Nov 05

When it became obvious, Democratic pundits did everything to spin it as anything but what it was.

By election day itself, the New York Times reported that ‘Washington was the biggest loser.’ As in, ‘everyone is disenchanted with the whole crowd in government. We don’t trust anyone. Throw all the bums out.’ That way, it wasn’t a referendum on the president, or any favored candidates, as much as a disgruntled public unhappy with the whole lot of them. Trouble is, it wasn’t exactly true.

Even as results started coming in to newsrooms doing live coverage on election night, some in-house Democratic strategists claimed that there was an ‘anti-incumbent’ sentiment among voters across the US on election day. But the results pouring in showed that GOP incumbents mostly held on to their seats, while Democratic incumbents lost theirs.

On the Fox News election team, Democratic commentator Juan Williams, in apparent denial, claimed  ‘It has to do more with Republican obstructionism than a wave of anti-Democrat sentiment.’ Longtime Washington correspondent Brit Hume responded ‘I don’t think it has anything to do with being obstructionist. Nor is it a vote against Obama as a person. It is, however, a wave of sentiment against policies. People have not felt, personally, any relief from an economic recovery for instance. There’s been a string of other crises this president hasn’t handled well…’ And his remarks were almost inaudible at that point.

Another commentator on the team questioned ‘If this was an anti-incumbent election, why would some incumbents who spent twice what their challengers spent lose their elections?’ Good question. It was a way to tease out the obvious. This was a referendum on the president’s policies and his party’s handling of their control of the Senate, and the complete lack of willingness to compromise or even listen to other ideas that has marked the past several years of business on Capitol Hill.

My computer homepage is a Google aggregator of top news headlines and blog posts I’ve customized to stay on top of current affairs and breaking news and the latest coverage of important national and international issues. The top box is the New York Times. As election night advanced, all top five NYT headlines were about GOP victories in major races against Democratic incumbents or challengers. Republicans needed to pick up a net gain of six new seats in the Senate to take over as the majority. Before the night was late, they had gained seven.

Respected political commentator Charles Krauthammer said ‘This election was not about Republican ideas, it was about an end to Obama governance.’

And it was more.

Krauthammer continued: “I think this is the end of the ‘war on women’, and the Democrats have been defeated’. “I think the Democrats are going to learn a lesson from this.” One can only hope, given that the party spent their last convention in the summer of 2012 celebrating abortion all week, and have driven the message of birth control and abortion rights into the ground, underestimating women in great magnitudes. Ever since the January 2012 announcement the the Department of Health and Human Services issued the mandate that employer health care insurance coverage must provide access to drugs like the ‘morning-after pill’ among other abortifacients, prompting dozens and dozens of high profile lawsuits by companies and institutions against the government for violation of the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it’s been one long battle between the people and the government over basic rights involving religious liberty and radical redefinitions of rights.

The results on Tuesday bore witness to the truth that the so-called ‘war on women’ was both a trumped up ploy, and it was over.

“This has much less to do with the Republicans than it does with the self-destruction of the Democrats,” said Krauthammer of the results of Election 2014.

Even in the president’s state, known for ‘machine politics’, in which Democratic party politics rule and rule out any challengers, the Republican candidate for governor beat the sitting Democrat. ‘Illinois is extraordinarily debt-ridden, as close to an Argentina as we’re going to get here,’ said political analyst and commentator George Will, to punctuate the point of how bad things had to get to get to these results of this election.

In one of the victory speeches of the night, Wisconsin’s embattled but victorious governor Scott Walker announced ‘Tonight, we’re all Americans more than we are Wisconsinites.’ It did seem like a new day had begun.

In fact, in the middle of the evenin

g, the announcement came out suddenly that the president had called for a bi-partisan meeting this Friday.

“The results of the Obama presidency have not been good.” Brit Hume, in grand understatement as is his style, and this came late in the evening when results poured in showing just how badly the results of this presidency have struck engaged Americans.

Finally, those who went to the polls to elect pro-life leaders who would uphold, protect and defend the sanctity and dignity of all human life, celebrated the victory of having at last a pro-life Congress.

