The United States is saddled with perhaps the worst political class it has ever seen in it's entire history. I submit as examples:
This elected moron, this elected idiot, and this elected scumbag.
(H/T to Powerline, NRO and Whizbang, respectively).
Doesn't convince you? Add these names to the list:
Ted Kennedy (Thankfully deceased), Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman,
John Kerry, Kent Conrad , Howard Dean, John Edwards, Barbara Boxer, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Chuckie Schumer, Maxine Waters, Harry Reid, Robert Byrd, and of course, Barack Obama.
You've hardly seen such a collection of out-of-touch, obnoxious, snivelling, privileged, narcissistic, imperious ne'er-do-wells and talentless hacks this side of a Hollywood red carpet.
It's becomes painfully obvious with each passing day that the people we have elected to 'serve' this country haven't got a clue. They obviously don't understand economics. They surely do not read history (or, if they do, they read a particular kind of history which is concerned with distorting the truth so as to deny American Exceptionalism in every way). They certainly are unable to tell the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. What they do seem to know is how to continue to get themselves elected.
Which is no mean feat when you consider that a quarter of the population consists of nose-picking morons, and another quarter simply exists to extract whatever it can from people with more talent and industry, and therefore, more money than themselves. This is a rather easy lot to manipulate for votes. These political repeat-offenders also hide behind "the laws" which they have passed (and exempted themselves from, when they don't simply ignore them) which regulate political speech, the flow of money into politics, and the rules governing the use of the media which they dressed up as Campaign Finance Reform (three lies, same great, crap-like flavor).
So, don't be surprised that when the country is in dire straits that the people who fucked it up, and benefited from it, are exceedingly reluctant to un-fuck it. Don't be surprised that when the country is reeling from economic crisis, simultaneous wars, and crippling debt, that 'leaders' of this kind take their eyes off the ball (a common charge against GWB) and go off on tangents which are directly related to their own prospects for re-election.
Is it really necessary to 'reform' (nationalize) health care right now? Couldn't 'Cap and Trade' (the Put America out of Business, Permanently Act) wait until we actually know what a Cap is and have something to Trade? Is it really necessary when our men and women are in the field, in a shooting fight with the enemies not just of the United States, but of civilization itself, to go around arguing the merits of releasing terrorists, telegraphing our strategy, and apologizing to the guilty?
No, none of it is necessary. These are all battles that could wait for another day, for a time after the immediate needs and worries of the American people have been addressed. The last administration was accused of being clueless and rudderless, and you could make the case that in some areas this was, sadly, all too true. However, this administration makes the last one look positively grand by comparison. Say what you will about GWB and Dick Cheney, they could at least get things done so long as it didn't involve a Cat 5 hurricane and a Third-World Nation disguised as an American city.
There are few parallels in history with which to contrast the absolute insanity and stupidity which characterizes our current political class and situation. The one that leaps immediately to mind is the collection of confused nonentities which ruled Great Britain and France in the 1930's, prior to the outbreak of War in Europe. A disorganized, grabasstic bunch who operated in confusion and diffusion, unable to make informed moral choices based on principle and logic. This muddle led to Hitler beginning a war that would kill perhaps 50 million, left France utterly defeated, Britain bankrupt, Germany covered in rubble, and the Soviet Union ascendant.
I don't mean to imply that we're headed for a Third World War; it's not as dire as all that. I only point out that the War was in part the result of stupid policies promulgated by stupid men and that the end result was foreseeable. That the men who advanced those stupid policies in 1936-39 were willfully blind to those policies logical outcomes says as much about their obstinacy and idiocy -- and their ideology -- as it does about their prescience and leadership.
We're saddled with just such a bunch. It would be funny if the consequences of such appalling leadership were not so difficult to avoid.