Democrats 'On Top of the World'

Something big is happening in the Democratic Party – something that bodes well for conservatives.  As so many commentators have noted, including Clarice Feldman in American Thinker:

Having been clobbered in the midterms, the president put on his cockiest face and strut, and in a carefully orchestrated setting designed to make him look imperial poked a thumb in the eye of the newly-elected Congress by announcing that he would not deport the people he was already not deporting.

And, again, as so many others have done, Feldman provides the conventional-wisdom, round-up-the-usual-suspects explanation, which she describes as “the president’s inability and unwillingness to respect the constitutional separation of powers in appropriating for himself the functions of both the legislative and executive branch.”

Fair enough, and sufficient, perhaps, to explain President Obama’s willingness to so blatantly govern – no, make that spit – in the face of an electorate that, barely more than a fortnight earlier, dealt him and his entire party an historic electoral defeat.

But I think there is something more going on, here.  In an earlier article, I noted how President Clinton "reclaimed the centrist mantle when, after his liberal policies, including Obamacare’s predecessor, Hillarycare, cost him the House and Senate in the ’94 midterms, he returned to the center."

Clearly, Obama hasn’t done that.  But what is particularly striking is that even at this early point, it is equally clear that the president is not even trying to move to the center.  Nor, it would seem, does he intend to.  Rather, all portents point to Obama doing precisely the opposite, moving farther to the left, doubling down on his liberalism, regardless of the ramifications for himself or his party.

For Democrats, as I argued in my earlier article, salvation lies in Democrats’ ability to move – and to convince voters that they have moved – to the center.

But again, not only are they not moving right, but they are moving farther to the left, and that is a phenomenon that begs for an explanation.  It’s one thing for a lame-duck president, who cannot run again, to govern as if…well, as if he doesn’t need to run again.  Democratic senators and representatives, on the other hand, can run again, and in this writer’s view, most of those do run again will need to run as centrist candidates of a centrist party if they hope to win an any but the safest Democratic districts.  And yet, we see no centrist Democratic Leadership Council on the horizon this time around.  What we do see, in the Senate, is the rise of what Politico’s Burgess Everett calls a liberal Hell No Caucus (emphasis mine):

The defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline in the Senate marked a major show of muscle for next year’s new hell-no caucus:  liberals.

Liberal Senate Democrats united to block the controversial project, even though their imperiled Democratic colleague Mary Landrieu of Louisiana begged them not to at a Democratic Caucus lunch on Tuesday afternoon.

It was a remarkable move for a group that has stood behind Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over the years, as he sought to protect vulnerable moderates, like [embattled Louisiana Senator Mary] Landrieu and some of her now-ousted colleagues, from taking tough votes on divisive environmental, health care and social issues.

Equally remarkable is the Democrats’ willingness to fight tooth and nail to prevent Republicans from making any change to Obamacare, while at the same time rubber stamping Obama’s penchant for rewriting Obamacare’s provisions at will – all this for a big-government boondoggle that has never enjoyed majority support of the public and which becomes increasingly unpopular with each passing day.  Do Democrats seriously expect the American people to reward Democrats at the polls in 2016?  Or to flock to the voting booths to elect Elizabeth Warren?  Because, you know, the problem was not that Obama was liberal, but that he was not liberal enough.

Or to put it another way: why are the Democrats committing electoral suicide (and sacrificing one of their own senators, Mary Landrieu) to stop, for now, a bill that everyone, including the hell-no Democrats, must know will pass eventually?

This writer believes he has the answer – or to put it more accurately, this writer believes that David Goldman, writing as “Spengler” in the Asia Times, has the answer (emphasis mine):

Why do individuals, groups, and nations act irrationally, often at the risk of self-destruction?  Part of the problem lies in our definition of rationality.  Under normal circumstances we think it irrational for a middle-aged man to cash in his insurance policy and spend money as fast as possible.  But if the person in question has a terminal illness and no heirs, we think it quite reasonable to spend it all quickly…  And if we know that we shall presently die of rabies, what is to prevent us from biting everyone we dislike?  Countries sometimes suffer the equivalent of terminal illness.  What seems suicidal to Americans may appear rational to an existentially challenged people confronting its imminent mortality.

