18.10.12

YOU DIDN'T CLEAN IT UP FAST ENOUGH.

That's former President Clinton's memorable characterization of the Republicans' criticism of President Obama's performance.  Reason's Nick Gillespie sees it differently.
Does anyone else remember all the crowing that went on after Obama's "historic" first year in office? This is a president who basically was able to get everything he wanted - stimulus, healthcare, the sorts of military actions he wanted, a free-hand in surveilling enemies here and abroad, and more - and he has still reaped a whirlwind when it comes to a vaguely decent economy and America's standing in the world. Indeed, the Dems took a "shellacking" (his term) in the 2010 mid-term elections because of his legislative record, not in spite of it. By his own litmus tests - especially the unemployment rate - he's been a huge and undeniable failure. When it comes to foreign policy, does anyone really believe he's done more than drive down U.S. standing from the already-low place that his predecessor left it? And when it comes to a variety of other issues - ranging from executive power to raiding medical marijuana joints in states where they're legal to immigration - he's simply been godawful.
That statement is not an endorsement of Governor Romney.
[M]aybe the presidential election will be tight right down to election day. Which is good for cable news, but bad for the large majority of libertarianish Americans who believe the government should do less in the economy and not promote a single set of traditional values. We just weren't represented on the stage last night.
The major parties are acting as if voter disutility functions are quadratic, meaning each party has to please the more vocal elements of its base, rather than cultivate the median voters.  I'm not clever enough to see the strategy by which a limited government party could attract members of both the fiscal Leave Us Alone coalition and the social Leave Us Alone coalition.

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