Democrats in Denial About Unpopular Policies

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Trader666, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Democrats in Denial About Unpopular Policies

    By Rich Lowry

    When John Kerry calls you out of touch, you must be so far out of touch that you need to call Mazlan Othman, the U.N.'s designated liaison to space aliens, to re-establish contact with Planet Earth.

    The Massachusetts senator is one of the world's experts in out-of-touch. What Tony Dungy is to leadership, Suze Orman is to thrift, and Joel Osteen is to televised piety, John Kerry is to not getting it. He would never stoop to mere obliviousness - not when he can don his wetsuit and windsurf contemptuous circles around the little people in a bravo act of haut out of touch.

    So it was a signal moment when Kerry took it upon himself to explain the outlandish folkways of the American people: "We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or truth or what's happening."

    Take that, Velma Hart. Those who saw Hart, a middle-class, African-American mother of two, confront President Barack Obama at a CNBC town-hall meeting last week thought they had heard a genuine voice of dismay at the state of the economy and Obama's failure to deliver on his golden promises.

    If we take Hart as representative of the public mood, though, Kerry must have instead discerned a clueless complainer. If only Hart were sufficiently plugged in, she'd have the sense to get over her economic anxiety. So what if she fears returning to franks-and-beans family dinners? Does John Kerry carp when he's shamed into moving his $7 million yacht from Rhode Island to Massachusetts, where he will have to shoulder an additional $500,000 tax bill?

    Whatever else you think of Democrats, they are lousy amateur sociologists and political scientists. Whenever the public rejects them, it's a "temper tantrum," in late ABC News anchor Peter Jennings's term for the 1994 electoral rout. Liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson has teed up that tried-and-true explanation for this fall: "The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats."

    Obama has his own theory of voter irrationality. In his view, if only economic conditions were stronger, reasonable people would be Obama-supporting secularists with liberal mores. During the 2008 primaries, he infamously explained that people in rural areas who weren't supporting him were clinging to guns and religion because of the poor economy. He has attributed misgivings about Islam to economic anxieties. It's the all-purpose explanation for any public sentiment that discomfits liberals.

    Not far behind is the plaint that "the system" is broken so people are understandably frustrated by the "pace of change." The New Republic profiles "disillusioned" Obama adviser David Axelrod and explains that he's despairing over a "ferociously stubborn, possibly irredeemable system." This is the same system through which Democrats forced a historic $800 billion stimulus bill, a historic health-care law and a historic financial-regulation bill - as well as lesser stimuli and government takeovers.

    To borrow President Obama's well-worn metaphor, the Democrats found the fiscal car in the ditch and proceeded to hit the accelerator. Republican Rep. Mike Pence likes to point out that the annual deficit figures for much of the Bush administration have now become monthly deficit figures. The public's reaction against the debt and the manifest failure of the stimuli should be easily understandable on its own terms.

    If John Kerry's prognosis has any force, it applies to the dew-eyed Obama supporters who bought the fairy tale two years ago and won't bother to show up at the polls in November. These so-called surge voters, many of them young people, are exactly the ones who believed what Kerry calls "simple slogans" - "hope and change," "yes we can," "we're the ones we've been waiting for," and other timeless gems of vapid marketing.

    When the late Democratic Sen. Mo Udall ran for president in 1976, he commented after one primary loss, "The voters have spoken . . . the bastards." That's a great line, but a poor message for a political party.

    Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review.
  2. Yannis


    Obama's presidency will discredit the Democratic party into the future.

    "Comparisons of Barack Obama's presidency to Jimmy Carter's miss the point. Carter's presidency did little to change the basic party construct of the nation or to influence its ideology. Reagan's presidency accomplished both.

    But Barack Obama is destroying the Democratic party. It may not recover for a long time. In this, he most closely resembles a synthesis of the failed candidacy of George McGovern and the catastrophic presidency of Herbert Hoover. The damage he is doing to his party's image and prospects closely resembles the harm Hoover did to the Republican party, from which it did not recover for 20 years after he left office. And the extent to which Obama is discrediting the Left parallelsthe damage George McGovern did to his ideological confreres in 1972, when he went down to flaming defeat.

    In a sense, America met its first conservative in 1981 and fell in love. We met our first liberal in 2009 and are running away screaming. FDR was too long ago to count, Lyndon Johnson too distracted by Vietnam to make an impact. So Obama is the first full-throated liberal to be president in our lifetimes. And we won't soon forget him and the lessons his failure is teaching us.

    Strangely, the Democrats don't yet get it. They whistle a happy tune as they march off the cliff. There is no voice of dissent against Obama's policies, no mumbled animosity, no suppressed discontent. The party is solid as a phalanx behind its leader even as he sends it to political death. It is the Charge of the Light Brigade, and none of them know that "someone has blundered."

    For decades, the liberal alternative glittered attractively on the sidelines. As income inequality increased and Wall Street bonuses excited class animosity, the possibility of an economic-populist response had become more interesting to voters by the time Obama came along. The hyperactive Bush foreign and military policy made the yearning for peace and isolation stronger. And as conservatives increased our national wealth, the glaring omission of the health-care system loomed larger. Finally, when the depression hit, voters called in the liberals from stage left and asked them to take a shot at turning the country around.

    And did they ever! They kept their promises and then some. They tripled the deficit and sent the debt soaring. From the moment George Washington took the oath of office until Obama did, America had borrowed $9 trillion. Under Obama, it has borrowed $3.2 trillion more, in less than two years. Our health-care system was deformed, manufacturing was terrified by the prospect of cap-and-tax, GM was absorbed by the government and conquered by the unions, and federalism was buried in an avalanche of subsidies that turned state governments into branch offices of Washington.

    Americans have learned their lesson, just as they learned from Hoover the evils of Republican laissez-faire economics. His legacy cast a shadow over politics until Eisenhower vanquished it with his personal popularity in 1952. But it was not until Nixon and Reagan that anti-Hooverism stopped structuring national elections.

    In George McGovern, we all saw the incompetence of liberalism, its disorganization, its extremism, and its ultimate impotence. The best testament to his failure as a candidate is his own discovery of the virtues of private-sector capitalism in his old age. This gentleman -- who was never anything less than that -- clearly paved the way for Ronald Reagan and the conservative ascendancy.

    This is likely not the legacy Obama had in mind when, with his massive ego, limited competence, and paltry experience, he took over the White House. Americans, in a fit ofnational delusion, made what they now realize was one of their biggest mistakes.

    The magnitude of our error -- or at least of our understanding of it -- will become apparent on November 2, when the GOP will win both houses of Congress, the House by a considerable margin. The 2010 landslide will likely set the record for the largest transfer of House seats in an off- year election. The prior mark of 74 seats in 1922 (a Democratic gain in the wake of Harding's scandals and the Teapot Dome investigation) will probably be eclipsed. But the true measure ofthe damage Obama has done to his ideology and his party will not be evident for some time."
  3. rew


    The Democrats suck. The problem with this country is that the Republicans suck too.

    Ron Paul doesn't suck. That's why he's considered by his peers and the mass media to be a kook and a fringe candidate.