Consider, additionally, that the preference for small and sensible, rather than big and meddlesome, government can lead to denigration of the whole idea that there needs to be government. There needs to be -- that's as plain as day, even in the age of Obamacare. Thus government has to be good.
Under this heading, Hamilton, in Federalist No. 70, had a word for the 44th president: "A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be, in practice, a bad government." Bad and costly and dangerous, one could add, these two and a quarter centuries later.
It's no late-night laugh line, in other words, no Bill O'Reilly or Rosie O'Donnell glibbery, when the president can't seem to get his act together -- and when thoughts of "Hail to the Chief," played for Joe Biden, lighten the heart immeasurably.
The founding fathers, wise men as they were, schooled in every virtue, gave to the future the best form of government they could devise. There was no more they could do. Everything from that point depended on people yet unborn, and on the choices those people would make. That's where we seem to be now as a nation -- reassessing some of those choices, and chewing our nails a bit as we do so.
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