Until they are sworn in for the new session in January, the lame duck Congress and its lame duck president are rumored to be considering a number of moves to push their agenda forward while they can. That somehow seems less likely at the end of such a sweeping election victory for Republicans, sweeping key members of the Senate, among others, out of office, by the will of the people.

Watch this space. It’s a new day in American politics, it’s going to be very interesting, and the next presidential campaign season will probably begin just after this new Congress is sworn in, if not sooner.

Tagged with:
Nov 04

Thank God.

I probably shouldn’t write anything when feeling this frustrated, that’s my default mode. Generally, it’s a good policy, and I should practice it now. But as I write this, we’re mere hours away from the 2014 mid-term elections, driving the news cycles and campaigns hitting us from mail to telephone calls (many of them a day, every day) to television ads, and yes, there’s very much at stake. All elections are consequential. Haven’t we learned this by now?

Haven’t those who claim distaste for politics (hey, I’m with you, but I cover it for a living so I’m in the thick of it)…haven’t they learned yet that when you don’t exercise your right, privilege and responsibility to vote you abdicate your right to complain about the results?

The past (how many?) election cycles prove not. By the time you read this, polls will be open in most places across the US and the process will begin, to determine what the next two years of governing the nation will be like. Many people will sit out the election again, and this is maddening, given how much is determined in elections, whether mid-term or general (Congressional and Gubernatorial, or Presidential, to oversimplify it). People die in some countries fighting for the right to self-determination in a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people.

But wait…that’s supposed to be America, and government has not carried out that time honored tradition in any number of ways for a while. How can people neglect to vote? Why does anyone able to vote not bother? You cannot complain about anything government does if you don’t at least try to shape what government is, what it can do, and what it can’t do.

There’s so much analysis and commentary out there (and I’ve digested a great deal of it and will spare you), I just want to get to the results of this election and move forward, in whatever shape government takes after Tuesday. Or after the president and lame duck session of Congress does between the day after election day and the January swearing in of the new session of Congress. (Rumor is, it may be plenty.)

I’ve followed news and elections since I was about 8 or 9 years old, certainly by 10 I was reading the daily newspaper with my Dad and following the evening newscasts on one of the three ‘big networks’ of ABC, NBC or CBS . I asked tons of questions and listened intently to the newscasters, but questioned. When Walter Cronkite said at the end of each newscast ‘And that’s the way it is’ on such and such a date, I thought…what if that’s not the way it is, really? Says who? Prove it.

Which is why I’ve always been a dogged journalist, and even as a blogger, have sourced my references and quotes with more attention and precision than some reporters in big media. I didn’t work at Time Magazine for 20 years as an amateur.

And now we face yet another election with many candidates for public office who come off as amateurs. Even if they’re incumbents who’ve been in office for years. Which gets to what’s really irritating about these campaign ads.

Among all the demographic groups they’re targeting, the ‘women vote’ has been a prized one and everyone is talking about it. So who speaks for women?

On the eve of the election, I saw too many times the campaign ad that shows a montage of women with computer devices checking out candidates and complaining to their women friends that the candidate they opposed voted not to include contraceptive drugs in healthcare coverage, while a friend expressed utter disapproval. And ‘did you know that (a certain candidate) voted to defund Planned Parenthood?!’ And the friend responded with shock, ‘that’s basic healthcare for women!’

Wait. Really? You’re pitching this as the scare ad to get the women to vote for you? I’m insulted, and so are many women in this country. We care about this, in a very different way, about women’s health and stopping the juggernaut of the highly profitable Planned Parenthood receiving taxpayer funds for a for-profit industry that already makes so much money on ending women’s pregnancies without informing them of the fundamental truths of the human life they’re carrying, that abortion will terminate the life of that human life, and that the procedure carries a high risk of terrible side effects demonstrable in irrefutable evidence on record.

But aside from that, women care about religious freedom. Because women who hold religious belief of any faith or denomination will likely view the spectrum of life’s issues of liberty and justice differently than those who do not. The latest radio program I did on this the other day was with Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List and Helen Alvare of Women Speak for Themselves. They were eloquent and showed understanding and magnanimity far beyond anything I’m hearing in campaign ads from many candidates.

