Posted Tue, 02/07/06
For the past five years, America has been led by a president who is clearly not up to the job — a man who is not just inarticulate, but lacking in judgment, intelligence, integrity, charisma or staying power. Yet America as a nation seems to be stronger, more prosperous and self-confident than ever.
President Bush has more or less given up on all the grand goals that were supposed to define his presidency: social security reform, peace in the Middle East, even the axis of evil doctrine, which was supposed to disarm North Korea and Iran. Most embarrassingly, President Bush seems to have given up on capturing Osama bin Laden or bringing to justice the perpetrators of 9/11.
Why does America's prosperity and self-confidence seem to bear so little relationship to the competence of its government? The obvious answer is that America, founded on a libertarian theory of minimal government, has always had low expectations of politicians. Because Americans expect so little of their government, they are rarely disappointed. They do not slump into German-style angst when their governments fail to find solutions to the nation’s problems.
It's sad, but mortifyingly true.