And also to an “existentially challenged” political philosophy – liberalism – confronting its imminent mortality”?

Could it be that Democrats, looking at:

  • two historic midterm election losses;
  • a presidential election victory in 2012 that depended heavily on leads in the use of so-called data mining and micro-targeting – leads that Republicans apparently have now erased – and IRS suppression of conservative 501(c) groups;
  • President Obama’s underwater approval ratings;
  • the public’s increasing, contrary to Democratic expectations, opposition to Obamacare;
  • the massive inroads several GOP candidates made into the Latino vote; and
  • other indicators of shifting voter sentiment,

be signaling, through their actions, an understanding that, for liberalism, “the jig is up” – that the American people have rejected liberalism as a governing philosophy?  That America cannot be governed from the left?  That Obamacare, sooner or later, one way or another, is doomed?  That the enactment of Medicare, a half-century ago, was not a glorious milestone on the left’s march to a European-style welfare state, but liberalism’s apotheosis?

Could it be that liberals, watching the results streaming in on election eve, concluded that it was not their candidates, but their entire philosophy and worldview that lost on November 4, 2014?

Could it be that that our liberal friends, having flown so near the sun for the first two years of Obama’s presidency, with a liberal president, a House majority and a filibuster-proof Senate, only to crash and burn only six years later, have decided that they have nothing more to lose and so to go for broke for what’s left of possibly – probably? – the last liberal majority and presidential administration ever?

Time will tell, but in the meantime, this writer would like to think so.

Made it, Ma!  Top of the world!

Gene Schwimmer is a New York licensed real estate broker and the author of The Christian State.  Follow Gene Schwimmer on Twitter.

Something big is happening in the Democratic Party – something that bodes well for conservatives.  As so many commentators have noted, including Clarice Feldman in American Thinker:

Having been clobbered in the midterms, the president put on his cockiest face and strut, and in a carefully orchestrated setting designed to make him look imperial poked a thumb in the eye of the newly-elected Congress by announcing that he would not deport the people he was already not deporting.

And, again, as so many others have done, Feldman provides the conventional-wisdom, round-up-the-usual-suspects explanation, which she describes as “the president’s inability and unwillingness to respect the constitutional separation of powers in appropriating for himself the functions of both the legislative and executive branch.”

Fair enough, and sufficient, perhaps, to explain President Obama’s willingness to so blatantly govern – no, make that spit – in the face of an electorate that, barely more than a fortnight earlier, dealt him and his entire party an historic electoral defeat.

But I think there is something more going on, here.  In an earlier article, I noted how President Clinton "reclaimed the centrist mantle when, after his liberal policies, including Obamacare’s predecessor, Hillarycare, cost him the House and Senate in the ’94 midterms, he returned to the center."

Clearly, Obama hasn’t done that.  But what is particularly striking is that even at this early point, it is equally clear that the president is not even trying to move to the center.  Nor, it would seem, does he intend to.  Rather, all portents point to Obama doing precisely the opposite, moving farther to the left, doubling down on his liberalism, regardless of the ramifications for himself or his party.

For Democrats, as I argued in my earlier article, salvation lies in Democrats’ ability to move – and to convince voters that they have moved – to the center.

But again, not only are they not moving right, but they are moving farther to the left, and that is a phenomenon that begs for an explanation.  It’s one thing for a lame-duck president, who cannot run again, to govern as if…well, as if he doesn’t need to run again.  Democratic senators and representatives, on the other hand, can run again, and in this writer’s view, most of those do run again will need to run as centrist candidates of a centrist party if they hope to win an any but the safest Democratic districts.  And yet, we see no centrist Democratic Leadership Council on the horizon this time around.  What we do see, in the Senate, is the rise of what Politico’s Burgess Everett calls a liberal Hell No Caucus (emphasis mine):

The defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline in the Senate marked a major show of muscle for next year’s new hell-no caucus:  liberals.

