An Open Letter

We've gone "a little soft," have we, Mr. President? I have a thing or two to say about that, but first, here's what Jonah Goldberg thinks:

Interesting perspective. I wonder where America could have lost its competitive edge. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with a government that blows billions on green energy boondoggles while making it harder to drill for oil while trying to make electricity rates “skyrocket.” It couldn’t have to do with extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks (and rising), or to bailouts.

Jonah has more to say, Mr. President, and I think you should read the whole thing -- even if it does make you a little uncomfortable. Jonah is a pretty smart guy, too. He's only written one book so far, but it wasn't about himself.

You might also want to read what my coworker Roger Kimball thinks. Here's a taste:

What’s “gone soft” and lost its “competitive edge” is American government, which can’t see a pile of money it doesn’t wish to expropriate in order to feed its “spread-the-wealth-around” socialist appetite and which sees government as the adversary rather than the enabler of business. That’s the rotten softness we have to worry about.

So please, Barack, don’t tell us that America has “gone soft” or “lost its competitive edge” when it’s you and your policies that are as soft and edgeless as a freshly shucked oyster.

Now, Roger runs a big, mean, right-wing publishing company, so maybe you'll just discount what he has to say. So instead, let me tell you what I've seen the last few years.

In 2008, we elected a man who promised us "a net spending cut," a guy who would go "line by line" through the budget with steely eyes under his green eyeshade and trim Washington down to the bone. We elected -- we thought we elected -- a tough man to do a tough job. Who is soft, Mr. President, the electorate who went crazy for the tough guy, or the president who broke his promises while refusing to make a single tough decision about spending?

I saw the rise of a new political movement, a new Tea Party. This Tea Party didn't throw fits. The rest of American didn't have to endure tantrums as they went out on the streets, Greek-style, to demand more and more largess. No. They assembled peacefully, quietly, and asked you to do less to try and "help" them. That doesn't seem soft to me, Mr. President.