Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Obamis: Advancing or Retreating?

The poor Republicans seem to be tongue-tied about immigration.  Should they climb aboard the amnesty-now, fence-later bandwagon?

Or should they just say No Thanks, Mr. President?

On the one hand there are people that say that the president and the Democrats are driving the national agenda and skillfully dividing the Republicans.

On the other hand the polls show that the people don't give a damn about fixing immigration.  Not when the economy is in the dumps.

And the president and the Democrats need to distract the American people from the putrid swamp of scandals from A to Z.

My guess is that the answer is all of the above.  Yes, the Democrats smell a winner on immigration, because any bill seems to deliver more voters to them in the future.  And it seems to confound the Republicans.

And by filling up the national attention with gun control, immigration, and race the president can take all the oxygen out of the room on scandals.  Although I suspect that they are not taking as much oxygen out of the room as they hope.  Probably more important for them is to keep the leftist base on-side with issues that it cares about.

But I think that the whole question of President Obama is a distraction.  The only thing that matters right now is thinking about how we can get the support of the American people to fix our broken government and our broken economy.

The solution to our national economic problem is stark and simple.  Stop growing government.  Start reducing the free stuff.  Start lowering barriers to commerce. Stop using commerce purely as food for the government sector.

That's the easy part.  The hard part is convincing the American people to change.

As in Mitt Romney.

Look, you can say all you like about Mitt Romney, but all the guy ever did with his whole life is to turn around ailing institutions.  In his business life he turned around failing businesses.  In his political life he turned around the failing Salt Lake Olympics and the failing Massachusetts government.  When his church said Jump he said how high.  But the American people said No, particularly the white rural voters that are suspicious of corporate power.

In many ways, people are right to be suspicious of corporate power.  With or without the backing of government, capitalism is a force for "creative destruction."  It does in the economic sector what Michelle Obama wants to so in the political sector.
He [Obama] is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.
Actually, when applied to politics, this is a lie.  Politics is all about recruiting people into becoming mindless followers.  You can see that when you read about the IRS employees following the exact routine prescribed by their supervisors in handling Tea Party 501(c)4 applications.  They are not particularly offended by the political favoritism.  They just want to know the rules so that they can apply them mindlessly until it's time to collect that pension.

Modern business started out that way, with plantation slavery and industrial discipline.  But it found that human slaves weren't productive enough.  Just like the German army, it needed a different kind of person: "self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility."

What we need is our own Michelle to get Americans to engage in their own lives, becoming "people of the responsible self" in the economy and in their personal lives instead of helpless victims cadging for a piece of the free stuff.  What we need is someone who can speak to the rural whites and persuade them to surrender to the market.

Hey, and then in twenty years or so, maybe we can persuade African Americans to stop trying to cadge benefits from Obama's "stash" and instead decide to risk wading into the mainstream of America.

But we can't do anything about the future while we are reading the Obama tea-leaves and wondering what he is going to do next.

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