November 24, 2010
Giving Thanks for ObamaBy Christopher Chantrill
Have you heard the one about the guy from the lefty "reality-based community?" He could discern reality only when it knocked him upside the head. And that's the story of the Obama administration thus far.
It's not easy to admit it, but in 2008 we needed the Democrats to run the national security apparatus for four years. Americans needed Democrats to confront reality on the war on terror. It's one thing to yell lefty slogans from the sidelines. It's another thing to formulate and execute national security policy from inside the federal government. Whatever it cost, we Americans had to put Democrats in power and let reality knock them upside the head.
After two years of Obama, we all -- even Democrats -- know the following realities. On Iraq: right war or wrong war, the issue is still Iran. On Gitmo: yeah, you try to close it, pal. On hard power/soft power: yeah, you try to cuddle up to thug dictators and see how much good it does you. On civilian trials for terrorists: all it takes is one juror...
After two years, the whole Democratic critique of Bush's foreign policy lies in ruins. Thanks Obama -- we needed that.
But Obama's real gift is an unforced error: the utter shambles of his economic policy. Who could have predicted that Obama would utterly ignore the great lessons of Reaganomics: hard money, spending cuts, low tax rates?
In retrospect, it is all obvious. Our Democratic friends have been averting their eyes from the success of supply-side economics for a generation. They weren't going to admit its reality until reality hit them upside the head.
Reality hasn't done that yet. It will take a Republican president, a Republican Senate, a Republican House, repeal of ObamaCare, and a few books touting "The Permanent Republican Majority" to do that.
But where will the new Republican majority come from? The best place to look, I'd suggest, is in The Emerging Democratic Majority, prophesied by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira in the 2000s. How long ago it seems. Judis and Teixeira argued that a new majority Democratic coalition was forming out of the white working-class professionals -- teachers, engineers, nurses, creative types -- and women and minorities. Let's look at that coalition in the cold reality of 2010.
The white working class, according to Henry Olsen in NRO, has been homeless for about a generation. First they voted for Reagan, then they voted for Clinton, then Bush, then Obama. But in 2010, the white working class went Republican big time. Their forty years in the wilderness started when Democrats went off the white working class back during the Vietnam War. The noble working stiff became a bigoted redneck as Democrats fell in love with women and minorities.
The professionals are the people who style themselves economically conservative and socially liberal. Here's professional Morris Panner having a change of heart in the Washington Post:
In the run-up to the election, Morris Panner found himself "listening closely to the Tea Party, nursing the hope that its message would push both major parties to change the way they do business."
In my view, the economically conservative/socially liberal gig is all about social snobbery: not being one of those snaggle-toothed bible-thumpers, darling. It's an easy pose when the economy is humming along in a tech boom or a housing bubble. But in the Great Recession economy, policy matters, and the economically conservative/socially liberal set have started voting their pocketbooks.
The women who vote Democrat are the non-mother, or non-married, or non-religious kind. But now that the euphoria of feminist liberation has worn off, women are sharing with their friends the truth that the central administrative welfare state is a direct attack on everything that matters to women: love and marriage, relationship and family, and children and religion.
But the biggest shock coming to Democrats will be the Republicanization of their beloved minorities. It happens all the time, you know. Ever since the Irish, immigrants have begun their political life in the U.S. as Democrats. They start as Irish, progress to Irish-Americans, and end up as unhyphenated Americans voting Republican. Jews and blacks are the big exception to this, and the reason is simple. Jewish leaders like to scare Jews silly with the monster of the Christian Right, and black leaders like to scare blacks silly with the monster of racism. Guess what, Jews and blacks. There is nothing to fear but fear itself!
Here's a prediction. Once the humiliation of the Obama debacle wears off, blacks will start moving in battalion strength into the Republican Party. This will be a big problem for them, because there is a danger that Republicans will love them to death.
Thank you. President Obama. And you have a great Thanksgiving, too.