Friday, March 27, 2009
The Measure of Success and Failure
So here’s Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R):
The suggestion behind the “Do you want the President to fail question” is this – If you don’t answer their question with a loud “NO” immediately, if you don’t express instant obedience to the question, then you are not really a patriot, and you are essentially trying to undermine America.
Make no mistake, anything other than an immediate and compliant – “why no sir, I don’t want the President to fail” is treated as some sort of act of treason, civil disobedience, or political obstructionism.
This is political correctness run amok.
And let’s be clear, the very Democrat leaders who are now asking this phony question, are the ones who for so long wanted to see the last President fail, regardless of the issue, and regardless of whether he was right or wrong.
There is a very important role in our republic for the loyal opposition. And we must be both. We are loyal to this country, and to the republic on which it stands, one nation under God. And we will always be so. And we are loyal to the President of the United States, whether he is a Democrat or a Republican.
But make no mistake, loyalty does not mean we have to agree with his policies.
And we are also at present the opposition party. We are the party out of power. And it is altogether right and proper, and healthy for our Democracy, for us to speak up when we do not agree with the policies that this President pushes and proposes.
I will not be brow beaten on this, and I will not kow-tow to their political correctness. We will be the loyal opposition.
So…my answer to the question is very simple –
“Do you want the President to fail?”
It depends on what he is trying to do.
There is something far more important to us than whether the President or ANY politician fails.
Far more importantly, we don’t want America to fail.
Okay, people, this is getting silly. It’s simple: There’s only one measure of whether a President and/or his policies is/are successful. The measure is: Do they help the American people?
What is the meaning of failure and success when it comes to governmental policies? Success means that the American people are served. Failure means that the American people are not served.
So the inane and insane parsing of “I want the President to fail” versus “I want his policies to fail” is ridiculous. Either way, it’s a wish for the failure to serve the American people. People like Governor Jindal may be so blinded by ideology that they aren’t even aware of their folly. What these people are saying is that they are more devoted to their ideology than they are to the success of the American people. Not every issue in politics has to be us against them. I understand that cable news outlets and talk radio loudmouths make their living stirring up this “controversy” but elected officials have no excuse.
There’s certainly a place for “the loyal opposition”—for disagreeing with policies, for arguing against them and for proposing better policies--even opposite policies. There is definitely a time for saying out loud and repeatedly that you don’t think this is the right or best course of action regarding any particular issue. But arguing against is not the same as desiring failure.
Let me say what I mean straight out: Not only is desiring failure mean-spirited, it is unpatriotic, un-American. It is blind commitment to an ideology, even if an outside-your-ideology idea serves the American people better. That is a particularly self-righteous, self-serving, arrogant kind of insanity. Why would we want any governmental policy or any US president to fail?
One more time: There is no possibility that a proposed policy and its architect(s) succeed, while resulting in an America that is worse off. Worse off is failure. It’s failure for America, for the policies, and (whether you like him or not) for the President.