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CITIZENS, IMMIGRANTS, AND ILLEGALS: A LONG-BLIND NATION SEES CLEARLY AGAIN

By John F. Di Leo –

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

For as long as there have been movie theaters, there have been some kids who’ve snuck in without paying. Whether it’s for a single film or a double feature, they know as long as they’re in the theater that there’s a chance they may get caught. At any point, they might be asked to show their ticket stub, and if they can’t… they know they’ll be tossed out. If it happens, they won’t complain, they won’t threaten to sue, because they knew the risk all along, and they don’t want to make things worse. Every minute they’re in the building, they’re nervous… and they don’t really breathe easy until they’re out of there.

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

For as long as there have been resumes and job applications, there have been some people who’ve lied on them. They may claim a college degree they didn’t earn, a past title they didn’t really hold, a past accomplishment they never really accomplished. And they may get the job as a result, but they know it’s unearned, and they’re rightly nervous every day… until they’re found out, and bounced out, as a result. When that day comes, they pack up their things in a box, and Security walks them out, on a day they always knew was someday bound to arrive.

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

For as long as there have been shops, there have been robbers. They break in at night, perhaps on the weekend, and rummage around with their flashlights and their satchels, looking for the most valuable loot to steal before they make their escape. They know they don’t belong there; they know they’re violating the law by their very presence in a private store after the doors were locked. They’re nervous every second they’re indoors; terrified they’ll be caught, and rightly prosecuted, for the crime of being where they don’t belong, of taking things owned by others, of violating the property rights on which our nation and our economy depend.

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

In all these cases, if the liar, the criminal, the gate-crasher has a family with him, that wife and kids are bounced as well.

If a father smuggled his whole family into the theater, they’re all kicked out upon discovery. If the executive, the professional, the professor who lied on his resume, had a family to support, it’s his fault when his kids no longer have someone to pay for their car and their college; the employer doesn’t bounce the resume-fraudster while continuing to pay the bills for his family! The father is responsible for the hot water in which he’s landed his children, not the company he defrauded by his lies or his trespassing or his burglary.

Whatever the crime may be, we must never forget who the responsible party is.

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

And so it is, too, with our porous borders.

For generations, but especially in recent decades, despite there being an organized, legal way for foreigners to come to the United States, millions and millions of foreigners have bypassed that system and simply crossed our northern – or much more likely, our southern – borders… or arrived legally on a work, student, or tourist visa, then illegally overstayed it… either way, dropping out of the world of legality and consciously choosing to live in the shadows.

Some come to avail themselves of the generous welfare benefits of the New Deal and the Great Society – free food, free housing, free education, free healthcare, free utilities, if you have someone to show you which programs to sign up for, and how. And someone to help you get the fake ID you’ll need, to get the benefits that were intended only for indigent citizens, because that someone knows that once you’re here, you’re sure to vote their way.

Some come to join the criminal underworld, as dealers or carriers, as coyotes or gang bosses, as pimps or hookers. They come to take advantage of our relative wealth, our easygoing legal system, our teeming crowds and dark alleys. They come to steal, to injure, to destroy.

Others come to work hard, in construction or in restaurants, in landscaping or in factories, hoping to earn an honest living, perhaps so they can send money home to family in the countries they fled… although even here, we must always remember that, however hard they may work, they have to steal someone else’s Social Security Number to do it… breaking the laws of city, state, and nation just to be here. Since they don’t pay all the taxes a citizen pays, they can work for less, and so they do.

And there are some who don’t come here of their own choice at all: the infants and children of any of the above, even those born here after the illegal immigrants arrived. Brought here or conceived here by gate-crashing parents, these children never had a say in their fate. Still, it was their parents who put them in this position, not us, not our government. These children have no more permission to be here than their parents… but we Americans try to be fair, and generous, and compassionate; we don’t want to be cruel, so we find these cases particularly challenging.

These are all very different cases, varying in what kind of crime was intended through their presence. The active criminal and the passive welfare recipient, the gate-crasher with a work ethic and the child brought here by others. They’re all so different. Our hearts overwhelm our minds, and we feel sorry for them, and we resist meting out the punishment that gate-crashers deserve.

Why? Why is it so difficult to be firm?

