Paul Krugman is bummed.
Conan the Barbarian opined that it was “to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.”
Republicans have not really crushed the democrats, and we may not exactly be seeing them driven before us, but they are certainly currently in retreat and disarray, and we do get to listen to the lamentations of their Krugman.
A deal to raise the federal debt ceiling is in the works. If it goes through, many commentators will declare that disaster was avoided. But they will be wrong.
For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status. ...
[T]he reported terms of the deal… amount to an abject surrender on the part of the president. First, there will be big spending cuts, with no increase in revenue. Then a panel will make recommendations for further deficit reduction — and if these recommendations aren’t accepted, there will be more spending cuts.
Make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels.
It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away. And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.
In the long run, however, Democrats won’t be the only losers. What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question.
Lack of money may not be the only reason they’re doomed.
Richard Miniter, in Forbes, notes that we have no choice, we are going to have to stop increasing the beast’s rations. But that is a real problem for democrats, whose entire raison d’etre is the delivery of more federal money in return for support.
The Democratic Party, as we have known it for the past 70 years, is now in its last days.
Yes, the House Republicans may raise the debt ceiling for a mix of spending cuts and revenue raisers. Yes, Barack Obama may win the 2012 presidential contest. Yes, bureaucrats and judges will continue to impose new and costly regulations on the economy.
But it doesn’t matter. The long-term trends are almost all bad news for the left wing of the party.
This week’s fight over raising the federal debt limit exposes a key weakness in the warfare-welfare state that has bestowed power onto the Democratic Party: Without an ever-growing share of the economy, it dies. Every vital element of the Democrats’ coalition — unions, government workers, government contractors, “entitlement” consumers — requires constant increases in payments, grants and consulting contracts. Without those payments, they don’t sign checks to re-elect Democrats.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to Scott Drum.
Noemie Emery, in the American Spectator, is a bit too kind, I think, to the creators of the Welfare State, but she correctly identifies the fallacy of promoting wishes into rights. Authentic rights are always take the form “shall not do to you, or shall not stop you.” Legitimate rights are simply negatives commandments to violations of person, property, or liberty. Positive rights are a blank check written on someone else’s account.
The intentions of Democrats are only the best. They want all of the old to have lavish retirements, all of the young to have scholarships, verse-penning cowboys to have festivals funded by government, and everyone to have access to all the best health care, at no cost to himself. In the face of a huge wave of debt swamping all western nations, this is the core of their argument: They want a fair society, and their critics do not; they want to help, and their opponents like to see people suffer; they want a world filled with love and caring, and their opponents want one of callous indifference, in which the helpless must fend for themselves. (“We must reject both extremes, those who say we shouldn’t help the old and the sick and those who say that we should,” quips the New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg.) But in fact, everyone thinks that we “should” do this; the problem, in the face of the debt crisis, is finding a way that we can. It is about the “can” part that the left is now in denial: daintily picking its way through canaries six deep on the floor of the coal mine, and conflating a “good” with a “right.
Christopher Chantrill explains why the democrats are completely screwed.
[T]he two political parties are diametrically opposed on recession-fighting policy. The Republican recipe to “boost growth” is to lower tax rates and regulation, and the Democratic recipe is to “invest” in stimulus spending. For Republicans, “structural economic policy changes” means reform Social Security and Medicare; for Democrats it means raise taxes.
There is no “agreement.” There is only a game of chicken to see who blinks first before August 2.
But we are conservatives. We do not just want to “win;” we want to do the right thing. How do we get out of the recession?
The best way to understand a recession is this: It is a period of adjustment during which the malinvestments of the previous boom are liquidated. Usually, in our era, booms are ignited by cheap money injected into the credit system by government. Cheap money seduces people into borrowing too much.
In the 2000s boom the malinvestments were the homes that millions of people bought with cheap credit, courtesy of Fannie, Freddie and CRA. Homebuilders expanded and sucked a ton of workers and capital goods into homebuilding. Everything looked good until interests rates rose and home prices started to decline.
You know what happened next. “Malinvestment” became nightmare investment, as the greedy bankers foreclosed on millions of homes, and home prices cratered.
But at some point the foreclosures will ease up, bottom-feeders will buy up the flood of houses, and home construction will resume.
The logic of Democratic “stimulus” is that if government shovels out enough money it will tide the economy over the crater. Home prices will recover, businesses will revive, and growth will resume. But what if home prices don’t recover before the stimulus runs out?
