17 Nov 2011

Conrad Black is Optimistic

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The Obama Administration.

Conrad Black observes the liberal media redirecting its fire from Herman Cain in the direction of Newt Gingrich, and shrugs indifferently. It is already obvious to any intelligent observer (like Mr. Black) that Barack Obama (absent divine intervention) has no real hope of being re-elected and that the election of 2012 is destined to be a genuinely transformative election, sweeping all of the consequences of the election of 2008 onto the ash-pile of history.

For me to achieve a degree of optimism from this procession of accident-prone Republican candidates might seem aberrant or a worrisome sign of cabin fever, but it isn’t. The grace of revelation came in two mighty flashes of celestial light, a few seconds apart, thunder to follow closer to next November. Whatever obloquy may be rained down on the well-tended topknots of the Republican hopefuls, it will not excuse or reelect the administration described by one commentator a few weeks ago as “the worst since before the invention of electricity.”

This administration will have produced $5 trillion of deficits, which will have the economic consequences of a 500 percent increase in the money supply in four years, without any serious effort to suggest how it is going to close the spigot, much less repay any of the accumulated debt. Only someone more familiar than I with the most fantastic realms of fiction could find adequately recondite metaphors for this level of fiscal irresponsibility. There has not been a hint of entitlement reform; no interest in a reforming budget or in changing the actuarial assumptions or vesting conditions of Social Security; no comprehensive analysis of municipal, county, or state debt, as Harrisburg, Pa., and Jefferson County, Ala. ($3 billion) went down in the last two weeks like tenpins; nor an effort to tackle the $1 trillion student-loan debt bomb. The administration continues its glazed pall of official prevarication in a reassuring monotone.

There has been no serious effort even to make the 10 percent token reduction in the projected decade of deficits required by the outcome of the debt-ceiling fiasco. The president clings to his arithmetic of the 99 percent and cozies up to the infantilists of Occupy Wall Street (even as he continues his dalliance with the stragglers among his limousine-borne Wall Street groupies). And Treasury Secretary Geithner, having been struck dumb like Zechariah in the temple for the last two years, recovered his voice to exhort the impecunious Europeans to join America in the St. Vitus’s Dance of spending confected trillions of virtual electronic dollars/euros. …

At least Herbert Hoover acknowledged that a depression was in progress, and Jimmy Carter spoke of a malaise (of which his presence in the White House was the principal symptom). The president and other administration spokesmen seem supremely confident that all they have to do to retain immersion rights in the public trough for another four years is hammer the piñata about the 99 percent and incant the name of the preceding president.

As long as there is an alternative that can speak and tie up its shoelaces in the morning, I do not believe that this administration can be reelected. It is so unrelievedly incompetent that its fecklessness is more a matter of sadness and embarrassment than of the rage that engulfed George W. Bush. This, I surmise, is why the liberal establishment, the Times editorial writers and columnists, the Hollywood groupies, the rich fundraisers, don’t detect that the ship is sinking, and still squeal with delight as the Republican challengers fail to generate more than tentative or reluctant enthusiasm. But they are reading the wrong dials; there will be a Republican nominee. The country will not reelect this mockery of an administration, and whoever the Republican is will be elected and inaugurated, even if he has operated an open-air dog kennel on the wings of an airborne aircraft while groping relays of stewardesses.

And the other illuminated revelation, which came swiftly after the first: The voters will not only be disposing of a failed administration; they will be approving the Republican platform, which will call for radical tax simplification and reduction, entitlement reform, serious health-care reform, real spending reductions, incentives to increased domestic oil production and natural-gas use, and an absolute commitment to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear military power.

It will be a drastic reform program that will signal that the United States is awakening like Brünnhilde, however unlikely the Siegfried, finally resuming world leadership, acting on its budget and current-account deficits, and behaving like a Great Power and a textbook case in self-government for the first time since President Bush Senior. The effect of the change will be electrifying. …

The new president may have an imperfect CV and too-perfect hair; Speaker Boehner may surpass Mr. Obama’s historic favorite, Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh, in his proclivity to burst publicly into tears; the White House may be as boring and banal as it was under George W. Bush (though that is unlikely, especially in syntactical matters); but America will lead in policy terms, if not in the personality of its leader. Problems will be addressed and the mere anarchy of abdication compounded by smug official sophistry will no longer be loosed upon the world. Mr. Churchill’s bust may come back to the Oval Office, and FDR’s address at D-Day, including the godly references that the Bureau of Land Management feels disrupt the spirit “of the elegant memorial,” may yet be displayed there. The night will end and glorious will be the dawn, in Washington. I have seen the future, and in it, people work.

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