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Watching Joe Biden Play Willy Loman Obama and the Liberal Conceits

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Liberals Say It's the End of an Era

by Christopher Chantrill
October 23, 2012 at 12:00 am


NOBODY KNOWS how the election will come out, pollsters least of all. But we know one thing. Liberals are in retreat. I have a liberal friend, a member of the Greatest Generation, who says simply that we are coming to the end of an age.

Well, yes. You could even dip down into cycle theorists like Mircea Eliade and say that it’s the Eternal Return, baby. A century ago when liberals came in the poor were suffering, and now after a century of liberal governance we are back where we started, with the poor and minorities hardest hit by the Great Recession.

But those of us hoping to live for a couple of decades or more can’t afford to be quite as unworried as my liberal friend. We will actually have to live through the end of the age and on into the next one.

Are liberals thinking that, wow, we could be Greece in a few years, meaning that women and minorities would be hardest hit? And that liberals, the most evolved, most educated ruling class since the dawn of time, could be thrown out of power?

Short answer: they are not thinking at all. They are distracting their base with silly laugh lines about binders and the 47 percent and dogs-on-the-roof while the average woman voter is worrying about what life will be like for her children and grandchildren. You could say that the Soccer Moms and the Security Moms now turning into Deficit Moms.

Worst of all, the liberals seem to think that they can secure the future by telling their base that the benefits can keep coming if only the rich would pay a little more. Maybe they are right; maybe they can distract their base long enough to get through the election. Or maybe not.

You can understand why liberals have been so angry for the last decade. Listen to President Obama: First Republicans cut taxes, then they put a couple of wars on the national credit card. All that drove the economy into the ditch and led to the worst recession since the 1930s.

Exactly. Whaddya mean by cutting taxes? What about the money we need for health care? Whaddya mean by starting a couple of wars? What about the money for teachers and training?

Tell your Democratic friend that we are broke anyway, that Medicare has a $40 trillion or $80 trillion unfunded mandate, or whatever the number is this week. Point them to Michael S. Greve, who wrote in early October, in an article reviewing the federal debt, the “agency” debt, and the state and local debt:

Debts of this magnitude will not be paid. The question is who will take the haircut.

It doesn’t register. Lillie Ledbetter and gay marriage: that’s what matters.

Liberals do not think of themselves as a cynical ruling class that only thinks about political power and the pitch needed this election cycle to separate the “mark” from her vote. They just think about all the wonderful ways that liberals have protected peoples’ rights.

You suppose that somewhere in an undisclosed location there has got to be an executive committee of the entire ruling class that knows better. It knows that a ruling class must keep the ship of state fueled, provisioned, and seaworthy. It knows that it must manage the expectations of the regime supporters and avoid overpromising on the “affordable” front. It worries that the Great Recession, quite apart from ratcheting up the national debt, seems to have impoverished regime supporters like single women and blacks more than the average American. And the committee members must be shaking their heads about Obamacare and the inevitable train wreck between Medicare entitlement beneficiaries and Obamacare entitlement beneficiaries.

But suppose there is no executive committee of the ruling liberal class. Suppose that the tired clichés of Barack Obama are the best that can be thought and said in elite liberal thinking. Suppose that liberals really are as they seem to be, nothing more than clueless scions of a once great old family in terminal decline. Suppose that our liberal friends possess little more than the low cunning needed to rile up their base before the next election.

Well, then we conservatives ought to be looking to hire the best turnaround expert in America and then wondering how to survive and thrive if the dollar and the national debt and the entitlement programs all get flushed down the toilet. It’s all very well for John Hawkins to talk brightly about “The 5 Life Advantages You Acquire from Experiencing Poverty.” What about the poor schmucks that never got to be poor? What do we do in the coming time of troubles as the grass starts growing up in the cracks in the streets?

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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presented by Christopher Chantrill

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