IT TAKES AN EARTHQUAKE TO SHAKE UP WASHINGTON
by Attorney Jonathan Emord
August 29, 2011
The magnitude 5.9 earthquake that reached Washington, D.C. from its epicenter in Mineral, Virginia, caused a considerable shake-up in the nation’s capitol. Bureaucrats in federal buildings fled to the streets, affording the nation a degree of unexpected regulatory relief for a few hours. It indeed takes an earthquake to shake things up in Washington and, if America can appreciate the metaphor given us by Heaven, it can achieve a more profound shake-up at the voting booth in November of 2012.
The President’s original debt deal miscalculation, where he chose not to take a leadership role and define a precise plan to balance the budget, has led to a precipitous drop in his popularity. Americans very much dislike Presidents who appear weak and afraid to lead. A President will either lead decisively in a crisis or he will be voted out of office; that is a truism of American politics. Obama is a Sunshine Patriot. Sunshine patriots have never been popular here, not since Thomas Paine condemned them with these words in America’s first major crisis: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
There is something dreadfully disingenuous about a President who fails to lead in a crisis. We elect Presidents to lead in crises. They campaign professing that innate ability. When the crisis comes and they recoil from leadership, they incur the wrath of the public. No one, Democrat, Republican, or Independent, can accept a President who refuses to take a stand when an issue reaches the crisis point.