|Liberals: The Necessary Delusion||Conservatism is More Than Growth and Opportunity|
by Christopher Chantrill
January 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm
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.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society
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
Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures
The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since
1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and
philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West
Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its
characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then,
once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities
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
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
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
[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
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
The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital