism requires a strong central hand at the controls to overturn established institutions and overcome human nature – but some of it is the result of a public that over time places these added responsibilities on the Executive simply by expecting it. If we expect a President to be a king, he will begin to act like a king.
William F. Buckley liked to relate the story of how when in Switzerland (perhaps the best-run country in the world) he would amuse himself at a dinner by asking the educated Swiss citizen to his left or his right what the name of the Swiss President was. Often the question would be relayed halfway around the table before some bright individual managed to produce the information, so inconsequential to everyday Swiss life was the President.
The lesson here is that, similarly, America was designed to operate smoothly without constant guidance from a head of state. The survival of this idea is in part what next November is about.
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