Welcome to The Second Term

Presidents win re-election as a referendum on their first term, on the people’s view of them. They don’t tend to accomplish much with that term. In fact, recent two-termers tend to spend years 5-8 getting swatted around like weathervanes by events and opposition. So there’s that.

Then there’s the actual circumstances of this particular second term, which Megan McArdle aptly describes in a fine rant as “the era of permanent fiscal crisis.” Each showdown produces a deal stupider than the one before, creating a yet more inane showdown. McArdle is wrong, of course. A crisis cannot be permanent: the nature of a crisis is in the systemic change it portends. But the magic power of trillion-dollar coin-minting does not suggest that our ruling class has yet come to terms with our reality. So there’s that.

And then we have Bob Owens, who will scare the living hell out of you if you let him. I don’t know if the country is quite where he’s saying, but I don’t know how much I want to argue with him, either. So there’s that.

I advise drinking; the next four years will be sobering enough.


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