Helen Whalen Cohen

In his latest column, George Will predicts that conservatives won't unseat the president in 2012. In spite of this, it will be good year. He gives two reasons for this: first, that the populace will become less enchanted with the presidency overall and second, that as Americans realize the abundance of natural resources in this country, they will reject rationing and be less inclined to let government control behavior. As long as Republicans gain control of the Senate and keep the House, they will be able to prevent agencies from becoming "unconstrained instruments of presidential decrees". In a year when Americans aren't buying Chevy Volts and the Kyoto Protocol on its way out the door, the electorate is already heading in the right direction. We will be primed for 2013 or 2017

Although they have become prone to apocalyptic forebodings about the fragility of the nation’s institutions and traditions under the current president, conservatives should stride confidently into 2012. This is not because they are certain, or even likely, to defeat President Obama this year. Rather, it is because, if they emancipate themselves from their unconservative fixation on the presidency, they will see events unfolding in their favor. And when Congress is controlled by one party, as it might be a year from now, it can stymie an overreaching executive.

In 2011, for the first time in 62 years, America was a net exporter of petroleum products. For the indefinite future, a specter is haunting progressivism, the specter of abundance. Because progressivism exists to justify a few people bossing around most people and because progressives believe that only government’s energy should flow unimpeded, they crave energy scarcities as an excuse for rationing — by them — that produces ever-more-minute government supervision of Americans’ behavior.

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In any case, nothing that happens this November will bring an apocalypse. America had 43 presidencies before the current one and will have many more than that after the end of this one in 2013 or 2017. Decades hence, it will look like most others, a pebble in the river of U.S. history.


Helen Whalen Cohen

Helen Whalen Cohen is Associate Editor and Community Manager at Townhall.com.