A friend alerted me to George Will's latest column on the debt ceiling fight. You won't be surprised to learn that I agree with every single word, including pronouns and transitive verbs. Here's the gist:
The Goldwater impulse took 16 years to reach fruition in the election of Ronald Reagan. The Tea Party can succeed in 16 months by helping elect a president who will not veto necessary reforms. To achieve that, however, Tea Partyers must not help the incumbent achieve his objectives in the debt-ceiling dispute.
One of those is to strike a splashy bargain involving big — but hypothetical and nonbinding — numbers. This would enable President Obama to run away from his record and run as a debt-reducing centrist. Another Obama objective is tax increases that shatter Republican unity and dampen the Tea Party’s election-turning intensity. Because he probably can achieve neither, he might want market chaos in coming days so Republicans henceforth can be cast as complicit in the wretched recovery that is his administration’s ugly signature.
Obama’s rhetorical floundering is the sound of a bewildered politician trying to be heard over the long, withdrawing roar of ebbing faith in a failing model of governance. From Greece to California, with manifestations in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Illinois and elsewhere, this model is collapsing. Entangled economic and demographic forces are refuting the practice of ever-bigger government financed by an ever-smaller tax base and by imposing huge costs on voiceless future generations.