Glenn Reynolds warned of this back in 2009

But I wanna pway!

But I wanna pway!

We’re increasingly hearing that America is “ungovernable”. Is that truly the case, or is the problem that we have an incompetent leader?

Someone on the Sunday talk shows pointed out to Chris Matthews that his old boss Tip O’Neil shut down the government 17 times over legislative disputes yet was never labelled a terrorist, by Mathews or anyone else.

“But those were just for a day or two”, Matthews responded, “it was just about money”.

A day or two, then a deal was struck, and business as usual resumed, unfortunately. Which leads to this point: Tip O’Neil and LBJ and in fact many of the old inhabitants of the swamp were professional politicians and, love them or hate them, they knew how to govern and advance their agenda: cilvil rights, poverty laws, whathaveyou. Obama, an incompetent amateur, does not, and Professor Reynolds predicted he wouldn’t be able to after observing the man for just nine months in office:


A PATTERN OF INCOMPETENCE? “Who could have warned us that a man who served seven years in the state legislature and three years in the Senate would not have been prepared for the toughest executive position in the Free World? We did. Repeatedly. So did John McCain, and for that matter, so did Hillary Clinton.” Expect this to play out in thumbsucker columns on whether America is “ungovernable.”


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22 responses to “Glenn Reynolds warned of this back in 2009

  1. Inagua

    I disagree. Obama is extremely competent and skillful. He has done more in his five years than almost every other president: Takeover the Auto companies; Dodd-Frank to save the Big Banks; the $850 billion stimulus to prop up state and local governments to save union jobs; Cash for Clunkers; the Homebuyer tax credit; Mortgage adjustments; loans to Solyndra and other Green Energy companies run by good party members; blocking the pipeline from Canada; blocking the Boeing plant in South Carolina; restricting the coal industry; restricting or blocking exploration on federal lands, especially ANWR; and the absolute best, a government take-over thru regulation of one-sixth of the economy, Obamacare!

    I tell you, the man is a political genius. Who thought one guy could do so much damage in five years? And all while borrowing only $6 trillion? And running deficits averaging only a trillion a year? And reducing the number of working Americans every year?

    And then, we the people, the greatest victims of his disasterous policies re-elect this socialist clown. Shame on us.

    • Yos

      You’re not wrong as such… but exactly who is in charge? The nasty moron who talked about “57 States” and “navy corpsemen” hasn’t shown us a whit of wit to save his sorry butt. It has been a painful reality show of blunders, bungles, gaffes, cringe-inducing ignorance and parties. (…and I thought Dubbya was a twit?!!)

      In a sad way, one ought to be grateful for The Won’s ineptitude… can you imagine what damage a consummate leader could have done?

  2. Anonymous2

    I get rather upset at those who say Washington is disfunctional. Sorry, based on recent election results Washington is working just fine.

    Rather than a lack of functionality I sense we are seeing effects of an ongoing major political realignment that largely rejects the beliefs of both major parties. The replacement, I think, will be fairly libertarian on social issues and fairly conservative on issues such as the economy and the size and reach of government.

  3. Dollar Bill

    Excuse me Inagua,but really a “government takeover” of 1/6 of the economy? I know that’s a favorite right wing talking point, but it’s completely bogus. In case you haven’t noticed, we left the greedy grifters at the health insurers in charge, in exchange for a few regs (pre-existing bans;, kids on parents plans, etc). Through the mandate, the private insurers are slated to get millions of new paying customers, and just give them time, I’m confident these thieves will be up to their old tricks of cheating customers through routine denial of care. So, no Inagua, Obamacare no government takeover, just the opposite. It keeps the bumbling bureaucrats in the private sector behind the wheel. By any cost effective analysis, single payer is the way to go, as most countries around the world have found, but too many politicians are in bed with the health insurance lobby to have pushed for single payer. We’d have a much more efficient health care system if we went single payer, but of course CF just loves our present costly dystopia because FREEDOM!!!!

    • Yos


      It’s just a tad anecdotal, but Canada’s vaunted “single payer” system killed my mother and denied my father cancer surgery – which amounted to murder on two counts. Too old, you see. Cost efficiency, you know. Unlike a private firm, one can’t sue the Government.

