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I want to read the Dan Balz book for this story alone:
Balz informs us that when Stuart Stevens, Romney’s chief strategist, saw Clint Eastwood on live television at the Republican National Convention speaking off-script to an imaginary Obama in an empty chair, “he walked out of the room and threw up.”
Let’s be totally clear: For many libertarian-leaning voters, Clint Eastwood was easily the highlight of of the 2012 RNC.
In an 1814 letter to John Taylor, John Adams wrote that “there never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” That may read today like an overstatement, but it is certainly true that our democracy finds itself facing a deep challenge: During my recent stint in the Obama administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget, it was clear to me that the country’s political polarization was growing worse—harming Washington’s ability to do the basic, necessary work of governing. If you need confirmation of this, look no further than the recent debt-limit debacle, which clearly showed that we are becoming two nations governed by a single Congress—and that paralyzing gridlock is the result.
So what to do? To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.
F.A. Hayek (The Road to Serfdom):
It may be the unanimously expressed will of the people that its parliament should prepare a comprehensive economic plan, yet neither the people nor its representatives need therefore be able to agree on any particular plan. The inability of democratic assemblies to carry out what seems to be a clear mandate of the people will inevitably cause dissatisfaction with democratic institutions. Parliaments come to be regarded as ‘talking shops,’ unable or incompetent to carry out the tasks for which they’ve been chosen.
(Thanks to Jason Vines for the Hayek quote.)
I made this with a friend. It seemed appropriate today. Enjoy.
“Ed from North Carolina, Gladys from Nevada, Mike from New York: They get it. The past couple of years have kind of sucked, so there’s only one clear choice for president: The guy who’s been in office for the past couple of years.” – Nick Gillespie
“This week Arizona signed the toughest illegal immigration law in the country, which would allow the police to demand identification papers from anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. I know there are some people in Arizona worried that Obama is acting like Hitler, but can we all agree that there’s nothing more Nazi than saying, `Show me your papers?’ There’s never been a WWII movie that didn’t include the line, ‘Show me your papers.’ It’s their catchphrase … So heads up Arizona, that’s fascism. I know, I know, it’s a dry fascism, but it’s still fascism.”
– Seth Myers, SNL Weekend Update