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Liberals Say U.S. Is Ungovernable. Again.
American Thinker ^ | 2-16-2010 | Christopher Chantrill

Posted on 02/15/2010 10:33:17 PM PST by smoothsailing


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February 16, 2010

Liberals Say U.S. Is Ungovernable. Again.

By Christopher Chantrill

Liberals are at it again. They are worrying that the U.S. is "ungovernable." Political scientist Jay Cost has the details:

Ezra Klein argued that it was time to reform the filibuster because the government cannot function with it intact anymore. Tom Friedman suggested that America's "political instability" was making people abroad nervous. And Michael Cohen of Newsweek blamed "obstructionist Republicans," "spineless Democrats," and an "incoherent public" for the problem.

Liberals were saying exactly the same thing in 1980, thirty years ago, in the darkest days of the Carter administration. The mess of inflation, recession, Iran hostages, and gas lines, they decided, was not a direct result of stupid Carter administration policy. It was a sign that America's best days were behind us, and that there was nothing to do but decline gracefully.

You'll remember that U.S. voters in the fall of 1980 had a different idea. They decided to elect a B-movie actor to the presidency. Yes, that's what liberals called Ronald Reagan back then. Clark Clifford, the "wise man of Washington," hadn't even thought of calling him an "amiable dunce." Not yet.

The Amiable Dunce proceeded to cut tax rates. He strengthened the dollar and cut government spending. It wasn't so much governing as getting government out of the way. The result was a twenty-year boom. And now here we are back where we started, with a nasty economy, a soft dollar, a failed presidency, and another generation of liberals complaining that the U.S. is ungovernable.

To call a nation ungovernable is as ignorant as calling an airplane in which you are the pilot "unflyable." When Tex Johnston made the first flight in the eight-engine YB-52 bomber in April 1952, he found on climb-out that the control force needed to apply bank with the ailerons made it impossible to turn the airplane. Did he give up and bail out of this unflyable airplane? Not according to the story he tells in Jet-Age Test Pilot. He tried the rudder pedals and found that he could yaw the airplane -- and the secondary effect of yaw, as every pilot knows, is bank. So Tex brought the prototype YB-52 in to land using the rudder pedals, directed the engineers to make some adjustments, and the rest is history.

Tex's problem with the B-52 ailerons is the same as the liberal problem with the filibuster. Liberals are finding the Senate's controls too heavy. It's almost impossible, they complain, to get the Senate to turn on command. So they want to change the rules to make it easier for them to do a cram-down on partisan legislation.

Don't they realize that the founding fathers wrote the U.S. Constitution precisely to make it hard to control the Senate? The founders wanted to restrain momentary Pelosian majorities in the House of Representatives with regional power in the upper house. They set the controls to make the U.S. almost ungovernable -- by design.

Our liberal friends have helped in one area.  Their postmodern professors have taught us that history is nothing more than a self-serving narrative dictated by the powerful. Radical historians like the recently departed Howard Zinn in A People's History of the United States have made fortunes out of exploding the notion of European civilization by recounting the nasty things white European males have done to "the people" all over the world. Noam Chomsky has made himself a rich man penning screeds about American imperialism.

Our left-wing friends never seem to have thought that their narrative of injustice, which exposed the hypocrisies of the world bourgeoisie and global corporations, applies exactly to them and their progressive project.

When you look at the great government programs, you can believe the liberal narrative about helping people, or you can believe the liberal postmodernists and assume that it's all about power. Every regulation is a bid for power; every dollar of spending is a payoff to supporters. You can make a case that the Obama administration's program of stimuli, bailouts, tax "agnosticism," and crony capitalism is all about hope and change for the people. But in the modern age, stripped of superstition and Platonic "likely stories," we believe in the simple, elegant explanation. Nah, it's all about power.