      Well, at least you got the “efficient” part right… would make a nazi proud, you would.

      I hope you get to enjoy “single payer” health care somewhere when you need help the most – say, Holland. Judging by the logic and coherence of your post, I’d say that’s not too far off, is it?

      • AJ

        What is unfortunate about Canada’ single payer system was that it fixed a system that wasn’t broken. Prior to it, each province offered a plan that was similar to Blue Cross, but didn’t just cover hospitalization but also your doctor bills: I don’t remember if it covered drugs, but I don’t think so. For instance in Ontario the plan was called OHIP, Ontario Health Insurance Plan, and it was so inexpensive, something like a hundred a fifty per quarter for a family of four, that you would have had to have been really poor to not be able to afford it. My feelings when they brought in single payer were that it was a really bad idea and that they should have just picked up the tab for those few who couldn’t afford it. They took one of the best health care systems in the world, with some of the best doctors in the world, at least in Ottawa, and turned it into a broken down, piece of welfare crap.

        Currently drugs are not free, but are discounted through a prescription drug program which costs five hundred dollars (mandatory — you can’t opt out) a year but is free if you make less than fourteen thousand a year or receive drug coverage through an employer’s benefit plan.

        Oddly, when my father-in-law was dying, they had no room for him in the hospital where the ambulance had brought him to in Ottawa until we whipped out all this extra insurance he had. Then all of the sudden, they found a bed for him immediately.

      • Libertarian Advocate

        Yos: You’ve noticed I’m sure that when would-be petty commissars such as Dullard Bill are challenged directly, they scurry off like cockroaches?

        • In his entire history of commenting on this blog Dullard has never- not once – directly answered a challenge to his assertions. The more advanced progressives do this deliberately but Dullard has just been raised that way and genuinely can’t respond to anything outside his programming

        • Yos

          ‘Course, LA.

          One of the biggest lies Dullard told is this cr@p about “single payer” as being more “efficient” on a cost-benefit basis. Hasn’t proven so in Europe, UK or Canada – “advanced” socialist Paradises all of them.

          Monopolies always make sense in an adolescent first-order analysis, but monopolies always fail and fail miserably as costs skyrocket and product/service quality plummets. Miserable fact of the human condition… one of G-d’s little jokes on humans.

          Then again, super-humans such as Dullard are beyond susceptibility to such failures, right??

    • Inagua

      DB – Please try reading for comprehension. I did not say “government takeover” as you misquoted. I said “a government take-over thru regulation.” I hope you understand the difference. What Obama has wrought is crony capitalism at its worst: Big Insurance gets to keep operating in one state at a time with no interstate competition and it also gets a raft of new customers who are forced to buy policies or get fined.

      You are misinformed about single payer. Why do you think the premier of Newfoudland eschewed the Canadian and came to America on his own dime for heart surgery?

  4. Once

    Ask Dollar Bill if he would wager his personal assets if the cost of healthcare does not drop. That is what we were told by the messiah. DB won’t do it because he knows it was just BS to get the agenda through.

  5. Anonymous

    The single-payer system in the U.S. will kill medical innovation as we know it. The U.S. subsidizes the R&D budgets for all private and academic drug/device R&D. Our helath care system, with its flaws, is still the best in the world. This is not an opinion – it is fact.

    • Yup,and I wrote about this recently – we will just accept the gradual deterioration of medical care s innovation is killed, new drugs not invented, until a decade or two from now, people will no longer remember the optimism we used to have that diseases could be conquered.

      And this will be entirely acceptable to the levelers, who prefer equally bad care than a system that offers good care only to some. The only laugh we can enjoy is that the commissars won’t be able to do what they do now, and fly off to countries with a modern medical system for their own illnesses – such levels of care will no longer exist.

    • Anonymous

      While I actually agree with you, like most commentary on blogs, your statement that something is not an opinion but a fact is, without any backup, still just an opinion.

