Feb 21 2010
The nation has been through many tough times in its past. From the war of 1812, through the civil war and into the Great Depression and World War II, this nation has been through incredibly tough times. 9-11, the last great test of our resolve and strength, surprised even us when we emerged more united than since World War II. We had common cause, built around the center of the electorate. And we had leadership.
But then there have been times when the political fringes got restless with the slow pace of their ideological take over of ‘true’ America – even though there is always clear evidence their ideology was not supported by the majority of Americans. Recently the far right took first turn at using the levers of power post 9-11 to try and impose hyper partisan ideas on a nation that had been supporting GOP leadership up until then.
“Hyper partisan” is the condition where the proposed policies are so far out of the mainstream they create a split in the partisan coalition of the sponsoring party, while the opposing party is in near unanimous opposition. It is the act of proposing such toxic ideas it creates a backlash by the majority of America.
The GOP was soundly thrown out of power for the conservative movement’s over reaching.
Then the liberals took a Democrat Party sweep at the voting booth in 2006 and 2008 and again tried to use the levers of power to impose their hyper partisan ideology. Now they are on a path to get thrown out of power in a massive backlash in 2010. Why these hyper partisans think they can bully the rest of us around with their unsubstantiated arrogance is beyond me – and most other Americans.
Usually these hyper partisans are not the brightest bulbs, hence their simple and broad brush ideas to complex solutions that have highly complex ramifications. If they were fairly smart and had some common sense they would know complex problems with complex ramifications don’t respond well to simpleton approaches (it’s like the difference between applying neurosurgery or the drinking of fragrant tea when dealing with deadly brain damage, one option is simple – very simple).
The Obama-Reid-Pelosi stimulus bill passed last year was based on a liberal, simpleton idea that government spending would help job creation within 6 months of passage (their charts, not mine). Anyone in DC with a few IQ points should know government programs never get started in under a year. Thus any economic stimulus would be delayed, and the economic pain extended – not corrected. Guess what happened.
Three articles up at RCP today really define what is happening in national politics right now, and why the Democrats are pushing harder and harder for political oblivion. The liberal Dem leaders are willing to go to any extent to prove their failed ideas are not failures. Which means they will continue to self destruct in a blaze of ignorance and arrogant denial until the end.
To understand the current dynamics is to understand where we are right now, and between DC and the rest of the country those are two totally different places.
He [President Obama] could have skipped the soaring oratory [at the State of the Union] and boiled his message [to America] down to three words: “We’re in trouble.”
The president spoke to a country that is in a mood of pessimism and deflation. Gone is much of the hope and enthusiasm that greeted Obama in the early days of his presidency. The nation had come together to derail a threatening Great Depression with strong support for the stimulus package and other measures. But Obama then squandered this political momentum by pursuing agendas inconsistent with the country’s focus.
This excellent observation is then followed by a bunch of useless policy ideas until we get to the end:
This administration loses rather than gains when it gives the impression that it is putting politics ahead of policy, staying in a campaigning and not a governing mode, and attacking the business world as a political tactic. In the end, the American people are going to demand: Where are the jobs? Unemployment is the leading indicator when it comes to politics. Jobs, jobs, jobs must be the No. 1 challenge, and antibusiness rhetoric is not going to help.
No jobs are coming from the government through spending or intervention. None. The clock has run out on this Congress, probably this President. If jobs is the measure, then they have and will continue to fail if government intervention is their selected tool.
In fact it has been the continued government intervention and drain on the economy that delayed any recovery. Worse, now business growth is frozen because the government is sucking up all the credit and making wild, chaotic plans which make it impossible for businesses to plan any expansion. No one knows what idiotic simpleton thought will come blasting out of DC without any concept of its potential ramifications. Dems are poll testing sound bites, not analyzing policies. They are throwing out ideas like scatter shot. Everyone else in the country is waiting for their mental crack up to end before making long term plans.
The tried and true approach of cutting taxes and trimming spending is still off the table simply because liberals cannot fathom that Reagan, “W” Bush and John F. Kennedy were right and they were wrong about economic stimulus. Ego alone is now driving DC into the ditch.
