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December 11, 2009

Governing is Hard, Part Deux

Don't you just hate it when Irony sneaks up behind you and bites you on the ass?

The smarter elements in Washington DC are starting to pick up on the fact that it’s not tactical errors on the part of the president that make it hard to get things done, it’s the fact that the country has become ungovernable.

And to think that these are the smart people. It's time for a trip back in the Wayback Machine... back to 2006 when that incompetent boob George W was... gasp! ... having trouble getting even routine legislation past the obstructionist minority party:

On the first anniversary of President Bush’s second inauguration — and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Gipper’s first — I called the Democrats, “the Party of Obstruction, noting how the Democratic leadership of both the House and the Senate was eschewing constructive efforts to work with the Republican majority and uniting their caucuses to oppose the president’s initiatives. They weren’t interested in effecting any compromises with him, just blocking any proposal he put forward, merely because he had put it forward.

In a recent interview with 60 Minutes, potential Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi made clear that should her party win control of Congress next month, she will continue this practice of obstruction. Claiming that the election is about the President and Vice President, she would be satisfied to make “them lame ducks.”

So, although the President was elected to a four-year term — and given that Pelosi claims she has taken “off the table,” she believes a Democratic majority should render him ineffective. In other words, she remains more committed to preventing the nation’s Chief Executive from accomplishing anything than in working with him to promote the national interest. No wonder she threatens “to deny plum assignments to members who vote with the Republicans.“

Contrast this with House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the last Republican Speaker to serve under a Democratic President. In his two terms as Speaker (1995-99), while often at odds with Bill Clinton, that Democratic President, he and House Republicans worked with the Chief Executive to forge a consensus domestic policy, passing landmark welfare reform and balancing the federal budget.

A scant year later, Harry Reid was announcing to the world that the Surge was a failure and the Iraq war was lost. Looks like payback just made Matt her bitch. But then you know the old saying: what goes around, comes around.

Moral of the story: when the minority party has the temerity to oppose your attempts to circumvent the Constitution and foist unprecedented and very likely unconstitutional "change" on the American people, don't even consider the possibility that they just might have a point:

I wonder, is this issue going to get traction? Cato's Robert Levy and Michael Cannon argue that the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional. It does seem to cross a commerce-clause line: yet another line, in fact, since so many have been crossed already. The question is whether the government can force you to buy something you don't want. You have to buy car insurance, you say? Well, not really, since nobody forces you to buy a car (though try living in the US without one). The health insurance mandate forces you to buy a service, and all you have to do to fall under its power is exist.

No, it's far more comforting to suddenly realize that sometime during your guy's watch, the country suddenly became "ungovernable".

Posted by Cassandra at December 11, 2009 08:00 PM

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Comments

I, for one, don't mind that one party roadblocks the other from passing legislation providing of course they follow the Constitution and the spirit of what our founding fathers had envisioned. The premise that ANY law affects us adversely in either our pocketbooks or our liberties rings true in most instances. What scares me the most is that the Republicans have moved so far to the left and the Democrats have moved so far to the left that any "compromise" they have found screws us both ways most times. It appears both parties have bought into the notion that Government is the answer to everything and that only the degree in which they decide to reduce and assail our liberties and pocketbooks is the only thing to be debated.

Posted by: Dave B at December 12, 2009 12:36 AM

"Contrast this with House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the last Republican Speaker to serve under a Democratic President. In his two terms as Speaker (1995-99), while often at odds with Bill Clinton, that Democratic President, he and House Republicans worked with the Chief Executive to forge a consensus domestic policy, passing landmark welfare reform and balancing the federal budget"

Losers, in other words. They oh so politely gave up the fight. Exactly why they get no respect today.

Posted by: Xiaoding at December 12, 2009 12:54 AM

The country is not ungovernable. Those who are supposed to be doing the job are merely incompetent, venal, hubris-ridden, elitist jerks who couldn't tell you what was in the Constitution even if they knew where to find a copy of it to read from.

Posted by: BillT at December 12, 2009 03:09 AM

The problem isn't that the country is ungovernable. It's that it's overgoverned.

Posted by: SteveP at December 12, 2009 03:58 AM

I agree, Steve.