Peggy Noonan wrote this for the Wall Street Journal on Election Eve, and she talks about political graciousness. That would be very nice to hear and see, for a real change. I’ll be satisfied with a fair election, results that reflect the choice of informed and engaged people, citizens respected as Americans more than the identity groups into which they’re sub-divided. And a government that finally reflects and respects this representative republic, gender and age aside, including ‘the least of these’ as the president has referred to many times, which covers both ends of life.

Tagged with:
Nov 02

I’m a political junkie. And a news junkie. And a court watcher. I’m the kind who wades happily through stacks of documents mining the little gems scattered in obscure places, looking for the untold story, looking closely at how language is used in politics and law and media to shape the culture. I look at number crunching and story spinning and gravitate to voices of reason, wherever they can be found. It all comes together with considerable drama on election day. And I love it…

We wait for and anticipate this with great eagerness. If your party or beliefs are in power, Hooray! You get to reaffirm them. If your principles and beliefs are suppressed and belittled, Hooray! You get to assert and affirm them. We are a representative republic, and today is our day to determine who represents us.

Voting is a moral act. Whenever they hold a ”Values Voters Summit” in Washington (or wherever) I always make the point that we’re all values voters. It just depends on whose values you accept as just and true and honorable and grounded in human dignity.

Campaigning for the mid-terms is now over, and we will have a new Congress and many new governors and many other new elected officials after the polls close and votes are counted. And at the end of the day, it was and remains all about ideas.

Power is shifting hands, and not just from one political party to the other. It’s going from elite powerbrokers to mainstream Americans once considered, dismissively, as the ‘Silent Majority.’

Voter discontent this year isn’t confined to the tea party. A new AP poll reports that 51% of Americans now think President Obama doesn’t deserve re-election.

But that campaign will begin tomorrow.

As for tonight, this will be quite a show as results come in across America, and I’m watching it all, and looking for the gems…

Tagged with:
Nov 01

It has ratcheted up, the extreme language, the play on fears and/or biases, and the gloves off pugilism. Okay, stay on task. Know what you believe and take a reasoned stance for it. Put media reporting in proper perspective…

Where to begin? How about this CNN report, which acknolwedges the foregone conclusion that at least the House is about to change hands.

With an incoming freshman class of conservative and Tea Party Republicans skewing the GOP conference to the right, there will be little mood for compromise or bipartisan legislation on any major issues in the House, most observers say.

Hold on. Point to where and when in the past 20 months Congress has been in the “mood for compromise or bipartisan legislation”, on anything. That’s a serious and fair question or challenge. Because the press are swtiching the story line around fast right now, lining up the narrative ahead of the inevitable Democratic defeat.

Richard Grenell answers the question, on HuffPo, of all places.

United States Senator Barbara Boxer — she insists on being called by the full title — not only doesn’t work with Republicans in Washington, she doesn’t work very well with members of her own Democratic Party. Unlike our other U.S. Senator, Diane Feinstein, Boxer consistently advocates for radical views and fringe issues. Boxer is antagonistic towards California’s business community, votes exactly the way the unions instruct her, rarely meets with people and groups she disagrees with and is known for her grand ego and mean-spirited temper. Boxer has spent 28 years in Washington and is considered by many to be the consummate self-serving politician insulated from everyday people. If you think Washington, DC, is broken, Barbara Boxer’s radical tenure is one of the main reasons.

Takeabreath…..Whew.

Okay, continue…

Boxer has also not just been pro-choice but has worked to make abortions federally funded. Boxer has advocated the use of tax dollars to support women who want their abortions paid for by others. Boxer hasn’t just wanted health care reform to better serve those that get sick and can’t pay for health care, she has advocated and worked hard for a public option to replace our current system. Boxer has pushed for a federally run health care system similar to how the federal government runs the post office — federal control with local service centers. Boxer also continues to believe in an economic plan that is based around more federal spending and higher taxes to pay for the spending. Boxer is advocating for even more stimulus money than the $900 billion already spent by the Obama Administration.

This is a referendum on President Obama. He, himself, asserted that though he is not on the ballot, his agenda is.

Which is the point.

