"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Great Thomas Sowell Essay: "Oil and Snake Oil"



Sowell is excellent at cutting straight to the bone of things (an especially useful skill with this Administration), as he demonstrates in this essay.

From Sowell's essay:

"The big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is bad enough in itself. But politics can make anything worse.

"Let's stop and think. Either the government knows how to stop the oil spill or they don't. If they know how to stop it, then why have they let thousands of barrels of oil per day keep gushing out, for weeks on end? All they have to do is tell BP to step aside, while the government comes in to do it right.

"If they don't know, then what is all this political grandstanding about keeping their boot on the neck of BP, the Attorney General of the United States going down to the Gulf to threaten lawsuits— on what charges was unspecified— and President Obama showing up in his shirt sleeves?

"Just what is Obama going to do in his shirt sleeves, except impress the gullible? He might as well have shown up in a tuxedo with white tie, for all the difference it makes.

"This government is not about governing. It is about creating an impression. That worked on the campaign trail in 2008, but it is a disaster in the White House, where rhetoric is no substitute for reality."

[...]

"[C]reating political impressions and images is not the same thing as governing. Yet Obama in the White House keeps on saying and doing things to impress people, instead of governing.

"Once the elections were over and the time for governing began, there was now a new audience to consider— a much more savvy audience, the leaders of other countries around the world."

[...]

"By the same token, domestic bungling by Barack Obama sends a dangerous signal to countries hostile to us, in addition to the signal sent by his displays of amateurism on the world stage.
President Obama had barely settled into the White House before he began demonstrating his willingness to sell out this country's friends to appease our enemies. His trip to Moscow to try to make a deal with the Russians, based on reneging on the pre-existing American commitment to put a missile shield in Eastern Europe, was the kind of short-sighted betrayal whose consequences can come back to haunt a nation for years.

"Obama spoke grandly about 'pressing the reset button' on international relations, as if all the international commitments of the past were his to disregard.

"But if no American commitment can be depended upon beyond a current administration, then any nation that allies itself with us is jeopardizing its own national security, because dangers in the international jungle last longer than 4 years or even 8 years."

That's some highlights, but go read the whole thing. It's well worth the time.

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