|Obama Wants a War||The Strategic Concentration of Modern Children|
by Christopher Chantrill
December 11, 2012 at 12:00 am
WHILE EVERYONE gathers around the water cooler monday-morning quarterbacking Speaker Boehner on the execution of his game plan for the Cliff Bowl before it is even played, let us spare a thought for the hapless Democrats. After all, who would want to be a Democrat as we go into 2013?
Don’t be fooled by that tough-guy act.
Yes, yes, we know that the Democrats own the future with the educated, the young, the black and the Hispanic. And Republicans have just got to learn to speak Hispanic. Even Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan seem to agree.
But my suspicion is that the the old song had it right. The new Democratic majority has gone about as far as it can go. You can tell that in the subtext of Democratic policy this holiday season, which seems to be: Entitlements today, Entitlements tomorrow, Entitlements forever.
There is something vaguely familiar about that catchphrase.
Here is how I explain it.
Back in 1989 the Democrats panicked. They had just lost three presidential elections in a row, first to an amiable dunce and finally to a New England blue-blood. How bad can it get?
The new strategy, we can now see, was fiendishly clever. Democrats would feint towards the middle, as in New Democrats, while playing race politics with blacks and Hispanics. And they would use their cultural power to put the mark of Cain on the religious right and social conservatism. Remember how they demonized Pat Buchanan’s speech at the 1992 National Republican Convention?
On winning the 1992 election by splitting the Republicans with Ross Perot and demonizing the Bush economy with “worst economy in the last 50 years” the Democrats gave it all back in 1994 with the first Republican Congress elected in 40 years.
The Dems kept the ship afloat in 1996 with the help of Dick Morris and welfare reform, but failed to extinguish the Republican Congress. In 2000 they almost kept the presidency with an October Surprise on W’s DUI.
Fortunately the razor-thin loss in 2000 gave the Dems an opportunity. They decided not to concede the election but instead keep their partisans at white heat for the next eight years, railing against anything that would stick on the wall. It all finally came together in the 2006 and 2008 elections with big Democratic majorities in Congress and America’s first black president.
This is where things start to go wrong.
Despite the worst economy in the last 50 years Democrats decided to run the old plays out of the old playbook, and just went ahead and burdened the economy with more stimulus, more entitlements, more environmental regulation, and more crony capitalism/socialism. In consequence the economy failed to thrive as it tried to rally from the depths of the Great Recession. What a surprise!
And get this: Just when the economy needed a superfluity of risk-taking businessmen creating new jobs from Maine to California, the Dems decide to run against businessmen, spending months demonizing Mitt Romney as a cruel plutocrat!
Today President Obama is proposing that all we need to do going forward is to increase taxes on the rich by about $80 billion per year. In the face of a $1,200 billion deficit per year.
Why won’t the president come up with a proposal on entitlements? Writes Fred Barnes: “The liberal base of the Democratic party--Obama’s base--opposes [it], that’s why.” Apparently Nancy Pelosi thinks it would “harm the middle class.”
Here’s where I am left scratching my head. You would think that now would be the time, after the Dems have just won reelection, to take a few tough decisions; that’s what politicians usually do right after the election. Apparently, this time, they won’t.
Maybe there is a secret deal, known only to insiders, that “they” will spring on us in a couple of weeks after everyone has fed red meat to all their hungry partisans.
Maybe Democrats still think they have solved the Medicare problem with Obamacare and its shadowy IPAB.
But maybe Democrats are simply afraid to cut any spending, ever, because if they do then their coalition will start to melt away into the countryside. After all, what idiot sticks with a marauding band of predators after the word goes out that there is no more loot?
Or maybe the Democrats are like the Bourbons who had “forgotten nothing and learned nothing” when they returned to rule France after the defeat of Napoleon. Sixty years ago the only thing that a Southern politician needed to knew was Segregation. Today the Democrats are more advanced, so their politicians know two things: Entitlements and Inequality.
In the end, dead-end ideas and their mindless promoters get thrown on the ash heap of history. The trick is to make sure that happens before the US gets thrown on the ash heap.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
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
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.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[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
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
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
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
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
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