A chilling column today from Mark Steyn. He recaps the “progress” of the Obamateur administration to date – and isn’t impressed:
It requires a perverse kind of genius for the 44th president not to have waited for a single “event” to throw him off course. Instead, he threw himself off: “Is Obama tanking already?” (Congressional Quarterly) “Has Barack Obama’s presidency already failed?” (The Financial Times). Whether or not it’s “already” failed or tanked, the monthly magazines still gazing out from their newsstands with their glossy inaugural covers of a smiling Barack and Michelle waltzing on the audacity of hope seem like musty historical artifacts from a lost age. The ship didn’t need to hit an iceberg; it stalled halfway down the slipway. This is still the phase before “events” come into play, when an incoming president has nothing to get in the way of his judgment and executive competence. President Obama chose to nominate Tim “Indispensable” Geithner and Tom “Home, James!” Daschle, men whose enthusiasm for the size of the federal budget is in inverse proportion to their own urge to contribute to it. He chose to nominate as commerce secretary first the scandal-afflicted Bill Richardson and then the freakishly scandal-free Judd Gregg, and wound up losing both of them.
Do read the whole thing. Steyn is spot on, but somewhat muted today. Usually, Steyn is a wealth of snarky humor. There is not much to laugh at today:
America has a choice: It can reacquaint itself with socioeconomic reality. Or it can buckle its mandatory seat belt for the same decline most of the rest of the West embraced a couple of generations back. In 1897, troops from the greatest empire the world had ever seen marched down London’s Mall for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Seventy years later, Britain had government health care, a government-owned car industry, massive government housing, and it was a shriveled high-unemployment socialist basket-case living off the dwindling cultural capital of its glorious past. In 1945, America emerged from the Second World War as the preeminent power on Earth. Seventy years later….
Think hard about that parallel. Even we Americans are diminished in the power we can project. Pirates are thriving again because the two great powers that used to guarantee the freedom of the seas are down to one – and shrinking. The stimulus bill is a down payment on our decline.
Let’s not go there.