Ed Driscoll

2009: The Year Of Thinking Magically

In the Weekly Standard, Matthew Continetti believes that the “logic” of South Park’s underwear gnomes has taken hold of the left:

Gnomes_planNext time you run into a group of Democrats, offer to splash water on their faces. They’ve spent 2009 in a dream state, and it’s time they wake up. They’re convinced that they can subsidize health insurance for millions of people while also “bending the cost curve” of health care spending. They want to sign us up for the political equivalent of one of those three-step “eat more to lose weight” diets. Step one: Pile on the expenditures, regulations, taxes, and fees. Step two: Close your eyes. Step three: Pray it all works out in the end.

Continetti’s article is titled “A Year of Magical Thinking”; Jim Geraghty writes that there was plenty of it on the left at the start of the year, as well:

If you think you’ve had a rough year, think of how our friends on the left must feel. On January 1 of this year, they probably thought . . .

A stimulus bill would create jobs and lower the unemployment rate.

ACORN was a noble and trustworthy organization.

The data proving climate change was reliable (and could be found!).

Reaching out to Iran could yield dividends.

Fewer than 115,000  U.S. troops would be in Iraq, ten months after Obama took office.

An executive order requiring the closure of Guantanamo Bay within one year couldn’t just be ignored.

The Republican party was dead in places like Virginia, and was long since irrelevant in places like New Jersey.

Gay marriage would be voted into law in New York and Maine.

While some drop was inevitable, President Obama’s approval rating would be consistently above 50 percent at the end of the year. [And even the effectively state-run CNN is reporting it under 50% today — Ed]

More than 60 percent of Democrats would indicate they would vote in the 2010 midterm elections.

With 60 Democrats in the Senate and 250-plus Democrats in the House, passing a health-care bill with a public option would be smooth sailing.

What’s that saying? “Man plans, God laughs”?

On the other hand, from Quinn Hillyer of the American Spectator, a warning to the right to avoid such magical thinking themselves: “Beware of Overconfidence:”

Conservatives are feeling their oats right now. Yet we should beware. Overconfidence is a real danger to the cause. It’s a danger that is threatening to break out throughout the conservative movement.

As Glenn Reynolds adds, it’s easy to see why the right would be confident “watching the clown show in Washington, but remember — these are the clowns who kicked your ass a year ago . . . .”