Back in 2009, the Obama administration made a judgment, implicit or explicit, that the housing crisis would be over in a couple of years, and that cheap money (QE1 and QE2) and a trillion dollar stimulus program would tide the economy over till then. But they were wrong. The housing market still hasn’t bottomed out, and the economy hasn’t snapped back, as this chart demonstrates.
The Obama mistake was bad enough but the Obamis made a second error. Assuming that the economy would revive in accordance with Baldrick’s cunning plan, they went ahead with their plans for expanding government spending and regulation, spraying money at their deserving supporters. They thought that the economy would soon be strong enough to increase the weight of government. With ObamaCare they increased the weight of government in health care. With regulation, spending, and subsidies pushing green energy they increased the weight of government in energy production.
That’s where the slick assumptions in Cohn’s “increase short-term deficits in ways that boost growth” kicks in. Suppose your “short-term deficit” doesn’t boost growth? Suppose it is just another wasteful government program that increases the weight of government, and postpones the day when happy days are here again?
That’s where the Obamis are sitting right now. They have shot their bolt with cheap money and stimulus spending and cranked up the National Debt by 40 percent. But here we are in Summer 2011 and there is still no light at the end of the tunnel.
To fix things the Obamis would have to adopt the Republican agenda and reduce the weight of government. They would have to repeal ObamaCare, reverse their green energy boondoggle, lower tax rates, and cut wasteful government spending.
You can see the problem. For the last 40 years, ever since the “unexpected” success of Reaganomics, liberals have been telling themselves and everyone else that supply-side economics is a mirage. Now they have to admit that everything they believe is wrong.
For the second time in some of our lifetimes, the American voting public has been treated to a full-scale, practical test of left-wing, Keynesian economics in operation. We saw all this before in the latter half of the 1970s.
Barack Obama’s great leap forward to the shiny new American European-style welfare state has turned a political version of Bernard Law Montgomery’s WWII Operation Market Garden, Obamacare being the “Bridge Too Far.” But the economics of the world of reality is actually a less forgiving, and much more formidable adversary, than the Germany Army in the Fall of 1944. The Allies went on to win WWII. Obama will be going to join Jimmy Carter in the ashbin of history and will soon be Carter’s rival for the title of worst president anyone can remember.
Repair Man Jack is fed up with democrat class warfare efforts at distraction.
If the majority of Americans really and truly believe that cutting the size of government, when struggling under $14Tr of national debt, equates to a desire to snuff puppies, we deserve a national default. If the majority of Americans truly believe they have a right to extract a loan for their tuition costs out of some other person’s paycheck, America is massively overdue for a well-deserved 2nd Great Depression. If the majority of people really believe the National Weather Service won’t just hire replacements from Korea or China; where students go to class at college sober, they are in for a grievous upset and disappointment.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to Jim Geraghty.
I’m a Republican because democrats are idiots.
Hat tip to Joe Egan.
Even the very, very moderate and establishmentarian David Brooks has his doubts about the future political prospects of democrats philosophically committed to top-down central planning.
[Medicare] is incredibly popular. Recipients don’t have to think about the costs of their treatment, and they get lots of free money. The average 56-year-old couple pays about $140,000 into the Medicare system over a lifetime and receives about $430,000 in benefits back. The program is also completely unaffordable. Medicare has unfinanced liabilities of more than $30 trillion. The Medicare trustees say the program is about a decade from insolvency.
Some Democrats simply want to do nothing as Medicare careens toward bankruptcy. Last Sunday on “Face the Nation,” for example, Nancy Pelosi said, “I could never support any arrangement that reduced benefits for Medicare.”
Fortunately, more responsible Democrats are looking for ways to save the system. This is where the philosophical issues come in. They involve questions like: Who should make the crucial decisions? Where does wisdom reside?
Democrats tend to be skeptical that dispersed consumers can get enough information to make smart decisions. Health care is phenomenally complicated. Providers have much more information than consumers. Insurance companies are rapacious and are not in the business of optimizing care.
Given these limitations, Democrats generally seek to concentrate decision-making and cost-control power in the hands of centralized experts. Under the Obama health care law, a team of 15 officials will be created to discover best practices and come up with cost-cutting measures. There will also be a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in Washington to organize medical innovation. Centralized officials will decide how to set national reimbursement rates.
