Monday, August 1, 2011


When the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the NFL was completed the pulse of Sports Talk radio spiked and excited fans like me tuned in to hear all the latest news. Now, I am ready for the season to start and I'm tired of hearing whether people are satisfied/dissatisfied with their team's brief off-season acquisitions and cuts. But, perhaps what I was most dissatisfied about were the numerous comparisons between the NFL and Players Association and the debt ceiling negotiations. The latter is about the future landscape of the United States in almost all imaginable ways, while the former is about a sport (albeit a beloved one) and how to divide a pie.

This morning when I pocketed my iPhone, the news alert box reported a debt ceiling agreement (still needs to be passed). The bill was not beloved amongst everyone. Democratic House Member Emanuel Cleaver called the deal a "sugar-coated Satan sandwich", and, while Republican House Members have not provided quotes quite as memorable many of them are also dissatisfied. But, the Wall Street Journal reported this morning that this was perhaps the greatest victory for conservatives since the 1996 Welfare Reform.  This was a compromise that does not solve all the problems instead it kicks the ball in the conservative direction to be determined later. The bill still leaves open a number of political strategies for both parties to exhaust in the upcoming 2012 elections. Meanwhile, those elections will determine whether the American people have more appetite for conservative reforms. 

As mentioned earlier, these are more than standard negotiations. The United States is at a turning point in history where it will decide whether to adopt large government that wields panels of experts slated to solve all our problems or a smaller government that allows people to select into and exit from specific governance communities based on how well those people solve problems. Like Charles Krauthammer wrote in a recent National Review article,

We’re only at the midpoint. Obama won a great victory in 2008 that he took as a mandate to transform America toward European-style social democracy. The subsequent counterrevolution delivered to that project a staggering rebuke in November 2010. Under our incremental system, however, a rebuke delivered is not a mandate conferred. That awaits definitive resolution, the rubber match of November 2012.

Like the sports radio soon I will be tired of reading and listening to these discussions. For now, I read about them, knowing that next November will go a long way to determining the future of our country.

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