When President Obama gave himself a B for his first year in office, he said that among his many accomplishments, “We have reset our image around the world.”
Evidently no one told Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was trying to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it approached Detroit yesterday when the passengers overwhelmed him. (Kudos to film-maker Jasper Schuringa who was the first to jump the would-be bomber.) And word has failed to reach the mullahs of Iran, whose headlong rush towards nuclear weapons will eventually trigger a reaction from Israel which knows that no such reset has occurred in the world of radical Islamist ideology.
2009 has been the year of living foolishly for American politics –an attempt to take another holiday from history, as well as from economics. The idea that speeches could replace winning the war against radical Islam, or that massive outlays of federal spending could magically create jobs both have their origin in an immense hubris on the part of the president and his team about what their talents could accomplish in the world. They really seemed to believe that they could charm the fanatics and that Washington, D.C. and not the millions of small businesses across the country created jobs.
That hubris is still driving a disastrous health care law forward and promises still more proposals for still more wasted spending, but 2010 will bring a chance for Americans to reflect on the world as it truly is, not as they wish it would be, and to vote accordingly.
All the big states will have big elections in 2010, with California, Florida, New York and Texas electing both governors and senators. Many of the swing states like Colorado will be doing the same thing. This will be the chance to “reset” American government, to rebalance D.C., and return a crucially needed great measure of reality to its counsels inside the Beltway.
The Democrats are trying to rush through the health care nightmare bill because,as Mark Steyn puts it today, it is “the fast-track to a permanent left-of-center political culture.”
But the American people aren’t cooperating, and neither are terrorists far and wide or their sponsors in Iran or elsewhere. The former are recoiling from the hard left policies of the president’s domestic ambitions, and the latter are intruding on the dream-world he promised.
We are 45 weeks from the chance to begin to repair the damage that has flowed from marrying high school rhetoric and plans with power. We had another close call yesterday. Pray we keep being lucky for a while longer until we can start to be smart again.