Republicans at their best are skeptical about top-down decision-making. They are skeptical that centralized experts can accurately predict costs. In 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee projected that Medicare would cost $12 billion by 1990. It actually cost $110 billion. They are skeptical that centralized experts can predict human behavior accurately enough to socially engineer new programs. Medicare’s chief actuary predicted that 400,000 people would sign up for the new health care law’s high-risk pools. In fact, only 18,000 have.
They are skeptical that political authorities can, in the long run, resist pressure to hand out free goodies. They are also skeptical that planners can control the unintended effects of their decisions.
Republicans point out that Medicare has tried to control costs centrally for decades with terrible results. They argue that a decentralized process of trial and error will work better, as long as the underlying incentives are right. They suggest replacing the fee-for-service with a premium support system. Seniors would select from a menu of insurance plans. Their consumer choices would drive a continual, bottom-up process of innovation. Providers could use local knowledge to meet specific circumstances. ...
[T]here is no dispositive empirical proof about which method is best — the centralized technocratic one or the decentralized market-based one. Politicians wave studies, but they’re really just reflecting their overall worldviews. Democrats have much greater faith in centralized expertise. Republicans (at least the most honest among them) believe that the world is too complicated, knowledge is too imperfect. They have much greater faith in the decentralized discovery process of the market. ...
This basic debate will define the identities of the two parties for decades. In the age of the Internet and open-source technology, the Democrats are mad to define themselves as the party of top-down centralized planning. ... [I]f 15 Washington-based experts really can save a system as vast as Medicare through a process of top-down control, then this will be the only realm of human endeavor where that sort of engineering actually works.
Mark Steyn is sharp-tongued as ever on the topic of the week: the latest scandal-mired abrasive, self-righteous, egomanaical, ultra-liberal democrat.
And so it goes after another tumultuous week in American politics. Nearly a third of homeowners are “underwater” – that’s to say, they owe more on their mortgages than the property is worth. Private-sector job growth has all but vanished. The House of Representatives voted not to raise the debt ceiling.
But as the debt ceiling subsides – or, at any rate, stays put – we see the dreary steeple of Anthony Weiner emerging from his Twitpic crotch shot.
For the benefit of the few remaining American coeds Rep. Weiner isn’t following on Twitter, the congressman’s initial position when his groin Tweet went viral was that his Twitter had been hacked. Could happen to anyone. ...
Congressman Weiner then retreated from the sinister hacking line, and protested that all this fuss about a mere “prank” involving a “randy photo” (his words) was an “unfortunate distraction” from real issues like raising the debt ceiling. Like Bill Clinton in the Nineties, Rep. Weiner needs to “get back to work for the American people.”
It’s the political class doing all this relentless “work for the American people” that’s turned this country into the brokest nation in the history of the planet, killed the American Dream and left the American people headed for a future poised somewhere between the Weimar Republic and Mad Max. So, if it’s a choice between politicians getting back to work for the American people or Tweeting their privates round the planet, I say, Tweet on, MacDuff.
Al Qaeda, Democrats, Iraq, Media Bias, Memorial Day, The Intelligentsia, The Left, The Mainstream Media, War on Terror
Walter Russell Mead thinks the American intellectual establishment ought to have taken the occasion of this year’s Memorial Day to face the truth and applaud the victory delivered by American servicemen in the face of their own betrayal.
The story of Iraq has yet to be told. It is too politically sensitive for the intelligentsia to handle just yet; passions need to cool before the professors and the pundits who worked themselves into paroxysms of hatred and disdain for the Bush administration can come to grips with how wrongheaded they’ve been. It took decades for the intelligentsia to face the possibility that the cretinous Reagan-monster might have, um, helped win the Cold War, and even now they haven’t asked themselves any tough questions about the Left’s blind hatred of the man who did more than any other human being to save the world from nuclear war.
It may take that long for the truth about the war in Iraq to dawn, but dawn it will. America’s victory in Iraq broke the back of Al-Qaeda and left Osama bin Laden’s dream in ruins. He died a defeated fanatic in his Abbotabad hideaway; his dream was crushed in the Mesopotamian flatlands where he swore it would win.
Osama’s goal was to launch the Clash of Civilizations against the West. He would be Captain Islam, fighting against the Crusader-in-Chief George W. Bush. By his purity, wisdom, daring and above all by his special knowledge of the hidden ways of God, Captain Islam would crush and humiliate the evil Bush-fiend and unite the Muslim world behind the Truth. Osama would complete at a spiritual level the mission his father undertook on the physical plane. His father’s construction company rebuilt and modernized the ancient holy city of Mecca; Osama would rebuild and restore the entire Muslim world.