Liberal Senate Democrats united to block the controversial project, even though their imperiled Democratic colleague Mary Landrieu of Louisiana begged them not to at a Democratic Caucus lunch on Tuesday afternoon.

It was a remarkable move for a group that has stood behind Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over the years, as he sought to protect vulnerable moderates, like [embattled Louisiana Senator Mary] Landrieu and some of her now-ousted colleagues, from taking tough votes on divisive environmental, health care and social issues.

Equally remarkable is the Democrats’ willingness to fight tooth and nail to prevent Republicans from making any change to Obamacare, while at the same time rubber stamping Obama’s penchant for rewriting Obamacare’s provisions at will – all this for a big-government boondoggle that has never enjoyed majority support of the public and which becomes increasingly unpopular with each passing day.  Do Democrats seriously expect the American people to reward Democrats at the polls in 2016?  Or to flock to the voting booths to elect Elizabeth Warren?  Because, you know, the problem was not that Obama was liberal, but that he was not liberal enough.

Or to put it another way: why are the Democrats committing electoral suicide (and sacrificing one of their own senators, Mary Landrieu) to stop, for now, a bill that everyone, including the hell-no Democrats, must know will pass eventually?

This writer believes he has the answer – or to put it more accurately, this writer believes that David Goldman, writing as “Spengler” in the Asia Times, has the answer (emphasis mine):

Why do individuals, groups, and nations act irrationally, often at the risk of self-destruction?  Part of the problem lies in our definition of rationality.  Under normal circumstances we think it irrational for a middle-aged man to cash in his insurance policy and spend money as fast as possible.  But if the person in question has a terminal illness and no heirs, we think it quite reasonable to spend it all quickly…  And if we know that we shall presently die of rabies, what is to prevent us from biting everyone we dislike?  Countries sometimes suffer the equivalent of terminal illness.  What seems suicidal to Americans may appear rational to an existentially challenged people confronting its imminent mortality.

And also to an “existentially challenged” political philosophy – liberalism – confronting its imminent mortality”?

Could it be that Democrats, looking at:

  • two historic midterm election losses;
  • a presidential election victory in 2012 that depended heavily on leads in the use of so-called data mining and micro-targeting – leads that Republicans apparently have now erased – and IRS suppression of conservative 501(c) groups;
  • President Obama’s underwater approval ratings;
  • the public’s increasing, contrary to Democratic expectations, opposition to Obamacare;
  • the massive inroads several GOP candidates made into the Latino vote; and
  • other indicators of shifting voter sentiment,

be signaling, through their actions, an understanding that, for liberalism, “the jig is up” – that the American people have rejected liberalism as a governing philosophy?  That America cannot be governed from the left?  That Obamacare, sooner or later, one way or another, is doomed?  That the enactment of Medicare, a half-century ago, was not a glorious milestone on the left’s march to a European-style welfare state, but liberalism’s apotheosis?

Could it be that liberals, watching the results streaming in on election eve, concluded that it was not their candidates, but their entire philosophy and worldview that lost on November 4, 2014?

Could it be that that our liberal friends, having flown so near the sun for the first two years of Obama’s presidency, with a liberal president, a House majority and a filibuster-proof Senate, only to crash and burn only six years later, have decided that they have nothing more to lose and so to go for broke for what’s left of possibly – probably? – the last liberal majority and presidential administration ever?

Time will tell, but in the meantime, this writer would like to think so.

Made it, Ma!  Top of the world!

Gene Schwimmer is a New York licensed real estate broker and the author of The Christian State.  Follow Gene Schwimmer on Twitter.