Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Presidency

You Can Fool...

In the Czech Republic, the Social Democrat Party (the liberal wing of the government) perpetually finds itself in public disapproval on major issues, but always seems to get out the vote on election day by simply promising everything to everyone and counting on the political prediction that "you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time." If elected, they spend without regard for future consequences and consistently warn the ever-increasing ranks of citizens on the government dole that the oppossition wants to take away their entitlements.

The question for conservative Czech parties is always whether the inability of the left-wing to "fool all of the people all of the time" is sufficient to overcome their initial gains among the fooled. The Federalist Papers refer to this tactic as demagoguery, and it has rightly been attached ever-more frequently to Obama's performance as president.

Obama's election slogan of "hope and change" was largely a promise of everything to everyone. It wasn't so vulgar as the Czech Social Democrat's promises: prior to the last election, they offered post-election rewards (bribes) to poor people for their votes. Obama's promises were more ethereal and transcendent. But now that he is in office, the promises must become more concrete and credible as public patience and approval quickly dwindle. Obama may appreciate the need for such a transition, but he has failed to act in accordance - hence his unwillingness to confront any of the substantive issues involved in the national debt.

Obama isn't the first U.S. politician to ignore fiscal responsibilities and he won't be the last. But fiscal reform is the issue of the present - wars and natural tragedies have flared and dimmed, but the economic crisis and the fiscally-minded Tea Party remain. Obama thus has an opportunity to lead and confront a national security threat.

He has failed to lead. Either he truly believes there is no danger or accepts the consequences in light of short-term political gains. His first budget ignored the problems, and his revised budget acknowledges the problem only insofar as to sabotage any true attempt at reform through offers of meaningless, partisan compromises. One may disagree with Obama on any number of issues, but his decision to ignore America's debt in favor of demagogy for partisan gain is lamentable. Far from the statesman promised in the campaign, Obama is a typical Chicago-style politician without vision, courage or a sense of duty.

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