The 9/11 attacks propelled Osama to the historical height he sought: in the minds of many he had become a caliph-in-waiting, the fierce servant of God whose claims to leadership were vindicated by the dramatic success of his plans. Angry young people across the Islamic world, frustrated by a host of frustrations and privations, wondered if this was the charismatic, God-aided figure who would overturn the world order and lead Islam to its old place on the commanding heights of the world.
9/11 was the trumpet, Iraq was the test. The US invaded an Arab country, overthrew its government, and found itself condemned to the hardest task in international politics: nation building under hostile fire. More, the US had taken a country run by its Sunni minority and put power into the hands of an inexperienced and fractious Shi’a majority. Then the US occupation began to fail: the government institutions fell apart, there was no security in country or in town, the economy went into free fall, and basic services like electricity and health failed across the land. The provocations were serious and real; the Americans were clumsy and awkward. US checkpoints and raids were humiliating and degrading; the scalding Abu Ghraib scandal was a propagandist’s dream come true. The ham-handed diplomacy and tongue-tied defense of American policy from Washington created a sense of rising, unstoppable global opposition to Bush’s War. ...
For roughly three years America writhed in the toils of our predicament in Iraq. The Democratic establishment had supported the war. Some leading Democrats did so out of conviction, some out of a political calculation that no other stand was viable in the post 9/11 atmosphere. Now the grand panjandrums of the Democratic Party, one after another, made their pilgrimage to Canossa. Some came to believe and perhaps more came to say that the war was lost and that their original backing for it had been a mistake.
Well do I remember the many impassioned statements in those dark years by leading politicians and pundits that the war was lost, lost, irretrievably lost. It was over now, they wailed on television and in print. The Iraqi government was a farce and could never take hold. These clowns made Diem look like Charles de Gaulle. We had no option but to get out as quickly as possible. On and on rolled the great choir of doom, smarter than the rest of us, deeper thinkers, capable of holding more complex thoughts behind their furrowed brows.
Now they have glibly moved on to other subjects; the mostly complicit media is helping us all to forget just how wrong — and how intolerant and moralistic — so many people were about the ‘lost’ war.
While the politicians washed their hands and hung up white flags, and while the press lords gibbered and foamed, the brass kept their heads and the troops stood tall. And gradually, a miracle happened. America started winning the war.
The French scholar Gilles Kepel, no friend of the war in Iraq and no admirer of George Bush, makes the core point. Osama’s dream was to shift history into the realm of myth. He passionately believed that the ordinary course of mundane history wasn’t what really mattered: there was a divine and a miraculous history just behind the veil. Osama aimed to pierce the veil, to bring hundreds of millions of Muslims into his reality, transfixed and transported by the vision of a climactic fight of good against evil, of God against America and its local allies.
That dream died in Iraq.
But on this Memorial Day it is not enough to remember, and give thanks, that Osama’s dream died before he did and that the terror movement has been gravely wounded at its heart.
Because the dream didn’t just die.
It was killed. ..
All wars are tragic; some are also victorious. The tragedies of Iraq are real and well known. The victory is equally real — but the politically fastidious don’t want to look. The minimum we owe our lost and wounded warriors is to tell the story of what they so gloriously achieved.
On ths Memorial Day, a truth needs to be told.
We have not yet done justice to our dead.
Read the whole thing.
Magna Carta, 4th Amendment both dismissed by Indiana Supreme Court.
Orrin Kerr discusses this atrocious ruling at Volokh Cospiracy.
Orrin Hatch on democrats: “They play politics very, very tough, they play it well, and they don’t give a damn about what’s right and what’s wrong.” That is the essential truth about liberal pols in a nutshell.
Little girl likes to play with dead squirrel. (The sighthound killed it.)
Garden gnome drowns 58-year-old woman.
New Russian all-female sect, centered near Nizhny Novgorod, venerates Vladimir Putin as reincanation of St. Paul.
Hat tip to John Brewer.
Barack Obama, Barack Obama Senior, Democrats, Demographics, Mark Steyn, Republicans, William Clinton
Forty years after the Moynihan report, the tragic saga of the modern black family is common knowledge. But the tale of family breakdown in modern America is no longer a story delimited to a single ethnic minority. Today the family is also in crisis for this country’s ethnic majority: the so-called white American population….
