October Political Reality Check
After the president's meltdown in Denver last week, liberals were furious that he didn't fling the celebrated 47 percent gaffe in Romney's face. And maybe they are right, as Mitt Romney has since said he was "completely wrong" about the 47 percent that will never vote for him.
Or is the 47 percent issue just another liberal fantasy -- the idea that you can win elections by zinger?
The problem is, with all the noise of pushmi-pullyu polls and the deafening roar of the anti-Romney media artillery, how do you know what's really going on?
Are the +9 Democratic polls just propaganda or a measure of Democratic enthusiasm? Are we getting signal from the early voting statistics in North Carolina, or do Republicans normally vote first?
The one thing that has impressed me this year is the intensity of the mildly economically conservative but solidly socially liberal baby boomers I know. If you filter out the dog-on-the-roof liberals, you get a clear signal that a lot of people are determined that this guy has got to go.
This baby-boomer angst is understandable. Our cunning plan to coast through our retirement and then hand the mess to our children has gone the way of all cunning plans. There is now a strong chance that the world will go to hell while we are still alive.
Baby boomers realize it's time for a reality check.
But really, we all live in a fantasy world. Here is Lee Habeeb reporting on liberal prof Alan Wolfe explaining away the news that conservatives give more to charity.
People in less religious states are giving in a different way by being more willing to pay higher taxes so the government can equitably distribute superior benefits[.]
Earth to liberals. Government is force. When you vote for higher taxes, you vote for more force. "Charity" comes from the Latin caritas, and St. Thomas said it means the "friendship of man for God," not the good feelings liberals get from taxing the rich.
Then there are Frank Luntz's focus-group moderates who responded strongly to Mitt Romney's commitment to bipartisan government, as reported by Dick Morris.
While we professionals are trying to win the war of Democrats vs Republicans and blue vs red, the voters just want the war to end and the parties to come to an agreement, guided by the verdict they will deliver on election day.
Earth to voters. You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. And that goes for some of the dog-on-the-roof liberals I know, the ones who just can't understand all the divisiveness. But they, with their bulletproof government sinecures, can afford to live in fantasy land, and pompously imagine with Oliver Wendell Holmes that with high taxes they buy civilization.
For the rest of us there is no use in whimpering like Falstaff that "I wish 'twere bedtime, Hal, and all well." All is not well, and it won't be for a while.
We conservatives know why. The current ruling class of liberals is just like any other ruling class. It came in a century ago promising to clean up the horror of big-city machines and the "money trust." Now it runs a national political machine and is the chief sponsor of crony capitalism, and it's running out of money to bribe its supporters.
The core regime supporters are the famous 47 percent that Mitt Romney gaffed about.
But what about the victims of the liberal ruling class? Let's call them the "46 percent." They would be the 46 percent of voters who voted for John McCain in 2008, the rump of people who couldn't be sold on Hope and Change.
That is what this election is about. It's the 47 percent, the regime supporters, versus the 46 percent, the regime's victims, even though many of the 47 percent sucking on the government tit aren't all going to vote for Obama, and many in the 46 percent are feasting like me on middle-class entitlements.
The truth is that we all have our snouts in the government trough, and none of us is ready to give up his share.
Earth to conservatives. This ain't gonna be easy. It's going to take more than electing turnaround artist Mitt Romney to get the economy back on track. You can see why when you look at Europe.
When the welfare state runs out of money, people don't pitch in and say let's fix this thing "so the government can equitably distribute superior benefits" again. They start blaming the other guy. They don't mildly suggest that the rich should pay a little more. They demand that greedy bankers and insurance companies go to jail.
Let them eat cake, said the ancien régime's Marie-Antoinette. À la lanterne, bawled the Paris mob.
Yep. What you got here, guv'nor, is a pre-revolutionary situation.
Christopher Chantrill 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.