Because our eyes are on the gate-crashers, who are so easy to pity. We have all heard of the conditions in Central and South America, in Africa and Asia, in Caribbean islands and Middle Eastern war zones. We imagine they come from the worst possible origins, and we can’t bring ourselves to apply the rigors of law enforcement and the stigma of deportation to these sufferers. There, we imagine, but for the grace of God, go we.

To address this problem properly, we simply must change our perspective.

We must stop looking at the illegal immigrants, and instead look at the Americans amongst whom these illegals have embedded themselves.

There are about 95 million people of working age in America who are outside the workforce, some willingly, most unwillingly. They just can’t find jobs.

We must keep our eye on the American citizens and green card holders (the legal immigrants, as opposed to the illegal aliens) – these are the people to whom our government owes its allegiance… and only them.

Now, what is the effect of these illegal aliens on our citizens and green card holders?

The working illegals take jobs that would otherwise be filled by citizens and legal immigrants. They are the reason that many of those 95 million unemployed don’t have work.
The working illegals drive the competitive wage down, so that even many of the citizens and legal immigrants who do work are paid less than they would otherwise be paid. It’s like the student whose grade alters the class curve; the mere presence of illegals in the workforce affects the going rate for everyone else.
The nonworking illegals raise the cost of government, by sucking up local, state, and federal dollars on the welfare benefits they enjoy but never earned. This raises the taxes of the citizens and legal immigrants, and reduces the benefits that ought to be available for those deserving citizens and legal immigrants.
All the illegals – as people of lesser cultures – contribute to the continued weakening of the American culture. Perhaps intending to (as with the islamists who pack sharia law in their luggage) or utterly unintentionally (as with the uneducated South Americans who know nothing of our Framers or the philosophy that made America the goldenah medina that it is), as long as these illegals are unassimilated into the American culture, their presence renders our nation less the America it once was, less the America that it was meant to be, and more the third world slum that these ambassadors of poverty left behind.
The criminal illegals – yes, it’s a redundancy, but the only way to refer to the robbers, gangsters, drug dealers, et. al. among the illegal population – also raise the cost of government, by necessitating more police, more courts, more public defenders, more jails. They raise the cost of our auto insurance, home insurance and business insurance, by raising the risk in our cities and other high crime areas. There’s enough crime without them; there’s so much more crime with them. They ruin property values. And of course, as criminals, they directly ruin the lives of their innocent victims.
As in all aspects of criminal law, it is only when we turn our eyes away from the criminal’s plaintive expression, and concentrate on their victims, that our eyes are opened, and we can clearly see what needs to be done.

Should we feel sorry for people suffering in other countries? Certainly.

We can donate to private charities that operate abroad. We can support trade agreements that help create jobs for them in their home countries. We can pray for them. And yes, we can and do offer a legal, organized, official way for a manageable flow of desirable foreign applicants to come to America, with legitimate green cards, at a rate moderate enough for them to assimilate into our great way of life… rather than a rate so great that their foreign way of life overwhelms ours.

But first and foremost, our government must fulfill its obligation to both American citizens and legal immigrants (both the people who have done it the right way, and the people still in the application process, waiting patiently overseas for their chance).

Our government must keep us safe from foreign invasion…
Our government must stanch the inbound flow of drugs and disease and crime that has poured through our borders for so long…
Our government must do what it can to keep foreign terrorists and gangs and sharia out of our country…
Our government must keep illegal foreign invaders from wreaking economic destruction by lowering our wages and stealing our entry-level jobs by unfair competition…
Our government must reduce this crippling explosion of the welfare state, an unsustainable burden of tens of millions of illegal recipients of taxpayer-funded health care, taxpayer-funded schooling, taxpayer-funded room and board. Our safety net is for the needy minority of 300 million Americans, not the needy majority of seven billion citizens of the world.
Our government must make up for the errant policy of recent decades, and work to return America to an appreciation of the American philosophy of our Founding Fathers… through both old-fashioned education and the visible example of the limitless potential of limited government.
It can be done. Not all at once, not all in a day. But by deporting some, more will leave of their own accord. As with every other crime, a little enforcement causes widespread compliance.

It will work, because it has to work.

Otherwise, our nation – this City on a Hill, this noble experiment in limited government and republican ideals – will surely perish… not from nuclear war or plague or disease, but from simply allowing ourselves to cease to be the United States of America.

Copyright 2017 John F. Di Leo

Shocker! Obama Caught Stealing…To Pay For What?!

“You know, if the government is going to continue to waste taxpayer money, they could at least have the courtesy to waste it on American citizens, no?”