Well, so much for the pivot to jobs. Late last week, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats made clear that, rather than turn to votersâ€™ economic concerns in this winter of discontent, they want to persist in pushing the health care proposals they have championed for a yearâ€”proposals voters have rejected by every means at their disposal, from expressing (a still growing) opposition in polls, to scolding members of Congress in town hall meetings, to handing Ted Kennedyâ€™s Senate seat to a Republican.
It is now clear that the â€œsummitâ€ the president has called for February 25 is not intended to consider different approaches to health care financing, but rather to create an illusion of momentum that might just lull disoriented congressional Democrats into ramming the health care bill through the budget reconciliation process.
The House and Senate bills do differ on some issuesâ€”a government insurance plan, the details of tax increases and Medicare cutsâ€”but they agree on the big picture, which would be the essence of a combined bill: a massively ambitious, costly, intrusive, inefficient, and clumsy combination of mandates, taxes, subsidies, regulations, and new government programs intended over time to replace the American health insurance industry with an enormous federal entitlement while failing to address the rising costs at the heart of our health care dilemma.
It would raise taxes in a tough economic time, cut Medicare benefits without putting the program on a sustainable footing, create a new open-ended entitlement as we confront daunting deficits, and displace the insurance arrangements of millions.
It is pathetic really, watching these fools believe they are so slick, so savvy, so intellectually superior that these crass and transparent media tricks are going to fool Americans into backing a rejected ideology and its policies. I mean it is a simpleton facade wrapping a simpleton ideology – and they think no one is noticing?
It is not inspiring, it is not motivational, it is not leadership. It is dumbership – if I may coin a phrase. We expected leadership, we are getting dumbership, which is the only way to describe the continued application of a hyper partisan approach in these serious times.
Which brings me to case three, the political observations of one Charlie Cook:
… I think the Democratic problems and the president’s problems, they, by a factor of a hundred, go beyond the Tea Party movement, but the Tea Party movement is sort of the tip of the sword.
I sort of reject the notion that there is a communications problem with President Obama. I think it’s just fundamental, total miscalculations from the very, very beginning.
And then when unemployment numbers started proving to be much, much tougher and it started becoming more clear that the stimulus package hadn’t worked properly, they just kept plowing ahead on health care. And this isn’t a communications problem. This is a reality problem. And I think they just made some grave miscalculations and as it became more clear that they had screwed up, they just kept doubling down their bet.
The thing that I think a lot of Democratic strategists are really concerned about is that some of these districts are going to be gone for a generation or more. I mean, they’re not coming back. They’re ones that had somehow managed to hang on in Democratic hands even after the Democratic Party fell out of favor in a lot of the South. But once they slip away, I’m not sure they’re coming back.
I disagree with a lot of what Cook claims – e.g., the stimulus was not big enough. It was not the size but the mechanism of moving the money into the economy to push growth that failed. Tax cuts are immediate and apply across the entire economy to some level. Yes, those who pay the most get the most back, but they are also the ones in a position to invest in new growth, and they need their money back to do it.
The bloated federal bureaucracy on the other hand is a slug. It takes YEARS to move money into projects, and then only into small areas of the economy, and then only to certain companies who have a history of working with the government processes and regulations. The liberal path is slow, wasteful and ‘targeted’ – thus it is a waste of precious time.
As we have seen, the markets have found their bottom point all on their own – which means we did not need to waste $1 trillion dollars of our children’s future incomes on these failures. And it all could be turned around with tax cuts and spending cuts. But these are off the table and hyper partisan insanity is all the rage.
We are not dealing with leadership – we are wasting time on dumbership. And right now we are moving from dumb, to dumber – to dumbest, evah!
Update: Even the New York Times is not very sanguine on the jobs picture:
Even as the American economy shows tentative signs of a rebound, the human toll of theÂ recession continues to mount, with millions of Americans remaining out of work, out of savings and nearing the end of their unemployment benefits.
As I noted here, the number of people nearing the end of their benefits have tripled in size since the failed stimulus bill passed. They now number just under 6 million people and are climbing by three quarters of a million each month.
The NY Times has the same data I have been reporting for months now – and shows to America finally:
5.8 million of those 6.3 million are on EUC, the last vestige of the unemployment safety net.