Tuesday, September 13, 2005


To the Opposition: Any Ideas?

Mark Steyn assesses President Bush's performance in the wake of Katrina, and concludes that the storm has truly passed. Steyn sees no political fallout from Katrina, none at all.

Why is he so confident? He cites two exchanges, and draws his conclusions:
These days, the Republicans are the party of small government and the party of big government, and the party of all points in between. The Democrats, meanwhile, are the party of emotive know-nothings, the go-to guys for soap-operatic sobbing and righteous histrionics. You can understand why the 24-hour cable-news networks love the Dems. Just stick a camera in front of New Orleans's Mayor Nagin: "To those who would criticise, where the hell were you?" he roared the other day. "Where the hell were you?" In a town you're not the mayor of, happily. That's how most Americans react. But the media think, wow, this is great television, he really socks it to Bush. And, if life were an especially bad daytime soap, he would. But ask Democrats for specifics and they're either as blank as Mrs Pelosi or as mired in their ancient tropes as Jesse Jackson, who demanded Bush appoint more high-ranking blacks to the hurricane relief effort. Charges of Republican "racism" rang particularly hollow in the context of New Orleans, where sodden blacks might be better advised to ponder what they have to show for being a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party for four decades.
As the entire carnival of misery opportunists, race baiters, and public service incompetents slink their way from town, we are left with, what exactly?

The President's opponents and adversaries haven't stopped fighting the war from the Campaign of 2000, let alone deal effectively with 9/11/01 or, Lord knows, the election of 2004. They are trapped by their hatred and bitter resentment. Their nemesis is a fool in their eyes, completely undeserving of his or the country's good fortune, and they are forever condemned to see an Evil Midas Touch in anything the President touches (or doesn't touch with enough sensitivity, and there is never enough sensitivity for these folks).

There are bountiful opportunities and points of honest disagreement with a wide range of policies available to a loyal opposition. Heck, available to any kind of opposition at all. Perish the thought, Democrats could even go after Bush for increasing the size of Government and bureaucracy, if there was any hope at all that Democrats would ever view that in a negative light. True to form, they actually attack him for not having made the Federal Government, bigger, stronger, even more intrusive in the affairs of State and Local governments, or in the very the lives of our citizens.

For those of us who breath politically, such an underwhelming opposition really can't be good, in any long term sense. A Minority party devoid of ideas may reach for a populism more dangerous than the dopiness doctrines they have attached themselves to thus far. And a Majority Party can't easily maintain good discipline with First Round failures the only competition they see.

(Hat tip: Power Line)

UPDATE: I originally misattributed the Telegraph article to Christopher Hitchens. While Hitchens too is a fine writer, Steyn is responsible for the assessment on Katrina. My apologies to both gentlemen, and my readers.

Links: Austin Bay, Basil's Blog, Outside the Beltway, bRight & Early, Mudville Gazette

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]