In an article about Paul Ryan's road-map, William Voegeli writes:

A growing cohort of critics has already begun writing obituaries for the republic, arguing that our fundamental problem is not that we don't have a government as good as our people, but that we do. We're sinking beneath the waves, in other words, because Americans are implacable children who demand an extensive welfare state and low taxes, and refuse to acknowledge that the two are irreconcilable...

But maybe that's not true. Too few politicians have treated Americans as adults, capable of realizing that our social insurance system cannot, over the long haul, confer more in benefits than it secures through taxes... Leaders worthy of the name must find the language that will make their fellow citizens understand the dimensions and urgency of the fiscal crisis. If their statesmanship is repudiated by voters who demand both New York City's social welfare system and Idaho's tax structure, then we'll have a compelling empirical basis for predicting what the collapse of the American experiment in self-government will look like. We should not conclude that a government of grown-ups, by grown-ups, and for grown-ups will perish from the earth, however, until we've made strenuous efforts to re-establish it.

Increasingly, the GOP's thought leaders aren't politicians, but highly paid entertainers. Can "leaders worthy of the name" emerge with Palin, Limbaugh, and Beck calling the shots? And you think Pelosi could do such a thing? Or Reid?

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