Stripped of its narrative myth, every government is an armed minority occupying territory and subjugating its population. That's why the Audi Green Police commercial is so mordantly funny. In the United States in 2010, the police power can fine you for not separating your garbage correctly. But an armed minority does not just sic the police on its middle-class citizens. It must reward its supporters. That's why government spending has gone from 7 percent of GDP to 45 percent in a century. That's why government workers earn more than private-sector workers.

So when liberal wring their hands because the U.S. seems to be ungovernable, we conservatives chuckle. That's not a bug, liberals; that's a feature.

Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his roadtothemiddleclass.com and usgovernmentspending.com. His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/liberals_say_us_is_ungovernabl.html at February 16, 2010 - 12:30:38 AM CST


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: ezraklein

1 posted on 02/15/2010 10:33:17 PM PST by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

Thank god.


2 posted on 02/15/2010 10:34:27 PM PST by Nooseman (--mart)
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To: smoothsailing

Herd of cats!


3 posted on 02/15/2010 10:34:59 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: Nooseman
Ungovernable...no. Unrulable...perhaps.
4 posted on 02/15/2010 10:35:26 PM PST by RavenATB
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To: smoothsailing

If by “Ungovernable” they mean that we can not be dragged, deceived, or beaten into accepting socialist, Marxist, dictatorship, they are DAMN WELL RIGHT. We are not a People who are governed by a dictator or dictator class. WE THE PEOPLE RULE THIS PLACE, and if they don’t like it they can get the hell out.


5 posted on 02/15/2010 10:36:30 PM PST by politicalmerc (Statistics don't lie but liars sure use statistics!)
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To: Nooseman

My thought exactly.


6 posted on 02/15/2010 10:37:33 PM PST by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

This may be groundwork for Obama’s attempt to rule by executive order.


7 posted on 02/15/2010 10:38:21 PM PST by the_Watchman
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Hear us roar!


8 posted on 02/15/2010 10:38:47 PM PST by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing
It isn't ungovernable it just cannot be RULED!

They don't want to govern, they want to tyrannize!

9 posted on 02/15/2010 10:39:17 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (THE SECOND AMENDMENT, A MATTER OF FACT, NOT A MATTER OF OPINION)
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To: smoothsailing
Liberals Say U.S. Is Ungovernable.

By design and by the temperament of it's people. May it ever remain so.

10 posted on 02/15/2010 10:45:24 PM PST by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: El Gato
Exactly

So when liberal wring their hands because the U.S. seems to be ungovernable, we conservatives chuckle. That's not a bug, liberals; that's a feature.

11 posted on 02/15/2010 10:48:48 PM PST by smoothsailing
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To: the_Watchman

This may be groundwork for Obama’s attempt to rule by executive order.


Yep.


12 posted on 02/15/2010 10:50:34 PM PST by Blonde
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To: smoothsailing
Headline shouild be...

Liberals Incapable of Governing U.S... Again.

-PJ

13 posted on 02/15/2010 10:52:31 PM PST by Political Junkie Too ("Comprehensive" reform bills only end up as incomprehensible messes.)
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To: smoothsailing

The people do not need governed, its the government thats out of control.


14 posted on 02/15/2010 10:52:38 PM PST by GeronL (Dignity is earned from yourself. Respect is earned from others.)
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To: smoothsailing

Is it just me...or can you seem to smell freedom in the air when Liberal get frustrated?


15 posted on 02/15/2010 10:54:48 PM PST by RepublicanMeansAmerican
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To: politicalmerc

We the people voted for Obama. The only thing protecting us is the Constitution... For now.


16 posted on 02/15/2010 10:56:52 PM PST by DariusBane (Even the Rocks shall cry out "Hobamma to the Highest")
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To: smoothsailing

bookmark bump!


17 posted on 02/15/2010 11:01:25 PM PST by nralife (Sarah doesn't know it's a damn show! She thinks it's a damn fight!)
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To: smoothsailing

but Reagan wasn’t an ‘amiable dunce.’ He thought and wrote and spoke about every issue that was facing this country. He was...an American Thinker.