I'm actually somewhat sympathetic to the idea that the country has become ungovernable. I think it is ungovernable because government has expanded beyond the human capacity for managing complexity. We've promised so many things to so many constituencies that any attempt to change the status quo can only succeed if it results in more government (and more government services).

What I find amusing is that none of these folks worried about the nation being ungovernable during Bush's watch :p

That would have meant admitting that being President isn't as easy as it looks. It has been downright funny watching Obama capitulate on one issue after the other until he's... right where George Bush was. And the really amusing thing is when you hear his defenders go on an on about how superior the process is under Obama.

OK. So it took Obama 6 months of intense "deliberation" to figure out what Bush did in a few weeks.

Impressive. If it were anyone but Teh Won I'd be wondering if the man wasn't a bit slow. Thankfully, we all know that's impossible.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 12, 2009 07:18 AM

This is exactly why the Founders put in the 10th Amendment, so that most of the power would be in the hands of the States, rather than Los Federales.

Posted by: William Teach at December 12, 2009 07:46 AM

I do believe I see a familiar paradigm here. Democrats: the party of EVIL. They are driven by fear and loathing of a civilized populace. They want to hurt us and they want to hurt us real bad. Republicans: the party of STUPID. They love us. They don't want to hurt us; things just naturally turn out that way.

Posted by: PE at December 12, 2009 08:41 AM

As usual the statists are unable to comprehend the concept of ordered liberty under enumerated powers.
The Founders devised a Constitution to make the country ungovernable by design. Our system of checks and balances is designed to put roadblocks in the path of tyrants. This makes excessive government difficult to achieve. Unfortunately, it has been achieved, largely due to complacency, apathy and a belief that tyranny "can't happen here" because of the protection of the Constitution. We the people haven't maintained that Constitution and have allowed usurpations to go unchallenged. The Constitution has been openly mocked for many years and those who speak out have been derisively challenged to do something about it. None have.
Statists have taken over the education of at least 3 generations of our citizens, teaching them contempt for our founding principles.
Now we have an openly communist, America hating administration and Congress. What are we going to do about it?

Posted by: SteveP at December 12, 2009 10:06 AM

No, it's far more comforting to suddenly realize that sometime during your guy's watch, the country suddenly became "ungovernable".

Denial, 'tis said, is not a river in Egypt...

Posted by: camojack at December 14, 2009 01:30 AM

It's time for a trip back in the Wayback Machine... back to 2006

I was thinking of a way-er back point, when Jimmeh Earl Cottuh was bravely dodging attack rabbits swimming in stockponds. The Dems used the same exact rationale, that the country had become ungovernable, to excuse Jimmeh Earl's fumbling ineptitude.

Ronald Reagan proved that the only thing the country needed was a leader.

And Obie is *not* a leader -- he's not even a *doer*, he's just a speech reader.

Posted by: BillT at December 14, 2009 04:13 AM

So nothing on this blog that is supporting the President's position on Afghanistan? Or is this simply a political blog now, intent on being a military-supporters version of Fox News? Even Fox gave him props for his decision.

And it is very encouraging that certain posters on this thread are now in favor of enforcing the Constitution when for a number of years there that was a nuanced subject.

Good to see Teabaggers have found a home.

Posted by: Miguel at December 19, 2009 09:20 PM

So nothing on this blog that is supporting the President's position on Afghanistan?

First, he has to decide what his position will be. He's promised to tell us in July, 2011, though.

And it is very encouraging that certain posters on this thread are now in favor of enforcing the Constitution when for a number of years there that was a nuanced subject.

The Constitution isn't something to be enforced, but to be complied with. These days, the Dems aren't even *pretending* to be nuanced about it...

Posted by: BillT at December 20, 2009 09:17 AM

Miguel loves to throw out unsubstantiated accusations to see who reacts.

Unlike Miguel, I happen to know a bit about the President's "strategy". When even his own commanders admit that most of the projected "Surge" won't arrive in theater for another 12 months, it's obvious what's wrong with a plan that calls for decisive results in 12-18 months.

Not exactly brain surgery.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 21, 2009 09:58 AM

I don't know about AMC, but he's surely a better fit on radio than he was in print, obviously I have no idea about how Mitchell's pay scales changed but it seems like a lateral move to me.

Posted by: thé ceylon at December 23, 2009 08:06 AM

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