Just at the moment that President Obama’s “regime,” as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews would say, seemingly became entrenched in DC, there’s a curious reassessment of the current state of what passes as “liberalism” these days, particularly outside of America, where the damage inflicted by a century of the European-inspired “progressive” agenda is that much easier to diagnose:
- “‘I hate to say it, but Mary Whitehouse was probably right’: Permissive society failed women,” says leftwing veteran BBC broadcaster Joan Bakewell.
- “President Barack Obama spent the last year insisting he doesn’t want to turn the American health care system into a carbon copy of the government-run British system. But Obama’s pick to run Medicaid and Medicare — Donald Berwick — is a pediatrician and Harvard University professor with a self-professed ‘love’ of the British system. . . . Now Senate Republicans are vowing to press their case against Obama’s sweeping new health care law by challenging Berwick’s nomination — just in time to resurrect the brutal yearlong health reform battle ahead of the midterm elections.”
And speaking of the US, at Big Government, Michael Zak explores the “Republican Roots of the 1964 Civil Rights Act,” an extended post that dovetails well with Bruce Bartlett’s 2007 article in the Wall Street Journal on “Whitewash — The racist history the Democratic Party wants you to forget.”
Finally (at least for now), at Commentary‘s “Contentions” blog, Jennifer Rubin spots Richard Cohen at the Washington Post, one of the biggest redoubts of establishment liberalism having a brief moment of second thought. Or as Jennifer puts it, “Poverty Doesn’t Create Crime? Who Knew?”
Richard Cohen has discovered that liberal dogma is all wet. Well, at least the dogma that says crime is caused by poverty and other societal failings. He writes that crime is down despite a painful recession:
Whatever the reasons, it now seems fairly clear that something akin to culture and not economics is the root cause of crime. By and large everyday people do not go into a life of crime because they have been laid off or their home is worth less than their mortgage. They do something else, but whatever it is, it does not generally entail packing heat. Once this becomes an accepted truth, criminals will lose what status they still retain as victims. …
The Watts survey [following the 1965 riots] tended to support liberal dogma that criminals were like everyone else, only more desperate. Probably the ultimate example of this was cited to me years ago by a woman who had her necklace yanked from her while walking in Manhattan. When I commiserated with her, she said of the crook — I am not making this up — “he probably needed it more than I did.” This is liberal guilt at its apogee.
Cohen acknowledges that a great deal of social policy was based on a false premise: “It made victims of criminals and criminals of victims (all wealth comes from theft, etc.) — and in so doing, insulted the law-abiding poor who somehow lacked the wit to appreciate their historic plight.”
Well, better late than never. This revelation might suggest that liberals re-examine other premises that have proved dangerous. Perhaps they can take a look at “The government can create wealth” or “The rich need to pay more taxes.” The possibilities in foreign policy are endless. (Let’s start with, “The problem with our policy toward Iran, China, Syria, etc. is that we haven’t tried to engage them.”) Liberals consider their opponents to be dunderheads and anti-intellectuals. It must be a shock to find out that the dunderheads were right about so much.
What happens next? That’s the subject of this David Warren essay, found via Maggie’s Farm. “A crunch is coming to a country near you; has already come to several countries in Europe; is likely to transform the entire Western world within the space of our lifetimes. It will obviate all the trends to which we have become accustomed.”