Consider trends in out-of-wedlock births. By 2002, 28.5 percent of babies of white mothers were born outside marriage in this country. Over the past generation, the white illegitimacy rate has exploded, quadrupling since 1975, when the level was 7.1 percent. The overall illegitimacy rate for whites is higher than it was for black mothers (23.6 percent) when the Moynihan report sounded its alarm….
Today no state in the Union has an Anglo illegitimacy ratio as low as 10 percent. Even in predominantly Mormon Utah, every eighth non-Hispanic white infant is born out of wedlock.
Pete discusses these demographics over dinner in Hanover, New Hampshire with Mark Steyn, who points out that the dramatic changes to the American national character can be readily observed even in rural Northern New England.
For miles in every direction, Mark noted, lay country that until just a few decades ago represented the heartland, so to speak, of the flinty, resourceful, independent Yankee spirit. Now? “You’ll see lovely girls in the local high schools,” Mark said. “When you come across them again five years later, they’ll each have three children by three different fathers.” Then Mark told a story.
In colonial times, it was against crown law to cut down any pine that exceeded a certain girth—twenty-some inches, as I recall—because all such trees were reserved for the use of the Royal Navy, which required a ready supply of masts. Every time you see a colonial house with floorboards more than two feet wide, you’re witnessing an artifact of the American spirit—an act of rebellion. Mark pointed to the floorboards in the restaurant, some of which were certainly more than two feet wide. “Two centuries ago,” he said, “the families in these parts were felling trees in defiance of the crown. Today they’re raising their children on welfare checks.”
Woe to us all.
It probably is worth noting that both of the last two presidents elected by the democrat party may not have been born in wedlock. William Jefferson Clinton, given the name William Jefferson Blythe III at birth, is widely rumored not to have really been the offspring of the traveling salesman William Blythe II who perished in an automobile crash three months before Bill Clinton’s birth. Barack Hussein Obama is certainly of illegitimate birth, as his parents’ marriage was bigamous and invalid.
Barack Obama, Sr. had married Kezia Aoko aka “Grace” in 1954 and had already had two children, prior to his attending the University of Hawaii and marrying Stanley Ann Dunham in 1961. No divorce from Kezia ever occurred, and Barack Sr.’s first wife Kezia is still alive today.
Mark Steyn comments acidly on Barack Obama’s estrangement from reality and the democrats’ futile politics of denial.
The other day, Barack Obama was in the oddly apt town of Fairless Hills, Pa., at what the White House billed as one of those ersatz “town hall” discussions into which republican government has degenerated. He was asked a question by a citizen of the United States. The cost of a gallon of gas has doubled on Obama’s watch, and this gentleman asked, “Is there a chance of the price being lowered again?”
As the Associated Press reported it, the president responded “laughingly”: “I know some of these big guys, they’re all still driving their big SUVs. You know, they got their big monster trucks and everything. . . . If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting eight miles a gallon — (laughter) . . . ”
That’s how the official White House transcript reported it: Laughter. Big yuks. “So, like I said, if you’re getting eight miles a gallon you may want to think about a trade-in. You can get a great deal.” ...
America, 2011: A man gets driven in a motorcade to sneer at a man who has to drive himself to work. A guy who has never generated a dime of wealth, never had to make payroll, never worked at any job other than his own tireless self-promotion literally cannot comprehend that out there beyond the far fringes of the motorcade outriders are people who drive a long distance to jobs whose economic viability is greatly diminished when getting there costs twice as much as the buck-eighty-per-gallon it cost back at the dawn of the Hopeychangey Era.
So what? Your fault. Should have gone to Columbia and Harvard and become a community organizer.
Another ten years of this, and large tracts of America will be Third World. Not Somalia-scale Third World, but certainly the more decrepit parts of Latin America. There will still be men with motorcades, but they’ll have heavier security and the compounds they shuttle between will be more heavily protected. For them and their cronies, the guys plugged in, the guys who still know who to call to figure out a workaround through the bureaucratic sclerosis, life will be manageable, and they’ll still be wondering why you loser schlubs are forever whining about gas prices, and electricity prices, and food prices.
What’s about to hit America is not a “shock.” It’s not an earthquake, it’s not a tsunami, it’s what Paul Ryan calls “the most predictable crisis in the history of our country.” It has one cause: spending. The spending of the class that laughs at the class that drives to work to maintain President Obama, Senator Reid, Senator Baucus, Senator Harkin, and Minority Leader Pelosi’s “communications director” in their comforts and complacency.