The time has come. Stay tuned…

Tagged with:
Oct 31

It’s being referred to in terms of natural upheaval. Tuesday’s election is predicted to be a tidal wave or an earthquake. Indeed, this event was prompted by nature….human nature.

But though meterologists, geologists or political pollsters can predict what’s coming with some degree of accuracy, what it means on a deeper level in the longer term is an important piece of analysis.

This has been a fascinating four years. Yes, four. The race for the presidency and the general election of 2008 began the day after the mid-terms of 2006, probably the earliest ever. Barack Obama was already out of the blocks and on his way. This will happen again Wednesday, no doubt, as pundits are still trying to figure out what happened Tuesday…

Which gets back to the importance of why the GOP is poised to clean up in this mid-term election. Why is that? This WSJ analysis is as good as any, and here’s a key snip:

Remarkably, there have been plenty of warning signs over the past two years, but Democratic leaders ignored them. At least the captain of the Titanic tried to miss the iceberg. Congressional Democrats aimed right for it.

For the first time in many decades, the Democrats owned it all, both houses of Congress and the Executive, a very liberal, assertive and aggressive White House with fewer checks and balances than any in recent history. A filibuster-proof majority allowed them to ignore the Republicans and even the majority will of the people, especially with a complicit media. How in the world did they blow that?

Obamacare, in a word. That was an unstoppable, runaway freight train and the Dems helped it blow through the heartland.

From the moment in May 2009 when the Congressional Budget Office announced that the president’s plan would cost a trillion dollars, most voters opposed it. Today 53% want to repeal it. Opposition was always more intense than support, and opposition was especially high among senior citizens, who vote in high numbers in midterm elections.

Rather than acknowledging the public concern by passing a smaller and more popular plan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama insisted on passing the proposed legislation by any means possible.

Popularity? They control things. What concern have they for popular opinion?  And the ‘ways and means’ they control make it possible to do anything at will. And have the audacity to blame the Republicans for ‘not having any ideas’, when Americans paying attention to everything except big media knew all along that the Democrat super-majority weren’t even acknowledging Republicans’ existence, other than to blame them.

So are the Republicans really the smart and good ones, with the best ideas for America? Have they won the sentiment of Americans, after all?

No to both, or at least it’s not that superficial.

Since we don’t have a parliamentary government and therefore don’t have the need for a coalition of consensus as they do in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Israel, and others…we’re stuck with the two-party system. And the Tea Party saved us from having that challenged or splintered by remaining a breakaway of the Republican Party.

The reality is that voters in 2010 are doing the same thing they did in 2006 and 2008: They are voting against the party in power.

This is the continuation of a trend that began nearly 20 years ago. In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected president and his party had control of Congress. Before he left office, his party lost control. Then, in 2000, George W. Bush came to power, and his party controlled Congress. But like Mr. Clinton before him, Mr. Bush saw his party lose control.

That’s never happened before in back-to-back administrations. The Obama administration appears poised to make it three in a row. This reflects a fundamental rejection of both political parties.

More precisely, it is a rejection of a bipartisan political elite that’s lost touch with the people they are supposed to serve.

Americans are rejecting the Democrat elite and establishment Republicans. They are flummoxed, to say the least.

Based on our polling, 51% now see Democrats as the party of big government and nearly as many see Republicans as the party of big business. That leaves no party left to represent the American people.

Voters today want hope and change every bit as much as in 2008. But most have come to recognize that if we have to rely on politicians for the change, there is no hope. At the same time, Americans instinctively understand that if we can unleash the collective wisdom and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.

Yes, we can.

Furthermore…

In this environment, it would be wise for all Republicans to remember that their team didn’t win, the other team lost. Heading into 2012, voters will remain ready to vote against the party in power unless they are given a reason not to do so.

So there.

Elected politicians also should leave their ideological baggage behind because voters don’t want to be governed from the left, the right, or even the center. They want someone in Washington who understands that the American people want to govern themselves.

So let them. There’s a radical idea.

Finally, one of the prognosticators followed the fault line to its source. And issued a sound warning.

Tagged with:
Oct 27

In this final week before the mid-term elections, President Obama is both trying to help where he can, and staying out of sight where his campaigning would be a liability for the Democrats. As of mid-week, he’s off the trail, which says it all.