18 posted on 02/15/2010 11:04:45 PM PST by ari-freedom
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To: smoothsailing
Man, did this author BLOW IT!

Don't they realize that the founding fathers wrote the U.S. Constitution precisely to make it hard to control the Senate? The founders wanted to restrain momentary Pelosian majorities in the House of Representatives with regional power in the upper house. They set the controls to make the U.S. almost ungovernable -- by design.

He attributes a Senate RULE to the U.S. Constitution.

Quite incorrect.

(How many of you guys read this and didn't catch it? Shame!)

Sauron

19 posted on 02/15/2010 11:05:22 PM PST by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: smoothsailing
Clark Clifford, the "wise man of Washington," hadn't even thought of calling him an "amiable dunce." Not yet.

Clark Clifford? LMAO!
Isn't he the slimy Democrat crook who got indicted in the BCCI scandal and then proceeded to drop dead?

20 posted on 02/15/2010 11:15:59 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: smoothsailing

to govern means to control. hmm, freedom is having to say we do NOT want to be controlled. Limited government is a GOOD THING,


21 posted on 02/15/2010 11:27:13 PM PST by television is just wrong
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Amen. The rule of law to liberals: “you are not fit to act because we know what’s good for you”. Submit to Obama now!


22 posted on 02/15/2010 11:28:29 PM PST by max americana
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To: smoothsailing
Liberals are at it again. They are worrying that the U.S. is "ungovernable."

If they're admitting they are incapable of governing, I would agree with them. But the fault lies in them, not America.

23 posted on 02/15/2010 11:33:32 PM PST by highlander_UW (Obama has lost or not saved over 4 million jobs!)
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To: smoothsailing
Don't they realize that the founding fathers wrote the U.S. Constitution precisely to make it hard to control the Senate? The founders wanted to restrain momentary Pelosian majorities in the House of Representatives with regional power in the upper house. They set the controls to make the U.S. almost ungovernable -- by design.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the filibuster a Senate procedural rule, and not something implemented by the Founders?

24 posted on 02/15/2010 11:56:12 PM PST by thecabal (Destroy Progressivism)
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To: sauron

I didn’t read the replies yet, so I guess that’s correct then. (I caught it, hah!)


25 posted on 02/15/2010 11:57:10 PM PST by thecabal (Destroy Progressivism)
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To: smoothsailing
Liberals Say U.S. Is Ungovernable. Again.

Damn straight. We can govern ourselves.

Learn it. Live it. Love it.

26 posted on 02/16/2010 12:04:04 AM PST by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all. -- Texas Eagle)
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To: smoothsailing

Un-govenerable? HellYa! It’s called ANTI-TYRRANY. Any questions? Goody. Class dismissed.


27 posted on 02/16/2010 12:09:41 AM PST by Danae (Don't like our Constitution? Try living in a country with out one.)
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To: DariusBane

Obama’s presense in the WH breaks the constitution. Don’t wonder why they are pushing unconstitutional legislation. They are unbound by it.


28 posted on 02/16/2010 12:13:33 AM PST by Danae (Don't like our Constitution? Try living in a country with out one.)
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To: smoothsailing

I’m glad they got that decided! Now they can stop trying.


29 posted on 02/16/2010 12:14:16 AM PST by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: Nooseman

why cant they just go find a place in northern california,and live their life.dangit.


30 posted on 02/16/2010 12:31:23 AM PST by Nooseman (--mart)
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To: smoothsailing

They’re pushing this crap all over.

Nonsense. We are the most ‘governed’ society in the history of mankind. The fact that we are willing to tolerate this in a non-violent manner blows the ‘ungovernable’ argument out of the water.


