Last year marked, or should’ve marked, a major transition in American political symbolism: the utter forfeiture of any Republican claim to fiscal responsibility. It didn’t, though, because GOP messaging is as good as their policies are bad. Too bad.
Now might be the time to claim another mantle — gone are the days when the Republican Party could plausibly pretend to be the party of personal responsibility, writ large. The last Republican president put his entire agenda on credit, with no exit in sight, whether from war or from debt. He never admitted errors, and is already purging his record of those mistakes which he should admit. It’s the very antithesis of leadership. On the other hand, President Obama, set to end his first year in office, has made a habit of candidly acknowledging rather than spinning his own faults.
It probably hasn’t helped him, but it’s a credit to the President that he’s chosen to take the path of greatest resistance. We can hope this return of a semblance of leadership won’t go unnoticed.