Noonan, On The Malaise
A stunning, two paragraph solar plexus punch summary of our times:
Parents now fear something has stopped. They think they lived through the great abundance, a time of historic growth in wealth and material enjoyment. They got it, and they enjoyed it, and their kids did, too: a lot of toys in that age, a lot of Xboxes and iPhones. (Who is the most self-punishing person in America right now? The person who didn’t do well during the abundance.) But they look around, follow the political stories and debates, and deep down they think their children will live in a more limited country, that jobs won’t be made at a great enough pace, that taxes-too many people in the cart, not enough pulling it-will dishearten them, that the effects of 30 years of a low, sad culture will leave the whole country messed up. And then there is the world: nuts with nukes, etc.
Optimists think that if we manage to turn a few things around, their kids may have it . . . almost as good. The country they inherit may be . . . almost as good. And it’s kind of a shock to think like this; pessimism isn’t in our DNA. But it isn’t pessimism, really, it’s a kind of tough knowingness, combined, in most cases, with a daily, personal commitment to keep plugging.
This widespread feeling combines with outrage at disconnected Manhattan-Beltway-LA elites to produce the conditions for an electoral upheval. And at the front edge of that outrage is where the GOP still has an enormous task not yet even begun. (And one reason why the arrival as head of the party of an energetic optimist like Norm Coleman cannot come soon enough, or a presidential campaign full of optimistic assessments from Daniels, Pawlenty, Romney and Thune and every other would-be nominee.)
The opposition to where we have been brought by Obama-Pelosi-Reid so accurately described by Noonan has to describe where we can in fact go if we are serious and purposeful.
In fact the distribution of massive amounts of empowering technology across the globe and throughout America does make it possible that the future of the country and of the West will be extraordinarily, mind-bogglingly vibrant.
There is also a rising new leadership class led by veterans of the success in Iraq, of the silent war against extremism around the world, and of the determined and still ongoing battle in Iraq that will re-energize Washington within a decade or at most two. (Read the Team Rubicon posts from the Burma border in the days ahead if you want to see the sort of people the country has raised up by the tens of thousands who do not often make the MSM’s radar.)
But the Congressional GOP needs to know and embrace that it will need to move very fast if it emerges with a big win on November 2, and that the battle over the direction and suffocating size of the federal government will have to be joined immediately, and fought with a pace and a determination that was lacking throughout the Bush years, when the good but amiable and very slow leadership team of Hastert/Lott-Frist treated their majorities as eternal and their job as to support the president in the war in the first term and on all other things conduct business as usual.
Energy produces energy. The reason the Democrats are out of gas and out of luck headed into the last 88 days of the campaign is that they have no plan, no strategy and no leadership. The GOP’s Congressional leadership will have to show America that there is a way out of this mess even if the president and his team are blocking it until 2013.
We have seen this play before and it ends well. If you have a Reagan, (and if that Reagan has a Noonan, a Robinson, etc).