31 posted on 02/16/2010 1:40:51 AM PST by CowboyJay (T(s)EA - Honest money, or bust!)
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To: smoothsailing; All

They said that about NYC for years, too— and Rudy ( no fan here, but give him his due ) proved how wrong they were...


32 posted on 02/16/2010 2:33:21 AM PST by backhoe (All Across America, the Lights are being relit again...)
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To: sauron

I knew a FReeper would catch this.

It reminds me of the useful idiots who say that our system of checks and balances means political parties checking one another.


33 posted on 02/16/2010 2:46:38 AM PST by 2nd Bn, 11th Mar (The "P" in democrat stands for patriotism)
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To: smoothsailing
Yep, just because Americans will not go down the road to socialism, they are ungovernable.

Sure, whatever!

34 posted on 02/16/2010 3:07:55 AM PST by Redleg Duke
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To: smoothsailing
What happened to "consent of the governed?"

The American people don't want to be dictated to?

Imagine their nerve - demanding control over their own lives!

35 posted on 02/16/2010 3:56:08 AM PST by NoControllingLegalAuthority (As Wichita falls so falls Wichita Falls)
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To: smoothsailing

“Liberals are at it again. They are worrying that the U.S. is “ungovernable.””
That’s what the scum say when we don’t go along with their version of communism.


36 posted on 02/16/2010 4:01:42 AM PST by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: smoothsailing

Dear Liberals,

Governing.

You’re doing it wrong.


37 posted on 02/16/2010 4:02:53 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality. (Hi Mom.))
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To: thecabal

“I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the filibuster a Senate procedural rule, and not something implemented by the Founders?”

I don’t think he was talking about the filibuster.

In the Constitution as written, Senators were not elected, but appointed by state legislatures—and that for a six year term. That was supposed to give them a certain stability that would counter the zigs and zags of the House, whose members are elected for two year terms.

James Madison said:

The use of the Senate is consistent in its proceedings with more coolness, more wisdom than the popular branch of government. Its hallmark would not be the majoritism of the House, but the emphasis on the rights of individual Senators to consider and impact legislation.

Tom Coburn said:

There are two examples in history on how the Senate has operated as intended as a bulwark against hasty decisions and bad policy.


38 posted on 02/16/2010 4:15:08 AM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: smoothsailing
Ezra Klein argued that it was time to reform the filibuster because the government cannot function with it intact anymore. Tom Friedman suggested that America's "political instability" was making people abroad nervous. And Michael Cohen of Newsweek blamed "obstructionist Republicans," "spineless Democrats," and an "incoherent public" for the problem.

Perhaps they find us ungovernable because they fail to follow the Constitution. Reform the filibuster? Republicans haven't really used it yet, we have not had the support to hold one. Our "political instablity" is the result of an out of control elitist political system. "Obstructionist" and "spineless," on the contrary, those too few who stood against the impending tyranny are called Patriots. And lastly the "incoherent public" is not drunk, nor high, nor disassembled, nor in a coma. We are awake, aware, and wondering why Washington still can't seem to hear us now.

It is not Americans who are ungovernable, it is the government that has gotten too big for its own britches.

39 posted on 02/16/2010 4:18:48 AM PST by EBH (The warning bell of Freedom is ringing, can you not hear it?)
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To: smoothsailing
'Liberals Say U.S. Is Ungovernable. Again.'

Yeah. We need a nice, gentle, benevolent DICTATOR to take complete charge.

Like say, this guy....

Oops, never mind. He's already trying to TAKE that role.
(NOT sarcasm)
40 posted on 02/16/2010 4:21:15 AM PST by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits [A. Einstein])
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To: smoothsailing

“Liberals Say U.S. Is Ungovernable”

What those brilliant, all-knowing, really really smart, intellectual, god-like liberals mean is that they can’t rule the U.S. in whatever way they choose. (It’s that pesky Constitution dontcha know; at least, for now.)

IMHO


41 posted on 02/16/2010 5:26:50 AM PST by ripley
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