It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the economy was the big issue in the elections. A related concern was the attempt by the federal government to unleash unlimited power over everyone’s lives—all of which was unconstitutional. The two ought to go together. More people thought about the economy, of course, but I was encouraged by the new discussion on constitutionalism, particularly by those on the Tea Party side of politics. It can be argued that overreaching constitutional authority exacerbated the bad economic situation. What can’t be argued with any degree of honesty is the actual state of the economy. Obama’s ditch analogy has received wide play—but we need to keep one salient fact in mind: sometimes a ditch can be the lesser of two evils.
The high unemployment rate and its imperviousness to federal stimulus techniques has caused great angst amongst the population. There’s really only one area of job creation where the president has succeeded:
Has he learned anything from the electoral drubbing he received? His press conference the day after the elections indicates resistance on his part to take responsibility for the outcome. Yes, he did mouth certain words that may have sounded like he was taking responsibility, but if you listened closely, you never heard anything about his policies being wrongheaded; instead, he framed the problem simply as one of communication of his policies. That line of defense is incredible; he was constantly pushing those policies in speech after speech. Everyone knew what he stood for:
Now he is forced to deal with a Republican majority in the House and a significantly reduced Democrat majority in the Senate. Everyone is talking about finding areas of agreement. Fine, if they exist. However, one must be careful; some compromises could be dangerous:
It’s incumbent upon Republicans to remain principled in their approach to any compromise. Acceptable compromises move policy closer to the ideal, but if principle is sacrificed along the way, such compromises will lead us down a destructive path. We should never cross that bridge.