The SF Chronicle reports that in the bluest quarters of the bluest state panic is setting in.
There’s no shortage of their kind in the politically bluest parts of California. Liberals so freaked out about the prospect of President Obama losing his re-election bid that they can’t sleep at night. Can’t talk about anything else. Can’t stop parsing the latest polls.
David Plouffe, one of President Obama’s top campaign strategists, has a word for supporters he feels are needlessly fretful: bed wetters.
“Oh, I think I’m worse than that,” Kay Edelman said.
For the past several weeks, the 60-year-old San Francisco resident has frequently bolted awake in the middle of the night, in “a panic attack,” she said. She darts for her computer and checks the latest polls. Some days she’s so distraught that she can’t exercise.
Every morning, she gets e-mails from friends who’ve been just as sleepless. Most are so tense, they can croak out only a few words. “Very anxious.” “Worried.”
“Nothing more needs to be said,” said Edelman, a retired educational administrator.
Emotional role reversal
In this most unpredictable of campaigns, an emotional role reversal is happening in California. Republicans, who hold no statewide offices and are only 30 percent of registered voters, are more upbeat and enthusiastic.
Liberals, on the other hand, keep checking the polls.
It’s unlikely that even Republican Mitt Romney’s immediate family members think he’ll win California. But a Public Policy Institute of California survey released last week shows that while Obama holds a 12-point lead among likely California voters, 70 percent of Republican voters in the state were more enthusiastic than usual about voting – a greater proportion than the 61 percent of Democrats who were more enthused.
For liberals, part of the problem is that neither of the presidential campaigns is active in California, conceding the state to Obama. That means liberals have little to do other than reinforce each other’s fears about the voting predilections of a voting species seldom seen in the Bay Area – non-Democrats.
“We’re seeing these polls and reading about all these ads, and hearing about all of these undecided voters that are in other states, but we feel that we can’t do anything about it,” said Pat Reilly, a longtime press spokeswoman for national and California organizations and politicians who lives in Berkeley. “You feel like you’re part of a fight, but you can’t see your opponent.”
Read the whole thing.
The Supreme Court’s sharp questioning of the constitutionality of Obamacare, and the obvious weakness of the Administration’s defense of that approach to health care reform, shocked and astounded liberal commentators. John Podhoretz notes that nothing came up in the Court’s questions that had not been argued previously by opponents of Obamacare, but previously the left just was not listening.
The panicked reception in the mainstream media of the three-day Supreme Court health-care marathon is a delightful reminder of the nearly impenetrable parochialism of American liberals.
They’re so convinced of their own correctness — and so determined to believe conservatives are either a) corrupt, b) stupid or c) deluded — that they find themselves repeatedly astonished to discover conservatives are in fact capable of a) advancing and defending their own powerful arguments, b) effectively countering weak liberal arguments and c) exposing the soft underbelly of liberal self-satisfaction as they do so.
That’s what happened this week. There appears to be no question in the mind of anyone who read the transcripts or listened to the oral arguments that the conservative lawyers and justices made mincemeat out of the Obama administration’s advocates and the liberal members of the court.
This came as a startling shock to the liberals who write about the court.
Read the whole thing.
From RumpChat (A satellite of Rumpus, the Yale undergraduate humor blog):
Overheard by the hot security guard: “there’s too many f****** liberals at this school”
A study by Pew Research found liberals are so much more intolerant on the Internet than the rest of us that it isn’t even funny.
Not exactly shocking news for those exposed to them for years, but the respected Pew Research Center has determined that political liberals are far less tolerant of opposing views than regular Americans.
In a new study, the Pew Center for the Internet and American Life Project confirmed what most intelligent Americans had long sensed. That is, whenever they are challenged or confronted on the hollow falsity of their orthodoxy —such as, say, uniting diverse Americans—liberals tend to respond defensively with anger, even trying to shut off or silence critics. (i.e. photo above of President Obama reacting to Boston hecklers.)
The new research found that instead of engaging in civil discourse or debate, fully 16% of liberals admitted to blocking, unfriending or overtly hiding someone on a social networking site because that person expressed views they disagreed with. That’s double the percentage of conservatives and more than twice the percentage of political moderates who behaved like that.
The proportion jumps even higher when someone on a social site disagrees with a liberal’s post.
Only 1% of moderates would block or shut out someone who dared to disagree with them, compared to 11% of liberals, whose rate was nearly three times that of conservatives.
Of course, it is not as if liberal intolerance is restricted to opposing expression on the Internet…
Read the whole thing.
Jonah Goldberg points out that in every culture war fracas it is always the left-wing national elite that is laying down the law to the rest of us.
The Left often complains about the culture war as if it’s a war they don’t want to fight. They insist they just want to follow “sound science” or “what works” when it comes to public policy, but those crazy knuckle-dragging right-wingers constantly want to talk about gays and abortion and other hot-button issues.