A great observation, but we all know the reason Democrats hand out “free” things like education, health care and any number of other benefits to immigrants, legal or otherwise. They are buying influence.

There are so many states where no ID is required to vote, and obviously these non-citizens are willing and able to vote the way they’re told every few years in exchange for all these goodies.

However, as jaded as most of us have become to this fact of life, this next story still has the ability to shock:

The Department of Health and Human Services is raiding several of its accounts, including money for Medicare, the Ryan White AIDS/HIV program and those for cancer and flu research to cover a shortfall in housing illegal youths pouring over the border at a rate of 255 a day.

HHS is trying to come up with $167 million to fund the Office of Refugee Resettlement (…)
to pay for “shelters, health care, schooling, recreation, and other services for the new illegal arrivals. (…)

What’s more, it will pay for just one month.

“Recreation”? And what other “services,” one wonders.

Meanwhile, hardworking, law abiding, taxpaying American citizens are struggling to get by from day to day.
Donald Trump can’t take the oath of office a moment too soon

Admin unilaterally changes law, lets immigrants with limited terror ties in U.S.

immigrationQ-7680632
On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department bypassed Congress and published new exemptions that would allow immigrants who provided “limited material support” to terrorists into the country, the Daily Caller reported.

“These exemptions cover five kinds of limited material support that have adversely and unfairly affected refugees and asylum seekers with no tangible connection to terrorism: material support that was insignificant in amount or provided incidentally in the course of everyday social, commercial, family or humanitarian interactions, or under significant pressure,” an official with the DHS told the Daily Caller.

According to the unnamed official, the exemptions are needed and will be applied on a case-by-case basis “after careful review,” which reportedly includes security checks with various agencies.

“This exemption process is vital to advancing the U.S. government’s twin goal of protecting the world’s most vulnerable persons while ensuring U.S. national security and public safety,” the official added.

Both Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry approved the exemptions.

Although the administration calls the rule change reasonable, others differ.

“[T]here is a very legitimate question as to whether the administration actually has the authority to change the law in this way,” said Jessica Vaughan, a former State Department official and the current director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies.

“It seems to me that they are announcing that they will be disregarding yet another law written by Congress that they don’t like and are replacing it with their own guidelines, which in this case appear to be extremely broad and vague, and which are sure to be exploited by those seeking to game our generous refugee admissions program,” she added.

Current law says that either the secretary of state or the DHS secretary in consultation with each other and with the U.S. Attorney General can “determine that certain terrorism bars of the INA do not apply.”

Vaughan acknowledged that some seeking entry have been denied due to unintentional contact with terrorists, but warned that the new rule may be abused by those wanting to get around the system.

“If the recent past is any guide, those evaluating these cases will be ordered to ignore red flags in the applications, especially if the applicant is supported by one of the many advocacy groups that have the ear of senior DHS staff,” she said. “The administration already approves of the admission of gang members as asylees and criminals in the DACA program and grants of prosecutorial discretion, so I don’t expect them to be troubled by the admission of terrorists and garden variety fraudsters in our refugee program. This is how we end up with families like the Tsarnaev brothers, who were originally admitted for political asylum.”

Incidents like this are the reason House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Obama can’t be trusted on immigration reform.

“There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws, and it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes,” he told reporters Thursday.

He also said Obama is “running around the country telling everyone that he’s going to keep acting on his own.”

Obama, who declared he has a “pen and a phone,” said he would bypass Congress and rule by executive fiat “wherever and whenever” he can during the recent State of the Union address.

THE OBAMA DREAM ACT COULD LEGALIZE 1.8 MILLION IMMIGRANTS

BY Liz Goodwin

As many as 1.76 million young illegal immigrants could qualify for temporary legal status under President Obama’s deferred action program, says a new report from the Migration Policy Institute. That’s more than double the Obama administration’s initial estimate of 800,000 people who would benefit from the program.
The new number reflects the Obama administration’s updated guidelines released last Friday depicting who qualifies for the temporary legal status. Initially, only young illegal immigrants under 30 who entered the country as children, graduated from high school and had no criminal record would make the cut. Now, young people who didn’t graduate or receive their G.E.D. can still apply for the legal status as long as they re-enroll in high school by the time they apply.
The government will begin accepting applications online on August 15, and administration officials said the nearly $500 application fee will completely pay for the administrative costs of reviewing the applications. Those accepted will also get work permits, and will have to renew their legal status every two years.

