Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Obama's Anecdotes

Classicist and farmer Victor David Hanson calls Obama's style "The Anecdotal Presidency" for the way that the president reduces our great national challenges to anecdotal fluff.  From deficits to immigration the president's response is a plausible but insufficient story: let the rich pay a little more; give the illegal-immigrant children of illegal immigrants a break.
The Obama presidency is one of anecdotes in lieu of solutions. It might be a comforting thought that jailing a reactionary filmmaker, or raising taxes on the suspect few, or providing amnesty to the college undergraduate, or taking away Ted Nugent’s guns will solve our mounting problems, but such anecdotes mean little in the real world of difficult choices that would offend friends as well as opponents.
We expect our politicians--or at least the politicians of the other party--to act responsibly to solve national problems, but I always come back to this.  Democracy is not the rule of the people, for the people cannot rule.  The only thing the people can do is to choose who will rule over them.  In our age these are elected politicians, experts in persuasion.  Their skill is not governing, it is running for election.

A chap like Barack Obama runs for election as someone who can get you free stuff, and it stands to reason to his supporters that if the rich paid a little more there would be enough for all.

A chap like Mitt Romney, or any Republican, runs as someone that will fix the profligate government, and it stands to reason to his supporters that if we just cut a little from all the waste, fraud, and abuse that there would be plenty of money for the government to discharge its proper responsibilities.

Which is right?

Well, neither.  The result of a chap like Barack Obama is that the government gets into real fiscal difficulty and confiscates the wealth of the people through inflation and debt default to try and pay its bills.  The result of a chap like Mitt Romney is that the government's affairs become so comfortable that people think we can safely increase government spending and subsidies.

And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.

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