Surely no one watching believed the Administration has the competence to execute and deliver. $2 billion is purely a symbolic token, and thus easily dismissed. 6,000 national guardsmen are also too few to have more than a Potemkin-esque impact. And the xenophobes, alarmists and the genuinely concerned (we will let you sort them out, Dear Reader) are all right to point out there is *zero* chance of meaningful enforcement within the U.S. interior.
We know all this. So what?
And here is the main concern for us all, what happens post Bush. The Administration has succeeded in three disparate but linked accomplishments that will be noted in the histories of our time. First, it eggregiously rolled back the Republic and the Rule of Law. That is uncontestable. We are now, more than at any other time, a government of Men, not law. Second, the Administration has bungled every major issue it has confronted. Not mishandled, but bungled in so overtly incompetent manner that it has undermined the prestige and legitimacy of government itself. And finally, the Administration simultaneously has swollen the size and intrusion of said incompetent government into the daily lives of each American.
The pretext and apparatus is thus in place for What Comes Next. We have not taken seriously any speculation about '08 simply because it is an eternity away. And we must endure 2 1/2 years more of the current car wreck in power. Although we do note with bemusement the clamoring in certain circles to ingratiate in the hopes of snagging that Ass't Secretary-ship in the next administration.
Contrary to what you might expect, we find ourselves oddly wishing the Administration would find a way to muddle through and surprise us all with some competent execution. Not for their own fortunes or prestige, but to restore some faith in government. And thereby to remove the politically powerful emotional overhang of anger waiting to called down in Gotterdamerung fashion in the next election cycle.
Contemplating a McCain candidacy, seizing on the emotional overhang of frustration and anger, actually frightens the Stiftung a bit. McCain is too clever by far to peddle the mean anger of the wingnuts. And that is the danger — uplifting those emotions with the siren songs of bellicosity abroad and “National Greatness” at home. Should the current extra-legal governing apparatus be married to competent execution, the danger to us all would be real and immediate. In some ways, America continues to be blessed by having this crowd at this time. Imagine a competent Man on the White Horse . . .