In both matters, Gunwalker and the budget stand-off, it is the actions of the government that have created the mess; the “fix” proposed by the Obama administration puts the constraints and burdens on the people, without addressing the behavior of government that created the “problem” at hand; the administration is choosing to do things it has the freedom not to do; and the MSM are simply repeating the administration’s narrative about what’s going on, without analysis or criticism.

Peggy Noonan invokes Reagan in her Wall Street Journal opinion piece today, observing that he would not, in a budget stand-off, have addressed the people with veiled threats as Obama has. But I think Reagan’s tenure teaches us a larger and more important lesson. Reagan proved that it is remarkably effective to stand up to the shrill forces of social collectivism. When you don’t compromise with them, it is they who lose viability. Almost no one will recognize that that is happening until they collapse; the pioneer who does stand up to them can expect to be doubted and excoriated all along the way. But ultimately, collectivists whose power comes from overburdening the people hold the weaker hand. They cannot win unless we let them.