Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oy, I Miss Clinton

Guest Post by Akiva of Mystical Paths

Written while on the Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem train in Eretz Yisroel.

Oy, I miss Bill Clinton. He was a great president to dislike, but not too much. A moral disaster, but a charismatic pragmatist and master politician who knew exactly when to co opt the best part of the other sides agenda and make it his own. Foreign policy was a weak spot, but hey, everywhere he went everyone loved him even if his foreign policy was unrealistic and relatively ineffective. And on the economy, he knew how to ride a middle course.

Since the wonderful days of Bill Clinton the US electorate made the same major error twice. First, they elected Bush with a GOP majority of both houses. Off he went with a nice conservative agenda, but with no checks as both the executive and Congress got to run wild, in spending, in response to attacks, in foreign policy. Then, in response to Bush and the GOP leaping off the deep end of their ideals (and abandoning them for the joy of raiding the piggy bank) they elected Obama with a Democrat super-majority.

Now one might think in the midst of an economic disaster, which could easily be blamed on the previous administration (as a GOP leaning guy I'd be happy to refute that, but honestly prevents), they'd consolidate control and focus fully on tackling the problem. If they had done so they'd be set as the ruling party for 8 years and beyond. Who knows, another 16 year run of Democrat majorities would have been an easy sell!

But no, they had to go leap of the deep end of their ideals, ready to solve every social imbalance of the last 40 years in one fell swoop while tacking the economic disaster according to their own rose colored glasses. The extremely unpleasant results are plain to see. [DB: For example? I see no "results" for better of for worse. From where I sit, status quo hasn't changed at all]

Dear friends, I'm a conservative but I don't want my party to control the Whitehouse and Congress. And my dear friendly Liberals, be honest, neither do you! Divided government forces everyone to compromise and be reasonable. Let's face it, we all want the middle of the road. A little right, a little left - hey whatever. But far right or far left, G-d help us all.

Which is better for the Jews? As the Rambam said, the golden mean...the middle of the road

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