|Liberals: The Necessary Delusion||Conservatism is More Than Growth and Opportunity|
by Christopher Chantrill
January 22, 2013 at 12:00 am
THE CONVENTIONAL wisdom for this week is that President Obama will divide the Republicans and Nancy Pelosi will take back the House in 2014. In fact, according to Ron Brownstein in “Expect Obama to be more aggressive in his second term” and “How the Democrats are taking over California,” the new Democratic “coalition of the ascendant”--black, brown, young and educated female--is about to take over the nation, for Democrats don’t really need “older and blue collar whites” any more for a presidential majority. Brownstein writes:
Ruy Teixeira, co-author of the seminal 2002 book “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” says the party’s coalition has evolved over time “in such a way that not only makes the [presidential] majority more solid but shifts the weight toward groups that are less interested in a temporizing, triangulating politics.” Compared to even the 1990s, he notes, Democrats “don’t have—and don’t need—as many of those voters at the conservative end of their coalition... as they once did.
Here is what I don’t understand. If the Dems don’t need the old white guys and gals why are they standing in the entitlement door crying Medicare today, Medicare tomorrow, Medicare forever? And why do they use an old white blue-collar steel-worker to show up Mitt Romney as an unfeeling plutocrat?
Then there is California. It’s wonderful for liberals like Brown and Brownstein that they now have the two-thirds majority in both houses of the state legislature and so can increase taxes on the old and white to benefit the young and brown. But where is the politician demanding that the old white government retirees give up the pensions that are bankrupting cities all over the state? And where is the Democrat telling the trustafarian environmentalists to take their hands off California’s energy economy so minority kids can get a job?
Why do Democrats still insist on running the entitlement engine flat out, the one that benefits old white voters, when they don’t need them for a presidential majority?
Let’s get back to the 2014 midterm issue and Nancy Pelosi’s plan to take the House. Fortunately, we have usmidtermelections.com to help with that. You can look at House midterms here, and all House elections since 1900 here. Right now, the House of Representatives has 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats. So it would take a swing of 17 for Nancy and the Democrats to take back the House.
Let’s check and see how many times the president’s party has gained more than 17 seats in a midterm election. If you limit your search to the 20th century, there is a simple answer. None. The only election that comes close is the 1934 midterm when Republicans lost 14 seats in the second year of President Roosevelt’s first term.
OK. Let’s lower the bar. Were there any midterms, apart from 1934, in which the president’s party gained seats at all? Yes, there were. In 2002 the GOP gained 8 seats in Bush’s first term when Bush was the 9/11 president, and in 1998 the Democrats gained 5 seats in Clinton’s impeachment year. Then it’s back to FDR in 1934. Then you have to go back all the way to 1902, but that doesn’t count. Go ahead, look it up and find out why.
It’s Nancy Pelosi’s job to announce that she’ll take back the House and Obama’s job to help her. Good luck, Nance and Barry. But is much more likely that by the fall of 2014 the Republicans, bless their hearts, will have finally found the way to unite all the anti-Obama voters in America into one grim evil right-wing militia march to the polls. It is much more likely that Republicans will be the ones picking up 15-20 House seats when the new Congress is seated in January 2015.
Don’t forget that there is also the dangerous possibility that those Obama-bashing Republicans will persuade a few, just a few of those black, brown, young and female in the ascendant that Democrats are selling them the Brooklyn Bridge. Yes, it’s wonderful to have free contraception and gay marriage. But what is that when measured against the shorter hours you are working because of Obamacare? Who cares about immigration when you are paying 15 to 20 percent of wages in payroll taxes for entitlements that you will be lucky to collect? Who cares about the permanent Bush tax rates when student loan payments function like an income tax?
Then there is unemployment, that hits the young hardest. And the demolition of the family in low-income America. And the trillion-dollar deficits.
It’s clear that Democrats are busily convincing each that the political barometer is set fair for the next few years. But all we know for sure is that we are at the half-way point in the Obama era.
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
When we received Christ, Phil added, all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh
I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all.
In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State