Jonah Goldberg

Which brings us back to salmon regulations, immigration, high-speed rail, renewable energy and other action items on Obama's "win the future" agenda laid out in January's address. Back then, Obama said we were in a "Sputnik moment," referring to the time when the Soviet Union's launch of a satellite inspired the Apollo space program and increased spending on scientific education and research.

So if I understand Axelrod correctly, killing bin Laden proves that "Yes We Can!" we can get all that "Sputnik moment" stuff done.

If all of this wasn't so hilarious, it would be infuriating. Can you imagine if President Bush had said that the success of the surge in Iraq proved we really needed to privatize Social Security after all? What if John McCain had won in 2008 and ordered the killing of bin Laden? Would Senator Obama have rallied around his former opponent's agenda?

By all means, Obama deserves his fair share of credit for taking out bin Laden, though calling it one of the "most gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory," as Obama advisor John Brennan did, strains credulity almost as much as it rakes the ears of grammarians.

But the most bestest part, as Brennan might say, is the simple fact that the president doesn't know how we'll "win the future." In his Oval Office address on the Gulf oil spill, Obama explained that we don't know how we'll get where we need to go or what the destination will even look like.

But that's the genius of the Sputnik analogy. Since, as Obama explained, "we had no idea how we would beat (the Soviets) to the moon," it's OK that we don't know how to "win the future." And that in turn means that during the weakest recovery in half a century, we can blow billions on mythical green-energy jobs, push a government takeover of health care, encourage skyrocketing gas prices, impose crippling regulations and higher taxes, and make "investments" in white elephants and high-speed salmon.

Oh, it may not seem like we're making progress on these fronts, but we are. You know how you can tell? Osama bin Laden is dead.

Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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