LETTER BY A FLORIDA TEACHER

This is a subject close to my heart. Do you know that we have adult students at the school where I teach who are NOT U.S. citizens and who get the PELL Grant, which is a federal grant (no payback required) plus other federal grants to go to school?
One student from the Dominican Republic told me that she didn’t want me to find a job for her after she finished my program, because she was getting housing from our housing department and she was getting a PELL Grant which paid for her total tuition and books, plus money leftover.

She was looking into WAIT which gives students a CREDIT CARD for gas to come to school, and into CARIBE which is a special program (check it out – I did) for immigrants and it pays for child care and all sorts of needs while they go to school or training. The one student I just mentioned told me she was not going to be a U.S. Citizen because she plans to return to the Dominican Republic someday and that she ‘loves HER country.’

I asked her if she felt guilty taking what the U.S. is giving her and then not even bothering to become a citizen and she told me that it doesn’t bother her, because that is what the money is there for!

I asked the CARIBE administration about their program and if you ARE a U.S. citizen, you don’t qualify for their program. And all the while, I am working a full day, my son-in-law works more than 60 hours a week, and everyone in my family works and pays for our education.

Something is wrong here. I am sorry, but after hearing that they want to sing the National Anthem in Spanish – enough is enough. That’s a real slap in the face. It was written by Francis Scott Key and should be sung word for word the way it was written. The news broadcasts even gave the translation — not even close.
I don’t care whether this offends someone or not but this is MY COUNTRY. IF IT IS YOUR COUNTRY SPEAK UP — please pass this along. I am not against immigration — I just expect immigrants to come through like everyone else. Get a sponsor; have a place to lay your head; have a job; pay your taxes, live by the rules AND LEARN THE LANGUAGE as all other immigrants have in the past — and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

PART OF THE PROBLEM – Think about this: If you don’t want to forward this for fear of offending someone – YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It is Time for America to speak up. If you agree — pass this along.

A Review of U.S. Immigration History

On the matter of immigration many of those who support the concepts of “free choice migration,” “open borders,” or “free market labor,” defend their position with the argument that from earliest times immigration was wide open and all comers were welcome, and that is what made America great. This is absolutely untrue. It was never like that, and has never in the history of the country been close to what has been happening since 1965- the immigration problem is a recent one stemming from misguided progressives and free market labor conservatives.

The first immigrants were from Europe, mostly Britain, the Netherlands, and France, settling in the Northern Atlantic coastal areas (During the same period all parties were battling for a share of the Caribbean islands, and the Spanish and Portuguese where concentrating on Central and South America, though there were minor colonies in what would eventually be the United States). During the 1600’s approximately 175,000 English migrated to America. Many of these were recruited to establish colonies for agriculture and to exploit natural resources.

Over the next 200 hundred years about 500,000 British and other Europeans, migrated to expand the colonies; of these at least half were indentured servants, people who were provided passage, room and board, and usually training in return for a long period of working for the colonist. It was during this period that most of the African slaves were brought to America. This was not open migration, it was migration with a specific purpose and consisted of volunteer farmers, merchants, craftsmen, entrepreneurs, indentured labor, and forced labor.

Immigration had little need for control because it was controlled naturally by the arduous and expensive crossing of the ocean. People who came here as religious pilgrims/refugees, were a problem in their home countries where their emerging churches caused conflict with the establishment; colonization got the problem out of the homeland and helped to develop the colonial production needed to provide a robust merchant trade; a win-win for the home government.

This continued to be the situation through the American Revolution, with the added immigration of mercenary French and Hessian (German) soldiers, some of whom stayed on as residents. The restriction of immigration as a consequence of difficulty and cost began to fail with the formation of the United States, since there was considerable political and social upheaval in Europe and ocean crossing had become much faster, safer, and less expensive. The Constitution was ratified in 1787, and the first immigration law of the United States was passed just three years later in 1790 in which only free white persons could be naturalized. From 1787 to 1820 immigration was less than 8000 per year. The next change was after the civil war when blacks were granted citizenship.

In 1875 the first comprehensive immigration law was passed, replacing the 1790 act. The purpose was to control both the number and nature of immigrants, so that they would not displace American workers, would not be enemies of the U.S., would give up allegiance to all other countries, would learn to read and write English, would not carry communicable disease, could assimilate into the American culture, and were capable of being self-sustaining. Fifteen years later, in 1890 Ellis Island in New York became the primary immigration screening and processing point of entry for European immigrants.

