Liberals Getting the Politics Wrong
The troubles of ObamaCare serves all those liberals right. But you can still feel for CNN's kid now in medical school who voted with enthusiasm for Obama and now wonders what went wrong.
But if the kid still thinks that the Affordable Care Act is a "great... accomplishment" and that "partisan obstructionism has upended too many efforts to push our nation forward" then it is clear that his education has done nothing except amplify liberal talking points.
I thought that the whole point of a college education was to create "large-minded" people who could take their place as administrative experts in the great machine of liberal government.
I am not arguing that young liberals should get a conversion to conservatism in college. I am just arguing that, in the political interests of the liberal ruling class, its bright young sprigs should get a tour in political intelligence school and learn how the hated right-wing extremists actually think.
Charles Krauthammer, in conversation with Hugh Hewitt about his new book Things that Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes And Politics, tells us why this is important. He reminds us what is at stake when we get the politics wrong.
[A]ll of [the] expressions of the highest in human nature, are dependent in the end on getting the politics right. Look at Germany, 1933, the most advanced of all cultures in Europe, and look what twelve years of getting the politics wrong did to its civilization, to its culture.
Agreed, Dr. Krauthammer. But it wasn't the twelve years of Nazism that got the politics wrong. It was the previous fifty years leading up to 1933 that got the politics wrong. It was the evil genius of Bismarck that killed middle-class democracy in its cradle, the dolts that led Germany into a two-front war in 1914, the inflation and reparations and depression that beat the German people into desperation in the 1920s.
Where were the good people, the large-minded people, for the Germans then?
That's our problem too, as the liberal ruling class staggers from the debacle of "affordable housing" and the real-estate bubble borne aloft on government-sponsored Fannie and Freddie to an economy that won't recover to the lies of ObamaCare and the health plan that you can't keep.
As the woman teacher said on a train in Germany in the 1920s: How can this be happening to the most advanced country in the world? A lot of liberals are going to be saying that to themselves in the next few years as reality breaks through the soothing tones of NPR.
The current liberal line is that things were hunky-dory back in the 1950s when unions were strong and tax rates on the rich were high, but now, with all the tax cuts for the rich, inequality is rising and we need more government power to fight it. OK, here is federal income tax as percent of GDP from usgovernmentrevenue.com.
Looks to me as if the federal individual income tax has been trending higher, except for the chaos of the 2000s and its two big crashes.
And all along, liberals have been getting the politics wrong.
Liberals, you had your heads handed to you in 1980 because your Keynesian economics and your retreat in the Cold War and your Great Society programs and your embrace of the new racism of quotas and timetables had failed. You failed so dramatically that all the king's media horses and all the king's Hollywood men couldn't get failed President Carter together again.
Conservatives showed liberals how to get the politics right. Liberals needed to stop thinking they could fine-tune the economy with macroeconomic Keynesianism and its cheap money and "stimulus." That was the message of George Gilder's Wealth and Poverty: Keysnesianism screwed up the economy. And liberals had to reverse course on their Great Society social programs. That was the message of Charles Murray's Losing Ground: Government social programs helped people materially, but they devastated them in every other way.
For a while liberals held their breath and elected Bill Clinton as a New Democrat who had learned the lessons of the Reagan years. But good ole Bill went straight for Hillarycare and needed the first all-Republican Congress in forty years to clip his liberal wings.
Came the 2000s and liberals reverted to type, electing Obama and doing Hillarycare Part Deux as though all the getting the politics wrong in the 1960s and 1970s had never happened.
Say all you like about President Bush, but on a late summer morning in 2001 he had the gumption to tell the American people "I can hear you."
The trouble with liberals is that either they can't hear or they won't listen.
You can't get politics right if you won't listen.
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. Get his Road to the Middle Class.