Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Raise the Drawbridge"

Dan Pfeiffer, head of the West Wing's communication staff, expressed the current mood in the West Wing this way to the Washington Post on Inauguration Day: "There's a moment of opportunity now that's important. . . . What's frustrating is that we don't have a political system or an opposition party worthy of the opportunity."
Exactly what is "unworthy?" The Republicans? The system of checks and balances? The Constitution? The thinking of Madison and Jefferson and Hamilton just getting in the way of your mighty brains?

At the time of the economic crisis in the fall of 2008, the economic system was falling apart and the Congress, the leaders of the country, were going on vacation. They had a good reason: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said "No one knows what to do." When the going gets tough, the tough go on vacation.

One might ask, "What has changed." Why, when the nation was experiencing one of its most significant problems since the Second World War, would the nation's leaders just walk away and now think they are so capable of dealing with an admittedly vague but apparently significant "moment of opportunity?"

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