In 1854 the Gadsden Purchase added the southern portions of territory to what are now the states of Arizona and New Mexico. In the purchase it was agreed with Mexico that existing Mexican and Spanish land titles would be recognized and those Mexican citizens who wished to remain Mexican could sell their holdings and relocate to Mexico; those who chose to stay automatically became U.S. Citizens. The total population in the Arizona portion of the Gadsden Purchase was less than 500 people, most Mexican citizens, but also many friendly Indians. There were also Mexican Citizens at La Mesilla but they numbered no more than 500, some of these elected to move south and remain Mexican, others accepted U.S. Citizenship.

From 1836 to 1914 30 million Europeans immigrated to the U.S; almost 400,000 per year. The country had vast tracts of western land to populate, so the Europeans were welcomed with open arms. In 1921 the Emergency Quota Act limited the number of immigrants. The Immigration Act of 1924 restricted southern and eastern Europeans from immigrating and was designed to stop the large influx of Italians, Poles, Slavs, and Jews who had been coming in large numbers and settling in ethnic groups since the end of the 1800’s. There was great concern with the amount of time it took for these immigrants to learn English and become acculturated into the American social and economic structure.

Immigration dropped significantly during the years of the Great Depression, and more people actually emigrated from the U.S. than entered the country. During this time almost half a million were repatriated to Mexico, many voluntarily but about half were deported.

The Hart-Cellar act of 1965 for the first time abolished quotas by national origin. This changed the ethnic proportions of the country – prior to the act Europeans made up 60% of immigrants, and following the act only 15% were of European origin. In the five years following Hart-Cellar, immigration doubled, then double again in the following twenty years. Bush I signed the 1990 immigration act increasing immigrants by an additional 40%. Clinton commissioned a panel of experts to make recommendations on immigration – they recommended cutting legal immigration by 60%; the recommendation was ignored.

Today the United States allows more legal immigration than any other country, 317% more than the next highest. We are bringing in over 1 million new immigrants per year. We now have 38 million first generation legal immigrants in the country. In addition to that it is estimated that approximately 12 million illegal aliens are also in the country.

Our current immigration policy verges on the insane. At a time when we have more than 15 million Americans out of work we should not be bringing a million people a year into the country, and we should certainly not be tolerating the 12 million illegal aliens that are in the country, along with granting citizenship the anchor babies, and contemplating giving children of illegals a competitive advantage over children of citizens with the so-called dream act. The success of America was not is based on efficient functioning of enterprise and effective laws and institutions, but also on metering immigration to meet our needs, and assuring that those who are allowed into our country value our ideals and way of life. Prior to 1965 we had rational immigration policy that was anything but open borders, and demanded that immigrants were to become Americans in every aspect. 

We do indeed need comprehensive immigration reform, but not the kind the open borders/amnesty crowd is pushing. We need to repeal the acts from 1965 to present and do two things: 1) reduce allowed immigration to do actual sustainable demand, and 2) let only people who will support our American values and way of life into the country. We need to do that as soon as we stop illegal immigration and repatriate 12 million illegals back to their homeland.

The Obsolescence of Barack Obama

The Wall Street Journal
OPINION

The Obsolescence of Barack Obama
The magic of 2008 can’t be recreated, and good riddance to it.

