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Giving Thanks for Obama

by Christopher Chantrill
November 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm


HAVE YOU heard the one about the guy from the lefty “reality-based community?” He could only tell reality when it knocked him upside the head. And that’s the story of the Obama administration thus far.

It’s not easy to admit it, but in 2008 we needed the Democrats to run the national security apparatus for four years. Americans needed Democrats to confront reality on the war on terror. It’s one thing to yell lefty slogans from the side-lines. It’s another thing to formulate and execute national security policy from inside the federal government. Whatever it cost, we Americans had to put Democrats in power and let reality knock them upside the head.

After two years of Obama we all know the following realities—even Democrats. On Iraq: right war or wrong war, the issue is still Iran. On Gitmo: yeah, you try and close it, pal. On hard power/soft power: yeah, you try and cuddle up to thug dictators and see how much good it does you. On civilian trials for terrorists: all it takes is one juror...

After two years, the whole Democratic critique of Bush’s foreign policy lies in ruins. Thanks Obama, we needed that.

But Obama’s real gift is an unforced error: the utter shambles of his economic policy. Who could have predicted that Obama would utterly ignore the great lessons of Reaganomics: hard money, spending cuts, low tax rates?

In retrospect it is all obvious. Our Democratic friends have been averting their eyes to the success of supply-side economics for a generation. They weren’t going to admit its reality until reality hit them upside the head.

Reality hasn’t done that yet. It will take a Republican president, a Republican Senate, a Republican House, repeal of ObamaCare and a few books touting “The Permanent Republican Majority” to do that.

But where will the new Republican majority come from? The best place to look, I’d suggest, is in The Emerging Democratic Majority, prophesied by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira in the 2000s. How long ago it seems. Judis and Teixeira argued that a new majority Democratic coalition was forming out of the white working class, professionals—teachers, engineers, nurses, creative types—and women and minorities. Let’s look at that coalition in the cold reality of 2010.

The white working class, according to Henry Olsen in NRO, has been homeless for about a generation. First they voted for Reagan, then they voted for Clinton, then Bush, then Obama. But in 2010 the white working class went Republican big-time. Their forty years in the wilderness started when Democrats went off the white working class back during the Vietnam War. The noble working stiff became a bigoted red-neck as Democrats fell in love with women and minorities.

The professionals are the people that style themselves economically conservative and socially liberal. Here’s professional Morris Panner having a change of heart in the Washington Post:

As a Democrat whose politics are undeniably liberal on social issues, I lamented the outcome of the midterm elections. But as an entrepreneur with two software start-ups under my belt, I couldn’t help but celebrate - and more than a little.

In the runup to the election Morris Panner found himself “listening closely to the Tea Party, nursing the hope that its message would push both major parties to change the way they do business.”

In my view the economically-conservative/socially-liberal gig is all about social snobbery: not being one of those snaggle-toothed bible-thumpers, darling. It’s an easy pose when the economy is humming along in a tech boom or a housing bubble. But in the Great Recession economy policy matters, and the economically-conservative/socially-liberal set have started voting their pocket-books.

The women that vote Democrat are the non-mother, or non-married, or non-religious kind. But now that the euphoria of feminist liberation has worn off women are sharing with their friends the truth that the central administrative welfare state is a direct attack on everything that matters to women: love and marriage, relationship and family, and children and religion.

But the biggest shock coming to Democrats will be the Republicanization of their beloved minorities. It happens all the time, you know. Ever since the Irish, immigrants have begun their political life in the US as Democrats. They start as Irish, progress to Irish-Americans, and end up as unhyphenated Americans voting Republican. Jews and blacks are the big exception to this, and the reason is simple. Jewish leaders like to scare Jews silly with the monster of the Christian Right, and black leaders like to scare blacks silly with the monster of racism. Guess what, Jews and blacks. There is nothing to fear but fear itself!

Here’s a prediction. Once the humiliation of the Obama debacle wears off, blacks will start moving in battalion strength into the Republican Party. This will be a big problem for them, because there is a danger that Republicans will love them to death.

Thank you. President Obama. And you have a great Thanksgiving, too.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990

Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures

German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh

Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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