Hoist with his own petard

Via Breda, Peggy Noonan makes an excellent point:

I don’t see how the president’s position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president’s political judgment and instincts.

But it’s not just Obama’s incompetence. Even if he was a competent manager and leader, the nanny state will always fail because it simply CAN’T do everything.

I wonder if the president knows what a disaster this is not only for him but for his political assumptions. His philosophy is that it is appropriate for the federal government to occupy a more burly, significant and powerful place in America—confronting its problems of need, injustice, inequality. But in a way, and inevitably, this is always boiled down to a promise: “Trust us here in Washington, we will prove worthy of your trust.” Then the oil spill came and government could not do the job, could not meet need, in fact seemed faraway and incapable: “We pay so much for the government and it can’t cap an undersea oil well!”

And it never will. Government is force and that is ALL it is. If force won’t solve the problem (and it rarely does) then a government response will fail, inevitably.

I challenge anyone to name something positive, domestically, that the government has succeeded in. Anyone? (Crickets)

Yet “we” still keep expecting something different.

Maybe we really are insane.

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4 Responses to Hoist with his own petard

  1. mike w. says:

    And it never will. Government is force and that is ALL it is. If force won’t solve the problem.

    Yup, just look at what they said to BP. They said we’re going to force BP out of the way………yet what expertise, ideas, or ability do they have that would actually solve the problem.

    Maybe we really are insane.

    Some of us are. Look at all the fools who voted for this schmuck.

  2. DC says:

    IIRC, Peggy was tepidly FOR Obama before his election. Buyer’s Remorse, perhaps?

  3. LabRat says:

    Ironically? Yes, I can name something. Conservation. American wildlife has made massive recoveries in multiple areas. Not all of it can be credited to government, and management of fisheries and forests has in many respects been abysmal anyway, but stopping the bleeding from market hunting and other abuses and designating and effectively protecting wildlife refuges stopped many, many species from going the way of the passenger pigeon.

  4. alan says:

    Conservation is a way of dealing with the tragedy of the commons. Private preserves don’t need conservation laws but public lands and migratory species are at risk of over harvesting. Like Labrat says, much of the governments efforts in conservation have been abysmal.

    I wonder if conservation has been a success in spite of government’s involvement instead of because of it.

    One can also argue that conservation is something thing that wouldn’t work without force and thus benefits from government action.

    I’m not sure that’s true but I don’t have a non-government solution to migratory species conservation either.

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