October 10, 2008


Peggy Noonan:

But these were not the great causes. Neither party has clean hands. Or rather, both parties have dirty hands. Here is the truth, spoken by the increasingly impressive Sen. Tom Coburn: "The root of the problem is political greed in Congress. Members . . . from both parties wanted short-term political credit for promoting homeownership even though they were putting our entire economy at risk by encouraging people to buy homes they couldn't afford. Then, instead of conducting thorough oversight and correcting obvious problems with unstable entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, members of Congress chose to . . . distract themselves with unprecedented amounts of pork-barrel spending." That is the truth.

And yet at the debate, when one citizen-questioner invited both candidates to think aloud about the responsibility of our representatives in Washington, they both gently suggested she was cynical.

She was not cynical. She was informed.

Why would anyone trust either candidate to help dig us out of this if they can't speak frankly about what got us into it?

(via CG)

And a comment here:

The biggest problem though isn't the candidates, it's the populace. Article II of the US Constitution, dealing with the powers of the presidency, is only a page long. In there, you will find nothing about tax reform, health care, retirement management, economic stabilization, hope, change, or straight talk.

We, the people, have lost our sense of direction. Instead of thinking about the president simply as someone who represents us on the national scene, we think of him or her as our leader which was never supposed to be the case.

The office is practically a figurehead, yet those around us treat it like an elected dictator, always giving the office more power to 'save us from ourselves'.

Posted by Sarah at October 10, 2008 09:32 AM | TrackBack

I am glad Coburn and Noonan don't single out the Democrats instead of pretending Our Side Can Do No Wrong. Denial is dishonor.

I trust neither candidate. Nor do I trust our political class as a whole. Count me among the 59%:


Yeah, I know it's not going to happen. Instead, I fear we'll see more demand for 'leaders'.

Brecht said,

"Unglücklich das Land, das Helden nötig hat."

Unfortunate is the country that needs heroes.

I would paraphrase it as

Unfortunate is the country that needs leaders.

A free people does not need a leader to save them from themselves.

Posted by: Amritas at October 10, 2008 11:39 AM

“Neither party has clean hands.”

Bullsh*t!!! This mantra is just a way to deflect the overwhelming evidence that the Democrats are responsible for enacting the legislation, (Pres. Carter), enforcing it, (Pres. Clinton), and people like Barney Franks who fought against reform.

Yes, let’s not mention McCain attempts to do something and most definitely mention Pres. Bush’s most numerous attempts to straighten the situation out.

No let’s just blame everyone and then we won’t bother placing the guilt where it belongs.

“The office is practically a figurehead…”,

Yes, the President of the United States is a figure head. Please, silly doesn’t begin to explain that remark.

“…yet those around us treat it like an elected dictator, always giving the office more power to 'save us from ourselves'.”

Yes, that’s what we Conservatives are always preaching, ‘Please help us, we need MORE government’.

Posted by: tim at October 10, 2008 01:03 PM

On paper, it IS largely ceremonial. You show me in the Constitution where the President creates a budget or designs an economic policy for the entire nation. As an institution, Congress has abandoned many of its responsibilities to the executive branch, which increases the importance of the office of the President, which in turn minimizes the importance of elected representatives to the legislature. How many citizens can even name their senators? If you can't name them, how can you hold them accountable?

Posted by: Sig at October 10, 2008 11:45 PM