- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Thomas Sowell’s Friday Commentary column, “The rush,” was a disappointing collection of recycled hyperbole. The only difference from the campaign rhetoric is that Mr. Sowell attempts to find proof in the transition process that the president is the amateur the Republicans warned us about. Maybe Mr. Sowell should ask Sen. Judd Gregg for his input on the transition process.

Mr. Sowell is ignoring the remarkable fact that the largest spending bill in American history was passed a little within a month of President Obama’s taking office. He overlooks Mr. Obama’s pledge for bipartisanship: Instead of steamrolling the Republicans, Mr. Obama compromised. The Republicans, however, seem to favor stonewalling over cooperation.

If Mr. Sowell had actually looked, he would have seen that among the many provisions that go into effect this year (he wrongfully claimed no spending would go into effect until 2010) are tax cuts for 95 percent of working families and extended opportunities for companies to claim tax breaks for taxes as far back as 2003. Republicans are in favor of tax breaks, aren’t they?

Mr. Sowell then goes on to invoke “the will to believe,” dredging up the old Republican lore that those who voted for Mr. Obama are irrational and projected onto him their hopes and dreams. This reflects a preference for a silent majority - one that is hush and mum - as opposed to the healthy mass participation in politics we just witnessed.

Mr. Sowell’s anti-populism is quite elitist, but it is not surprising: His neo-Hooverism shines bright when he derides what has become common sense, that the implosion of the market is so catastrophic that only government can save us. Well, yes, Mr. Sowell, when the private sector fails, what else is left? He prefers to “allow the market to begin recovering on its own,” but we have been down that road before, and Mr. Obama is no amateur who will fall for that one.



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