There are a great many conservative journalists, a seemingly endless array of pundits and a gazillion bloggers opining this days. No offense, and present company excluded, but few rise above the occasionally interesting and far too few are able to bring the desired combination of detailed and useful facts and a talent for writing to their craft. The editors (past and present), however, have a quip that highlights our respect for one such writer who does achieve this skill level: “Don’t Mess with Ramesh.”
I am not sure there is a more devastating or more succinct political polemicist on the Right than Ramesh Ponnuru. When the foolish leftists rise up to question something he has written or a point of debate I sit back and enjoy the ruthless and yet witty way in which he counters leaving the debate settled in his favor (and me frequently wincing a bit thinking: that’s gonna leave a mark.)
All of this long winded introduction is simply to point you to another must read from Ramesh. This one is from NRODT (although it can be found in the digital version if you have a subscription). If you are looking for a calm and deadly explanation of the failures of modern liberal governance, look no further.
Since it is subscription only, allow me to point out two paragraphs that should cause you to go out and get a copy for yourselves:
Contemporary liberalism both presupposes and desires a government that is flexible, competent, energetic. It wants and needs a government that can mobilize society’s resources to accomplish a long list of difficult tasks, including the reduction of economic inequality, the education of children, the protection of the environment, the elimination of unjust discrimination, and the safeguarding of consumers — to name just a few. Yet in operation, it weighs down the government with interest groups that first make it inefficient and inflexible and then make it impossible to reform.
Another one after the break.
At the risk of being anti-climatic, allow me to quote the conclusions which is equally devastating:
“No menace of socialism threatens the United States,” conservative scholar Michael Greve has grimly written. “Socialism implies a seriousness of purpose and a willingness and ability to impose order, none of which is in evidence.” Again, the health-care overhaul has shown the pattern. What began as an effort to reorder important parts of American society became a series of bargains and shakedowns in which progressives could not tell which groups would be their clients and which their targets from week to week. The progressive project remains obnoxious to liberty, and it retains, in some sense, its ideals. But it lacks a coherent and determined purpose. More and more, liberalism has become a grift.
Yep, that is going to leave a mark …