The Democrats’ solution to the problem is to deny there is one. Unsustainable binge spending is, as the computer wallahs say, not a bug but a feature: We’ll stimulate the economy with a stimulus grant for a Stimulus Grant-Writing Community Outreach Permit Coordinator regulated by the Federal Department of Community-Organizer Grant Applications. What’s to worry about?
The Obama 8 mpg line comes around 31:25.
Paul A. Rahe, as he watches democrat political prospects cratering all over America, begins to entertain an amusing, but fantastical, theory that liberals have not turned into a horde of lemmings suddenly swarming into a mad dash toward self destruction on the basis of ideology, that there had to have been a plot and a program of calculated and deliberate enemy action to produce such ruin. And if there really was a plot by some political mastermind to destroy the American left, the genius behind it had to have been Karl Rove.
“Could it be true?” I ask myself. “Has everything that we have seen in the course of the last twenty-seven months been engineered by the supreme Machiavel of our age – that evil genius Karl Rove? Did he “discover,” in the manner of a Hollywood agent, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid? Were they found at a drugstore soda fountain? Or did he find them at Central Casting? Stranger things have happened. After all, it was Pat Sajak who “discovered” Keith Olbermann and sent him on to infamy.
“Wanted,” Rove must have thought, “the Keystone Politicos – a gang supremely capable of winning an election but utterly incapable of shooting straight once in office. Let’s start with an American half African caught up in a Third-World ideology invented in the 1950s and long out of fashion, vain beyond belief, obsessed with the notion that he is a world-historical figure, hostile to compromise, contemptuous of his compatriots, apt to think disgraceful conduct on the part of one or more of his own supporters provides him with ‘a teachable moment’ in which he can hector his fellow citizens, and so persuaded that as an orator he has ‘a gift’ that he supposes that, if he delivers three hundred speeches a year, people will bow down, strew myrtle at his feet, and chant, ‘Hosanna in excelsis.’ Then, we will need a lady legislator willing to advocate passing a bill so that we can see what is in it, and a half-senile clown from a state where the prostitutes greatly outnumber the preachers, a man who owes everything to the gambling industry.” “Wanted,” he must have thought, “an opportunity to impose this gang on the opposition and ruin them for a generation or more!”
I know, I know. It is madness! But ask yourself whether what everyone now takes to be true about what has happened in this country is not even stranger than my lunatic hypothesis. In 2006, you might have imagined that the Democrats would sweep in 2008. Many of us feared as much. But, if someone had also told you that, after the election, they would pass a series of bills without a shred of Republican support, bills thousands of pages in length that no one had bothered to read and that no one understood – well, what would you have said?
Consider the evidence! Just when Dennis Hastert and the Republicans in Congress had demonstrated that the Democrats were not the only corrupt, patronage-oriented party in Washington, just when you think that it really is over for the Republicans, along comes Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid to remind the American people just how bad it can get and to treat the opposition with so much disdain that the Republicans in Congress begin to grow backbones.
And how can you explain Wisconsin? In November, 2010 – when the Republics won both state houses and the governorship in that state, would you have predicted that the Democratic Senators in that state would charter a bus to flee to the People’s Republic of Illinois in order to shirk their responsibilities, paralyze legislative activity, and leer at the waitresses at Rockford’s Tilted Kilt? Did you foresee that thousands of teachers, who make on average a hundred grand a year, would call in sick and then descend on at the capitol in Madison carrying signs denouncing the state’s newly elected governor as a Mubarak and a Hitler for having the effrontery to think that he and the Republicans swept into office with him should enact the platform on which they campaigned? Would you have imagined that Barack Obama would then wade in, announcing his support for public-sector workers, making twice what ordinary Cheeseheads make, who think it unthinkable that they should be called upon to do what private-sector workers customarily do: contribute to their pension funds and help pay for the healthcare insurance from which they benefit? Had I predicted any of this, you would have thought me daft. You would have said, “Come on! The Dems may be corrupt, but they are not stupid!”
So, I suggest that this must all be the result of machinations on the part of Karl Rove. Rush Limbaugh failed with Operation Chaos, but Karl has succeeded with Operation Annihilation. Think about it. After the events of this week, what are the chances that Barack Obama will take Wisconsin in the general election scheduled to be held a bit more than eighteen months from now? What, do you think, is going to happen in Ohio and Michigan in the next couple of months? And what will be the consequences?
Heh! Schadenfreude can be such fun.