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February 19, 2010

Krauthammer: Obama Failed Because The System Worked

A little over a year into a failed presidency and the Democrats already know who is at fault...everyone else. They do this by ignoring the year* they had a 60 vote super-majority in the Senate (something that only disappeared when they managed to lose the seat held by Democrats for over 50 years) or the overwhelming House majority they still enjoy. No, like a child looking to deflect blame for their failure to 'remake' America as Obama promised, they claim to have not have had enough power to overcome 'special interests' 'Fox News' and of course, those pesky 'people'.

Citing the Reagan and Clinton presidencies, Charles Krauthammer takes the, um, hammer to their claims that this some how proves America is now "ungovernable".

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. The Senate filibuster stymies 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.

Liberals never admit they are wrong or that the majority simply rejects their ideas. It's simultaneously childlike in it's refusal to take responsibility and dangerous in that their answer is always to change the rules to give them even greater power to do what they want.

Ask a die hard lefty about the failure of socialism and communism everywhere it's been tried and they will simply tell you it's never really been tried as intended. The Soviet Union, Cuba, China (before going capitalist) really weren't pure enough examples for them. Give them one more chance, a little more power, a little higher body count and they will usher in utopia!

Obama isn't failing because conservatives lie or cheat. Obama is failing because he's an ideologue who wrapped his hard left agenda in a gauzy film of Hope and Change. Now that people have gotten a look at what it really means they are rejecting it.

Unfortunately for liberals, this system of checks and balances is a feature, not a bug of the American system.

*As Zimrel points out in the comments, the Democrats only had 59 votes until July when Franken was seated. Two things...59 votes is a lot and other than the 'stimulus' (which passed) the big ticket items like health care and Cap and Trade weren't ready for votes until after Franken took his seat. They still couldn't get it done.

Rogue Regime [ace]: As Drew mentioned, the filibuster is singled out as a villain in most of these pieces.

The implication is that the filibuster is an anti-democratic gimmick that thwarts the will of the people.

It may be an anti-democratic gimmick, but note that in this case it certainly does not thwart the will of the people -- by majorities often approaching 60%, the people say they don't want ObamaCare.

So what they are really complaining of is that there is a procedural hurdle in the Senate that is keeping Obama and the liberals from passing into law a bill that the public loathes.

Does that make any sense? They call America "ungovernable" and blame the filibuster (among other things), despite the fact that the filibuster is being used on behalf of the majority of voters to advance their actual agenda (or rather halt a bill that is contrary to their agenda).

America isn't ungovernable. Lacking responsive and responsible governance from the accidental power the Democrats have, America has chosen to govern itself, via the only levers of power over its rogue government it has left.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:55 AM

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