The winning strategy is reportedly ‘running away from Obama,’ which this AP article said more clearly before it was modified. But this is pretty clear:

Obama can “take his endorsement and really shove it,” declared Democrat Frank Caprio, battling Republican-turned-independent Lincoln Chafee in a Rhode Island gubernatorial race rated tight in the polls. Chafee endorsed Obama during the 2008 campaign for the White House.

As a payback, Obama is not endorsing the Democrat. Which suits Caprio just fine.

Such is the state of affairs in the runup to next week’s election.

Critical parts of the coalition that delivered President Obama to the White House in 2008 and gave Democrats control of Congress in 2006 are switching their allegiance to the Republicans in the final phase of the midterm Congressional elections, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

This is really remarkable.

Republicans have wiped out the advantage held by Democrats in recent election cycles among women, Roman Catholics, less affluent Americans and independents. All of those groups broke for Mr. Obama in 2008 and for Congressional Democrats when they grabbed both chambers from the Republicans four years ago, according to exit polls.

If women choose Republicans over Democrats in House races on Tuesday, it will be the first time they have done so since exit polls began tracking the breakdown in 1982.

The poll provides a pre-Election Day glimpse of a nation so politically disquieted and disappointed in its current trajectory that 57 percent of the registered voters surveyed said they were more willing to take a chance this year on a candidate with little previous political experience. More than a quarter of them said they were even willing to back a candidate who holds some views that “seem extreme.”

The approval rating for Congress came in lower than any time in the history of this poll. It’s bad news for the president and his party all-around.

In a follow-up interview, one poll respondent, Judy Berg, an independent from Morton Grove, Ill., said she voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 because she was “looking for a change,” adding, “the change that ensued was not the change I was looking for but something totally out of left field.”

This year, Ms. Berg, a registered nurse, expressed a preference for Republicans because “I’m pro-life and I’m also looking at the immigration issues and the tax issues.” She added, “I like the Republican agenda on these issues better than the Democratic agenda.”

That the Times would choose this example seems to me a sign that they either respect or fear the potent and growing sentiment of people who not only vote, but still pay any attention to publications losing the public trust at the same pace as establishment politicians.

How the times are changing.

Tagged with:
Oct 27

Yes, say pro-life leaders in the U.S. The “A” word…the one other than ‘Amnesty’.

As recently as two weeks ago, social moral issues figured prominently in the elections. Then rather suddenly, most news reporting centered on the economy and jobs as the most important motivation for voters, and those stories relegated social moral issues to the distant reaches of concerns, if they were concerns at all. That was yet another attempt to form public opinion instead of reflect it.

Truth is, the candidates’ stance on the life issues matter very much.

The Susan B. Anthony List aims to play a role in dozens of races. SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser challenged the claim that economic issues are really the deciding factor in the election.

“The people that are saying that the loudest are pundits and folks inside the beltway and in the boardroom of major papers,” she commented…

“The truth is that economic issues are an overriding concern in every household in America, but it’s also true that people can think about more than one issue at a time, and so should leaders,” she told CNA. “This House of Representatives is likely to be among the most pro-life in history. That means it matters.”

She said the pro-life vote might be “decisive” in close races. This cuts across party lines to some degree, because some pro-life Democrats are trying to hold onto both their seats and their party affiliation in spite of the Democrat platform built on upholding abortion access. Trouble for them is….the healthcare legislation many of them voted for does provide funding for abortion in assorted ways.

Dannenfelser told CNA many of these candidates had initially agreed with the SBA List that adding pro-life restrictions to the bill was “the most important vote since Roe v. Wade.” They later changed their minds.

She claimed it was “politically impotent” to react to a vote for the health care bill by “politically rolling over and praying for breadcrumbs.”

“You don’t see unions behaving like that, you don’t see the NRA behaving like that. Any movement worth its salt doesn’t behave like that.”

Dannenfelser told CNA that Rep. Dan Lipinski, a pro-life Democrat from Illinois, should be the new standard-bearer for pro-lifers in his party. He resisted party leaders to vote against the health care legislation.

