What we get from the administration instead of pragmatism is politics; instead of constructive strategies shed of ideology, we get steady attacks demonizing the wealth creators and discrediting the private sector, along with rhetoric that seeks to exploit divisions by blaming the rich and positioning them against the rest, as if government is not part of the problem.
No wonder Fox News found earlier this year that 48 percent of us believe America is weaker than it was five years ago, while just 24 percent think the nation is stronger. Have we really so lost our mojo? Have we lost our way? As 18th-century economist and writer Adam Smith once observed, "there is a great deal of ruin in a nation." Indeed there is. One serious recession does not mean the beginning of the end of a great power. But the risks will multiply so long as we remain locked in a rancorous political culture, and have a leadership more inclined to public relations than hard-headed pragmatic recognition of what must be done to restore America's classic vitality.