It’s all a farce. Liberals are the aggressors in the culture war … What they object to isn’t so much the government imposing its values on people — heck, they love that. They see nothing wrong with imposing their views about diet, exercise, sex, race, and the environment on Americans. What outrages them is resistance or even non-compliance with their agenda. “Why are you making such a scene?” progressives complain. “Just do what we want, and there will be no fuss.”
Mark Steyn comments on some of the recent national manifestations of liberal tolerance.
Liberals take the same view as the proprietors of the Dar al-Islam: Once they hold this land, they hold it forever. Notwithstanding that those who give to the foundation are specifically giving to support breast-cancer research, Komen could not be permitted to get away with disrespecting Big Abortion. We don’t want to return to the bad old days of the back alley, when a poor vulnerable person who made the mistake of stepping out of line had to be forced into the shadows and have the realities explained to them with a tire iron. Now Big Liberalism’s enforcers do it on the front pages with the panjandrums of tolerance and diversity cheering them all the way. In the wake of Komen’s decision, the Yale School of Public Health told the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff that its invitation to Nancy Brinker to be its commencement speaker was now “under careful review.” Because God forbid anybody doing a master’s program at an Ivy League institution should be exposed to anyone not in full 100 percent compliance with liberal orthodoxy.
Dan Greenfield unloads on the very same people with this superb essay:
The American liberal is not a populist, he is still a New England preacher, but without a religion to preach. He has a great faith in the virtues of an ordered moral society, even if that ordered moral society would have been completely incomprehensible and unacceptable to his forebears. It is a society based on the virtues of tolerance and the rule of the enlightened.
The inflow of the European left has brought in a strain of power to the people populism, but that has not made the American liberal take seriously the notion that the people whose rights he defends are his intellectual or social equals, no more than the 19th century New York Republicans patting African-Americans on the head while stomping on the Irish viewed either group as equals.
American liberalism has traveled a slightly altered road to get to the same place. But its place is still at the top and everyone else’s place is still at the bottom. Its persistent denial of this basic truth leads to the perennial absurdity of millionaires like Elizabeth Warren playing class warrior when the only class they represent is the class of people who work for the government.
The oligarchy which is busy bleeding the country dry does not represent any group of working people anywhere in the country. Not Protestant or Catholic, black or white, or of any other creed or identity. Like every ideology incarnated in a system, it represents its own interests. The Democratic Party is the government party. It exists to create jobs in government, to dispense government subsidies and to expand the power and scope of its organization. It is not fundamentally any different than Putin’s United Russia or Israel’s Kadima or similar political creatures around the world.
The strange intermarriage of New England moralists, New York merchants and European radicals eventually led to a system of pushing immigrants into government service, mandating tolerance and running every aspect of human life through Washington D.C. It took a while to get there, but the system is a decade or two away from being complete. When it is complete then all our lives will be run in every possible way by the Elizabeth Warrens who will smile condescendingly at us, nudge us in the direction we are supposed to go, and when we don’t go there, then the fines and the tasers come out.
No matter how far back you go, the roots of American liberalism lie in a fear of the people, a distrust of the great unwashed. American liberals have championed voting rights, so long as they were confident that those voting were their inferiors and could be herded into voting the right way. They have always distrusted the instincts of the public, no matter how much pious ink they spilled fighting on their behalf.
That view of man’s sinful nature still informs their deepest thinkers, and the sins are still the same, the failure of fellowship, the refusal to consider the welfare of others and march in lockstep to create that ideal society. The New Jerusalem of universal brotherhood. Those ideas have been dressed up in modern clothing, transmitted as denunciations of racism and bigotry, immigration advocacy and hate crime laws, but underneath is the same notion that a society of good will to all can be forced through rigorous regimentation by the truly enlightened.
The populism of the American liberal is a cynical dumbshow where representatives of the oppressed gather in conclaves to demand more oppression by their liberal oppressors. This spectacle is at the heart of a political oligarchy, which like every oligarchy is built on government subsidies and special access to power for the privileged. And like all oligarchies it must disguise its nature by playing the protector of the people. Unlike them it must also disguise its true nature from itself.
The convergence of the ideal society and the government society was inevitable from the start. It took a while to overcome the technological and cultural barriers to running an entire country from a central point. Those barriers have never been truly overcome, but the technocratic mirage makes it seem as if they have been. And the ongoing faith in a perfectible society run by the saints makes it seem as if it must be.
The American liberal would still like to play at being humble, a 99 percenter fighting against the chimera of a 1 percent oligarchy. But the entire 99 percent theme is that the 1 percent isn’t paying enough taxes. And whom do those taxes go to but to the administration and employment of the professional class warrior millionaires.
It is the very Everest of hypocrisy for the members of the oligarchy to be bemoaning all the extra tax money that could be used to pay their six figure salaries, while passing off their naked greed as a crusade on behalf of the oppressed.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to Bird Dog.
J.T. Young, at Investors’ Business Daily, points out some crucial home truths about the political future of the United States: liberals are too unrealistic to be trusted with governing authority and there are simply not enough of them to win except in a situation like 2008 when all the cards fall in their favor.