“He’s not someone who will cave at the last minute. We want to put wind behind his sails,” Dannenfelser said…

[Americans United for Life spokesman Matthew] Faraci commented. “I think you will find, after the mid-term elections, that life counts when it comes to elections.”

In advance of them, the bishops of Massachusetts are trying to make sure they do by publishing a joint guest column in the Boston Herald, saying

certain “moral and social issues are fundamentally important, since human rights are at stake and must be protected to help democracy to flourish in a way that benefits every citizen.”

“These include the defense of the sanctity of life, the family based on marriage between a man and a woman, religious freedom, and the well-being of the poor,” the prelates wrote…

“Particularly for us as Catholics,” they said, “voting is an exercise of reason inspired by faith. Our participation as citizens in the electoral process allows us to propose our vision for this country and about our future as a democracy.”

“Deciding which candidate in any particular race offers the best opportunity to take us in the right direction is not an easy task. Yet there is a measuring rod by which all electoral choices must be evaluated: Will my vote enhance human dignity?”

That bottom line won’t show up in most reporting. But it’s ultimately the strongest motivator in these elections, explicitly because it has been disregarded.

Tagged with:
Oct 26

Consensus seems to be election day next week will bring fairly significant losses for the majority, which is the president’s party, both of which American’s are revolting against, according to prevailing wisdom.

There are many ways to forecast the elections. Here’s WaPo’s:

The question around Washington today is not whether Nov. 2 will be a difficult day for the Democrats who control Congress, but rather how bad it will be.

Increasingly, it looks like the answer depends on which chamber of Congress you’re following.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report now estimates that more than 90 Democratic House seats are potentially in play; on the Republican side of the aisle, it estimates that only nine appear in jeopardy. As a result, most leading forecasters say it is more likely that Republicans will win the 39 House seats they need to take control.

On the Senate side, however, the battle has narrowed to a handful of true nail-biters in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Colorado – all of which are likely to stay close to the end.

It would take a sweep of nearly all of them, improbable but not impossible, for the Republicans to pick up the 10 seats they need to gain control of the chamber. At this point, it’s possible that Democrats will end up losing only three or four seats, and they will count that as a good night.

If these trends hold – if the Republicans do gain the House without also taking control of the Senate – that would represent a historic anomaly: Not since the election of 1930 has the House changed hands without the Senate following suit.

Many Americans feel like they’ve been living through an historic anomaly for about two years now in the nation’s governance. It’s actually refreshing to hear the term ‘anomaly’ again since the pop culture tends to call things like that “the new normal.”

The point of the historic grassroots activism that sprang from resistance to new social and political realities is that America is being transformed radically away from its tradition and foundational values.

Tens of millions of ordinary people have been roused to fight for rights they assumed they had. From health-care mandates to rising federal debt to confiscatory taxes to suffocating speech codes, they have correctly concluded their liberty is under assault.

To be sure, dissenters do not have a monopoly on wisdom or common sense. A partisan label is never a guarantee of righteousness, as the reversal of political fortunes in two years demonstrates.
Rather, the American system, we learn again, is intolerant of only one thing: intolerance. Whether its hammer comes from left or right, it always wakes the spirit of revolution. Freedom of speech, to dissent, to oppose, to fight back, is not just the literal content of the First Amendment. It is the essence of who we are as a people.

Which is why the Democrats are headed for a bad day next week.

Is it dispirited liberals? Secret campaign spending from conservatives to “fool” voters? The unavoidable result of the Bush economy? A lack of “marketing” and “PR” from the White House about the legislative achievements of the past two years?

Those are all reasons being put forward by Democrats as to why the party is being tossed about on the electoral waves, but none really get to the heart of the problem.

At the center of it all is that the policies of the party since taking total control of Washington have angered independent voters while galvanizing conservative opposition.

What Democrats are doing now would be like a man who was about to get stung 100 times after whacking a hornets’ nest with a broom handle thinking of why it isn’t his fault. If his wife had bought the bug spray… If his son had cleaned the eaves while cleaning the gutters… Global warming has lengthened nest-building season… If only the hornets were really butterflies… and so on.

And so on

The most conventional argument about what went wrong for Democrats is that Obama moved too far to the left in a country that is center-right. But this argument is not supported by a recent study by The Washington Post, Henry Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University.

