Democrats: End of the Big Push
Last week, the pundits told us, was one of the worst in President Obama's presidency. They could be right. He lost on gun control in the Senate. Ninety percent of Americans, apparently, want more gun control, but the president couldn't push it over the finish line. ObamaCare is shaping up as a "train wreck." Then the president had to deal with the first Islamic bombing on American soil since 9/11. The Democratic momentum is gone.
Politics is like war. You train your armies and stockpile weapons and ammunition and then mount a furious offensive. It might go on for months or years. But in the end, it has to stop. It runs out of men, out of ammunition, and most of all, enthusiasm. Just ask the Brits about the Big Push at the Battle of the Somme.
So it is with the Democrats. After ten years of an extraordinary partisan offensive, in which the Democratic divisions opened with a furious artillery barrage that damned everything conservative and Republican to liberal hell, and rolled over Republicans in two pitch-perfect elections, electing the nation's first black president and passing universal health care -- well, the offensive is over.
In a better world it would now be time to pass out the goodies to the Democratic faithful and send everyone off for a bit of R & R.
Sorry, fellas. All leave canceled. You'll be needed in the defensive battle for the ObamaCare rollout.
And guess who will be caught in the ObamaCare crossfire. It will be the young volunteers in the Emerging Democratic Majority regiment -- young people, educated people, women -- that's who. Sorry kids. Nothing personal. But we have to keep the Old Guard of the Democratic base in reserve.
Then there is the slight unpleasantness in Boston last week. Remember President Obama's mantra last Fall? "Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead." And "GM is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead." But the Boston massacre took place where liberals live: in Boston, at the Marathon. Mission accomplished, Mr. President?
Maybe the worst is yet to come for Democrats. Remember what happened to the French Army in World War I after one too many Big Pushes? Mutiny, that's what. After the disastrous offensive on the Chemin des Dames in 1917, the French poilus sat down in their trenches and told the generals that they weren't going to throw themselves away on useless offensives, not any more.
I wonder if there are a few million Democratic rank and file out there wondering: what's the use?
Back in the glory days of 2006 and 2008 the Democratic rank and file were told that the nation's problems stemmed merely from the stupidity and the extremism of President Bush. Put the good guys in charge and everything would turn around. With a stimulus. With national health care. With a million green jobs. With the right war, not the wrong war.
But here we are, with a sputtering economy, with a failed gun-control bill, with ObamaCare a train wreck. And just in time for the immigration bill, here comes a terror attack in the heart of Liberal-land.
It wouldn't be at all surprising if the Democratic poilus (it means "hairy ones") started telling their bosses at the OFA: look, I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I'm not going out there to take the Koch Brothers' bullets for you anymore.
Just when OFA needed lots of activists to remind the American people that Republicans hate Hispanics.
Instead, everyone in America except the MSM will be asking how those two Caucasian males -- who were already known to the FBI -- managed to kill and maim those Bay Staters at the heart of the civilized world. Yes, Mr. President: what about radical Islam? What about Major Hassan and that "workplace violence" at Fort Hood? What really did go down in Benghazi last fall? What difference does it make? Well, maybe quite a lot.
Maybe, after all this time, the Democratic president and the Democratic Party and the liberal ruling class will finally get serious, and get with the program on radical Islam.
But then the liberal Big Push of the last ten years, and all the sound and fury, the political division, the demonization of Bush: all that will have signified nothing.
We conservatives would say that the Big Push failed because of the incompetence of its generals: their brain-dead strategy of entitlements, cheap mortgage credit, Keynesianism, big government, multiculturalism. But that is another story.
Which World War I general should President Obama play if there's a major motion picture of the Big Push? General Douglas Haig, the favorite at court? The phlegmatic French General Joffre? Perhaps the dapper General Nivelle, goat of the Chemin des Dames.
Christopher Chantrill (mailto:email@example.com) is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his usgovernmentspending.com and also usgovernmentdebt.us. At americanmanifesto.org he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism.