Waiting for Deus ex Machina (updated)

For the Greeks, waiting for a god to show up and save the day was a dramatic device that today would be described as the suspension of disbelief. At least they weren’t looking to Mighty Mouse for rescue which seems nearly as probable as waiting for America’s Moses to magically appear and lead “conservatives” out of the desert and into a political promised land.

At the National Review Online, one Mr. Loyola suggests that we need to conjure up a “Great Leader”:

Will that be difficult? History suggests that nothing is more difficult than for a society to reverse the factors of its own decline. History also shows that where a nation has been able to do that, a transformative leader has been an indispensable part of the mix.

The model here may not be Reagan, who was only facing a few years of stagflation. The model may be a leader such as Margaret Thatcher and Charles de Gaulle, each of whom was able to reverse a national decline that was already well under way, and which had come to seem irreversible.

If conservatives are to meet the challenge that the dependency state poses to their political prospects, the first step is to find a leader who can unite the country behind a mission of national renewal.

What am I missing here? I thought that was Obama. And he be found. Or so believes an electorially effective number of American voters. Who then shall we seek? Super Dude’s already popped up out of the trap door and has parted the waters.

I won’t bother to review the litany of Republicans who have failed to pass muster as savior du jour. However, budget guru and Congressman Paul Ryan, speaking recently at the National Review Institute Summit, offered advice on what is required of us to navigate the treacherous waters that lay ahead. Over the course of the next four year we must be “prudent” for:

If we play into his hands, we will betray the voters who supported us—and the country we mean to serve. We can’t let that happen. We have to be smart. We have to show prudence.

What do I mean? Well, prudence is good judgment in the art of governing. Abraham Lincoln called it “one of the cardinal virtues.” And it’s our greatest obligation as public servants. We have to find the good in every situation—and choose the best means to achieve it. We have to make decisions anchored in reality—and take responsibility for the consequences. The prudent man is like a captain at sea. He doesn’t curse the wind. He uses it—to reach his destination.

I’m not saying we should be excessively cautious. When we see an opening—however small—we should take it. What I’m saying is, if we want to promote conservatism, we’ll need to use every tool at our disposal. Sometimes, we’ll have to reject the president’s proposals. And sometimes, we’ll have to make them better.

This is leadership? Who the hell is this guy trying to kid? I thought it was Obama leading from behind? With that kind of an approach, at the end of O-Savior’s second term the United Socialist States of America will be set in concrete. The GOP leadership is petrified. As George Will said prior to the election, if the Republicans can’t win in a depression-level economy, they’d better get into a business other than politics.

Gentlemen, unsheathe your swords and charge. This is a critical battle in a very long war. If you really believe in the Founders, try acting like them. Recall Aristotle’s observation: “Courage is first among the virtues. For without it, the others are not possible.”

As Michael Ledeen exhorts, “Faster, Please!”

Update: Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, “Paul Ryan Heaps Praise On Hillary: If She Were President, ‘We’d Have Fixed This Fiscal Mess By Now’ ”

Any questions?

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