The study found that Americans are philosophically conservative but operationally liberal. While they do express strong distrust of government in general, when asked about specific programs they usually voice their support. More Americans have more negative views of government than they did 10 years ago, yet most people still consider Social Security and Medicare to be “very important” and almost half support government regulation of health care.

…Obama has not performed very well as a party leader, even as he succeeded in obtaining a good deal of his presidential agenda from Congress. In this respect, there are some similarities between Obama and President Carter, who left his party in worse political shape in 1981 than when he found it.

Exactly. The similarities between Obama and Carter have hurt the party, but this isn’t just about the party. They have profoundly hurt the country and left it in worse shape, just two years in. Of all the things Americans still give thanks for, one is certainly mid-term elections.

Tagged with:
Oct 25

Usually, politicians down in the polls and in voter sentiment find a way to adjust their positions and examine their performance and at least make the appearance of shifting toward the political center. Not Obama…

Always artful in creating new ways to spin his message, the campaigner-in-chief went from blaming Bush to blaming Republicans to spinning conspiracy theories about foreign interests funding the Chamber of Commerce….for his administratin’s failures. Now, he’s blaming the voters for a lapse in sane reasoning.

He’s now offering a scientific, indeed neurological, explanation for his current political troubles. The electorate apparently is deranged by its anxieties and fears to the point where it can’t think straight. Part of the reason “facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time,” he explained to a Massachusetts audience, “is because we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared. And the country is scared.”

Opening a whole new branch of cognitive science — liberal psychology — Obama has discovered a new principle: The fearful brain is hard-wired to act befuddled, i.e., vote Republican.

But of course. Here Obama has spent two years bestowing upon the peasantry the “New Foundation” of a more regulated, socially engineered and therefore more humane society, and they repay him with recalcitrance and outright opposition. Here he gave them ObamaCare, the stimulus, financial regulation and a shot at cap and trade — and the electorate remains not just unmoved but ungrateful.

Faced with this truly puzzling conundrum, Dr. Obama diagnoses a heretofore undiscovered psychological derangement: anxiety-induced Obama Underappreciation Syndrome, wherein an entire population is so addled by its economic anxieties as to be neurologically incapable of appreciating the “facts and science” undergirding ObamaCare and the other blessings their president has bestowed upon them from on high.

This is one of Charles Krauthammer’s best commentaries.

I have a better explanation. Better because it adheres to the ultimate scientific principle, Occam’s Razor, by which the preferred explanation for any phenomenon is the one with the most economy and simplicity. And there is nothing simpler than the Gallup findings on the ideological inclinations of the American people. Conservative: 42 percent. Moderate: 35 percent. Liberal: 20 percent. No fanciful new syndromes or other elaborate fictions are required to understand that if you try to impose a liberal agenda on such a demonstrably center-right country — a country that is 80 percent non-liberal — you get a massive backlash.

Moreover, apart from ideology is empirical reality. Even as we speak, the social democratic model Obama is openly and boldly trying to move America toward is unraveling in Europe. It’s not just the real prospect of financial collapse in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, with even the relatively more stable major countries in severe distress. It is the visible moral collapse of a system that, after two generations of increasing cradle-to-grave infantilization, turns millions of citizens into the streets of France in furious and often violent protest over what? Over raising the retirement age to 62 from 60!

Having seen this display of what can only be called decadence, Obama’s perfectly wired electorate says no, not us, not here. The peasants have seen the future — Greece and France — and concluded that it does not work. Hence their opposition to Obama’s proudly transformational New Foundation agenda. Their logic is impeccable: Only the most blinkered intellectual could be attempting to introduce social democracy to America precisely at a time when the world’s foremost exemplar of that model — Europe — is in chaotic meltdown.

Enough said. Especially with this punctuation:

The story of the last two years is as simple as it is dramatic. It is the epic story of an administration with a highly ideological agenda encountering a rising resistance from the American people over the major question in dispute: the size and reach and power of government and, even more fundamentally, the nature of the American social contract.

An adjudication of the question will be rendered Nov. 2. For the day, the American peasantry will be presiding.

Tagged with:
preload preload preload