  6. Inagua is right on target. Obama has many [negative] accomplishments. May I add one more? Obama’s over-riding theme, like that of all socialists and liberals, is reducing income inequality. This theme leads to ever-more progressive taxation, and symbolic trivialities such as sparring over the pay of about 500 chief executives in a workforce of 155 million. Meanwhile, back in the real world where results can be measured, Obama’s policies have led to a record duration of bad unemployment and destruction of American jobs. The miserable unemployment performance drops millions of poor people off the bottom of the income scale, thereby WORSENING income inequality.

    Epic fail. The media hasn’t noticed.

    • Libertarian Advocate

      @Balzac: It’s not that the media hasn’t noticed, it’s that they are parties to the scam.

      • AJ

        Sort of like the shill in three card monte as played on Fifth Avenue. After he gets cut off for just about cleaning the poor bastard out, the suckers can’t wait to place their bets.

  7. Anonymous

    Yos, thousands of people in this country die needlessly every year due to not having health insurance. In Canada, at least full Medicare covers everyone, and at half the per capita cost that we pay here in this country–even though 50 million Americans are not covered. We spend 17% of GDP on health care, Canada spends 10%. How many Canadians would trade their system for ours? Not too many I’d wager. Obamacare is a good first step, but single payer is where we need to go.

    • Oh we’re going there, alright. Lucky us.

    • Yos

      Yos, thousands of people in this country die needlessly every year due to not having health insurance.” That’s bull and you know it. But let’s pretend for a moment that it’s so.

      A near trillion dollar build-up of the central government isn’t the right prescription, is it? We could simply buy all those “thousands” you made-up a Caddy plan and save one Hell of a lot of money without growing central government.

      As to the “per capita” cost issue you cite, you haven’t factored in two huge differentials, both of which I had made oblique reference:

      Firstly, *legal* insurance components are higher here because of Democrat-coddle ‘slip and fall’ attorneys… pay-outs and liability in Canada are lower. Again, in Canada you can’t sue the government as easily as you can sue a NYC hospital, and you aren’t going to get rich with morally fraudulent suits.

      The second issue you’ve ignored is *rationing* – call old age a “preexisting condition” that isn’t covered, but like my Mom and Dad, they committed the sin of getting “to old” to deserve adequate care. “Grandma the pain pill”, if I recall Obama’s prescription correctly.

      There’s a third issue: Canada simply spends less on basics. Ask Natasha Richardson how BC’s penny-pinching worked out for her.

      And to your last “point”, you overlook the obvious. When Canadians get really sick, there are two options: American care at cost for those with the cash and American care for free if they show-up at the ER. If my Mom had made it to Buffalo she might still be around today.

      Single-payer is an evil I hope you get to experience first-hand. Please move to Canada. You’ll get cheap, affordable care all right. /and when you get really sick – remember to pull-out your US passport. You’ll effing need it.

  8. Yos

    Chris, LA, got me thinking. Let’s hope there’s a bright spot or two in the incompetence of ObamaCare.

    One thought is that as unwieldy and deadly as Canada’s system is, ours would have to be ten freaking times the size. Now that the “exchanges” “system” is a botch from the start, consumers are catching on. The smell of “single payer” isn’t exactly causing consumers to salivate. Sweat maybe, as this zombie stalks the wards.

    Another is that once consumers realize that corporate and employer-based “group benefit” plans are a huge rip-off, they’ll begin demanding pay in lieu of “freebies”. They will come to notice how much further their medical care dollar will stretch by cutting-out the middle man (the HR departments in-house and government unions out-of-house).

    The solution isn’t “free”health care, it’s freeing health care from the layers of parasites and death panels and regulations that strangle competition.

    • I’ve said all along that the goal of these people is not that ObamaKare will succeed; to the contrary, they want it to fail, and have designed it to do just that by, among other ways, letting people buy insurance only when they need it (the penalties for young people not buying insurance now and the countless exemptions ensure that only the sick will buy in), the system will collapse.

      When it does collapse, the government will be ready to step in with its single payer system and we will have no choice but to accept it, because private insurance will have been killed off. Then the decline in care will accelerate, spending will soar, and the progressives will settle back, satisfied with a job well done.

      No one: conservative or liberal, wants ObamaKare to succeed, and it won’t. It’s what comes next that is so discouraging.