19 Apr 2011

Are Liberals Still Even Relevant?

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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.

2 Feedbacks on "Are Liberals Still Even Relevant?"


Generally, the only time liberals are successful is when they are able to disguise their liberalism. Barack Obama did that in 2008. Despite all the screaming signs (most liberal Senate member, Rev Wright, Bill Ayers, etc.), people (including people like Peggy Noonan who ought to know better) bought into the Hopey Changey I’m-a -moderate schtick. Once they discovered that he really was a liberal and was determined to govern as one, they quickly rebelled. Bill Clinton was the master of disguise. His mask slipped in his first term and he got thrashed in ’94 — whereupon he put on the mask again.
Obama is trying to put on the mask himself, but he is not convincing. One day he talks about fiscal responsibility and promoting growth, but the next day he’s back to bashing business, raising taxes and finding new things that the government MUST spend money on. No amount of media spin is going to convince Americans that he is not a screaming liberal.

Adam Sewer

Liberals never were relevant. They are always losers. Everywhere they hold sway becomes a disaster. Look at public education.

Noonan (note to self: cancel WSJ subscription) should have known better. She is a long-time NYC resident. NYC learned from its experience with Mayor David Dinkins. Even Moscow on the Hudson gets it.


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