Can liberals govern America? That is the real question the federal budget deficit poses them. Budget deficits — at every level of government, and particularly in Washington — are a recognized threat. For this president, to whom liberals give overwhelming support, they are no less a threat.
As liberals refuse to let the deficit be addressed seriously through spending cuts, they need to consider the central fact of their existence. According to exit polling of the 2010 election (Edison Media Research/Mitofsky International) they constituted just 20% of the electorate. A bad year for liberals undoubtedly, but even in their halcyon days of 2008, they were just 22%. Over their highs and lows of the past four national elections, liberals have averaged just one-fifth (20.8%) of the electorate.
During the same time, conservatives have averaged 35.5% of the electorate.
America’s political lesson for liberals is twofold. Both liberals and conservatives need moderates to win national elections.
But liberals need moderates a lot more … because they need a lot more of them. Liberals need two-thirds of the moderate vote to reach a majority. Conservatives need only one-third.
If liberals can see neither the economics nor the politics of Obama’s Wednesday decision, they need only see themselves for what they are: the smallest of America’s three ideological groups by a wide margin. They can win elections only as a minority partner. They can expect governing to be no different. If that is unacceptable, they must be comfortable as a perpetual nongoverning minority.
The president’s speech on Wednesday recognizes this reality. It is unclear if America’s liberals do.
The Pope went on vacation for a few days to visit the rugged mountains of Alaska . He was cruising along the campground in the Pope Mobile when he heard a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods. He found a helpless Democrat wearing shorts, sandals, a Vote for Obama hat and a Save the Trees t-shirt. The man was screaming and struggling frantically, thrashing all about and trying to free himself from the grasp of a 10-foot grizzly bear.
As the Pope watched in horror, a group of Republican loggers wearing Go Sarah shirts came racing up. One quickly fired a 44 Magnum slug right into the bear’s chest. The two other men pulled the semiconscious Democrat from the bear’s grasp. Then using baseball bats, the three loggers finished off the bear. Two of the men dragged the dead grizzly onto the bed of their pickup truck while the other tenderly placed the injured Democrat in the back seat.
As they began to leave, the Pope summoned all of them men over to him. “I give you my blessing for your brave actions!” he proudly proclaimed. “I have heard there was bitter hatred between Republican loggers and Democratic environmental activists, but now I’ve seen with my own eyes that this is not true.”
As the Pope drove off, one logger asked his buddies, “Who the heck was that guy?”
“Dude, that was was the Pope,” another replied. “He’s in direct contact with Heaven and has access to all wisdom.”
“Well,” the logger said, “he may have access to all wisdom, but he doesn’t know squat about bear hunting! By the way, is the bait still alive or do we need to go down to California and get another one?”
Hat tip to Robert Breedlove.
John Podhoretz, in Commentary, admires the way the Ground Zero Mosque debate has suddenly caused liberals to embrace property rights.
One of the hilarious ironies attendant on the mosque debate is the sudden discovery by the liberal elites of the vital importance of property rights — how Imam Feisal Rauf and his people have purchased a site on which they should be able to build “as of right,” and how those who are objecting to the mosque’s construction are committing an offense not only against the free exercise of religion but against commonly accepted principles involving real estate.
For the past 40 years, especially in New York City, property rights have taken a back seat in almost all discussions of the proper use of real estate. Following the lamentable razing of the great old Penn Station, the general proposition has been that any major project should have a distinctly positive public use. Landmark commissions, zoning boards and the like have imposed all sorts of restrictions and demands on property owners that interfere with their right to build as they would wish. Laws have been written after the fact (especially when Broadway theaters were jeopardized by real-estate development in the early 1980s) to restrict the right of property owners to do as they would wish with the land and buildings they own.
Thus, the outrage which greeted the suggestion that zoning boards and the like should and could be used to block the Cordoba Intitiative is bitterly comic. Such boards have been used for decades to block projects for reasons involving the “sensitivities” of a neighborhood, like the time Woody Allen and others fought the construction of a building at the corner of 91st and Madison on the grounds that it would harm the historic nature of the area — when in fact he and his neighbors were concerned about a shadow the building might cast on their communal backyard. Walter Cronkite went on a tear against a tall building being built by Donald Trump on the East Side near the UN because it was going to block his view.
Perhaps we should just argue that, once the Saudis and Iranians have paid for putting up the new 15-story building, it should be open to “urban homesteading” by artists and the poor, as liberal New Yorkers have frequently advocated with respect to other people’s buildings.
Or we might simply have Zoning or one of those Neighborhood Development Authorities require Abdul Rauf to include so many low cost housing units as part of the permission price for being allowed to build anything.
Or, why wait? we could just send in some urban pioneering activists right now to set up living arrangements in the empty Burlington Coat Factory building just as it is, thereby acquiring by virtue of the quaint customs of the city squatter’s rights. Then let Abdul Rauf try getting one of the radical leftwing judges of New York City’s Housing Court to issue an eviction order.