By FOUAD AJAMI

AUGUST 11, 2010


Not long ago Barack Obama, for those who were spellbound by him, had the stylishness of JFK and the historic mission of FDR riding to the nation’s rescue. Now it is to Lyndon B. Johnson’s unhappy presidency that Democratic strategist Robert Shrum compares the stewardship of Mr. Obama. Johnson, wrote Mr. Shrum in the Week magazine last month, never “sustained an emotional link with the American people” and chose to escalate a war that “forced his abdication as president.”
A broken link with the public, and a war in Afghanistan he neither embraces and sells to his party nor abandons—this is a time of puzzlement for President Obama. His fall from political grace has been as swift as his rise a handful of years ago. He had been hot political property in 2006 and, of course, in 2008. But now he will campaign for his party’s 2010 candidates from afar, holding fund raisers but not hitting the campaign trail in most of the contested races. Those mass rallies of Obama frenzy are surely of the past.
The vaunted Obama economic stimulus, at $862 billion, has failed. The “progressives” want to double down, and were they to have their way, would have pushed for a bigger stimulus still. But the American people are in open rebellion against an economic strategy of public debt, higher taxes and unending deficits. We’re not all Keynesians, it turns out. The panic that propelled Mr. Obama to the presidency has waned. There is deep concern, to be sure. But the Obama strategy has lost the consent of the governed.
Mr. Obama could protest that his swift and sudden fall from grace is no fault of his. He had been a blank slate, and the devotees had projected onto him their hopes and dreams. His victory had not been the triumph of policies he had enunciated in great detail. He had never run anything in his entire life. He had a scant public record, but oddly this worked to his advantage. If he was going to begin the world anew, it was better that he knew little about the machinery of government.
He pronounced on the American condition with stark, unalloyed confidence. He had little if any regard for precedents. He could be forgiven the thought that America’s faith in economic freedom had given way and that he had the popular writ to move the nation toward a super-regulated command economy. An “economic emergency” was upon us, and this would be the New New Deal.

There was no hesitation in the monumental changes Mr. Obama had in mind. The logic was Jacobin, the authority deriving from a perceived mandate to recast time-honored practices. It was veritably rule by emergency decrees. If public opinion displayed no enthusiasm for the overhaul of the nation’s health-care system, the administration would push on. The public would adjust in due time.
The nation may be ill at ease with an immigration reform bill that would provide some 12 million illegal immigrants a path toward citizenship, but the administration would still insist on the primacy of its own judgment. It would take Arizona to court, even though the public let it be known that it understood Arizona’s immigration law as an expression of that state’s frustration with the federal government’s abdication of its responsibility over border security.
It was clear as daylight that there was a built-in contradiction between opening the citizenship rolls to a vast flood of new petitioners and a political economy of redistribution favored by the Obama administration. The choice was stark: You could either “spread the wealth around” or open the gates for legalizing millions of immigrants of lower skills. You could not do both.
It was canonical to this administration and its functionaries that they were handed a broken nation, that it was theirs to repair, that it was theirs to tax and reshape to their preferences. Yet there was, in 1980, after another landmark election, a leader who had stepped forth in a time of “malaise” at home and weakness abroad: Ronald Reagan. His program was different from Mr. Obama’s. His faith in the country was boundless. What he sought was to restore the nation’s faith in itself, in its political and economic vitality.
Big as Reagan’s mandate was, in two elections, the man was never bigger than his county. There was never narcissism or a bloated sense of personal destiny in him. He gloried in the country, and drew sustenance from its heroic deeds and its capacity for recovery. No political class rode with him to power anxious to lay its hands on the nation’s treasure, eager to supplant the forces of the market with its own economic preferences.
To be sure, Reagan faltered midway through his second term—the arms-for-hostages trade, the Iran-Contra affair, nearly wrecked his presidency. But he recovered, the nation rallied around him and carried him across the finish line, his bond with the electorate deep and true. He had two years left of his stewardship, and his political recovery was so miraculous that he, and his first mate, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, would seal the nation’s victory in the Cold War.
There is little evidence that the Obama presidency could yet find new vindication, another lease on life. Mr. Obama will mark time, but henceforth he will not define the national agenda. He will not be the repository of its hopes and sentiments. The ambition that his would be a “transformational” presidency—he rightly described Reagan’s stewardship in these terms—is for naught.
There remains the fact of his biography, a man’s journey. Personality is doubtless an obstacle to his recovery. The detachment of Mr. Obama need not be dwelled upon at great length, so obvious it is now even to the pundits who had a “tingling sensation” when they beheld him during his astonishing run for office. Nor does Mr. Obama have the suppleness of Bill Clinton, who rose out of the debris of his first two years in the presidency, dusted himself off, walked away from his spouse’s radical attempt to remake the country’s health-delivery system, and moved to the political center.
It is in the nature of charisma that it rises out of thin air, out of need and distress, and then dissipates when the magic fails. The country has had its fill with a scapegoating that knows no end from a president who had vowed to break with recriminations and partisanship. The magic of 2008 can’t be recreated, and good riddance to it. Slowly, the nation has recovered its poise. There is a widespread sense of unstated embarrassment that a political majority, if only for a moment, fell for the promise of an untested redeemer—a belief alien to the temperament of this so practical and sober a nation.
Mr. Ajami is a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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