Something in the Air
In his USA Today column, Glenn Reynolds writes, "it's not just Republicans unhappy with Obama, or gun owners afraid that the government will take their guns: 38% of Democrats, and 45% of non-gun owners, see the government as a threat:"
The more powerful the government becomes, the more people are willing to do in order to seize the prize, and the more afraid they become when someone else has control. So it was after the 2004 election when liberals talked revolution, and so again after 2012, when secession petitions flooded the White House.
There are two possible ways to address this problem. One is to elect people that everyone trusts. The problem with that is that there aren't any politicians that everyone trusts -- and, alas, if there were, the odds are good that such trust would turn out to be misplaced.
The other option is to place less power within the political sphere. The less power the government has, the less incentive for corruption, and the less that can go wrong when the government misbehaves. The problem with this approach is that the political class likes a powerful government -- it's one of the reasons that the Washington, DC, area, where much of the political class lives, is beginning to resemble the Capital City in The Hunger Games, prospering while the rest of the country suffers.
The political class usually gets its way, because it thinks about politics -- and its own position -- every waking moment, while the rest of America thinks about these things only in fits and starts, in between living everyday life. But if there's an upside to the increasing unhappiness that most Americans feel toward the political class, it's that maybe it means people are paying closer attention.
If they are, it's because the American people might be increasingly aware of what dullards -- even by the low standards long ago set by Washington -- are running the show. Linking to Barry Rubin's new article titled, "Why Chuck Hagel is Really So Scary: He’s Typical of the Current Rulers," Richard Fernandez writes:
The incoming secretary of defense may be many things and yet still be many cuts above Robert Menendez. And to compare the two — whatever you think of Hagel — is probably doing a disservice to Hagel. But the two are going to work together since Menendez is slated to head the senate foreign relations committee. One can guess the senator knows a great deal about foreign relations already, though not in the way you would think.
Rubin’s larger point though is exactly on target. Nominating people as damaged as this is going to have real world consequences. Not consequences in the partisan political sense, but in the more fundamental sense that they’ll allow bad things to happen from stupidity, cupidity or simple indolence. These individuals: Menendez, Napolitano, Hagel, Jarrett, Obama — and until recently Hillary Clinton — are the last line of defense not just of the United States but of world security.
Sleep tight, America.
Related: Doug Ross on "The Harbingers of Tyranny."