The Status Quo

With the reelection of President Obama, we may venture to make a few predictions about the near-term future. Of course, the president is only one element in a political system whose partisan makeup has changed little in this latest Election That Matters. The House remains in Republican hands and the Senate remains Democratic. Republicans have picked up a few governorships, but a number of ballot initiatives popular with Democrats — the legalization of so-called same-sex marriage in Maine and Maryland, for instance — passed. If this election is any indication, Americans in the aggregate are content with the status quo (which, as the late cartoonist Jeff MacNelly once quipped, is “Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’”).

What are we to expect from a second Obama term? Simply put, more of the same, but with tax hikes. In his first term in office, President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress have shown themselves to be shrewd pragmatists, continuing all of the important planks in the bipartisan program that has propelled America toward receivership and post-constitutional rule for several generations. And these planks were espoused with equal enthusiasm by candidate Mitt Romney, as they have been by every Republican candidate and president from Thomas Dewey onward. Pared down to their essence, these planks amount to three realms of orthodoxy that the leadership of neither party is permitted to question. These realms are foreign policy, financial policy, and the expansion of federal government power at the expense of state and local government and individual freedom of choice…

Permitted by whom?

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