Ed Driscoll

The Doomsday Machine

Roger L. Simon asks, “Will the Democratic Party Destroy Us All?

According to such solons of big journalism as CNN’s John King, the Dems main aim is and should be retaking the Congress with the same methods they have used for years  – blocking spending cuts, accusing Republicans of excessive greed, and catering to unions and reactionary race-based interests groups.Hello, Planet Earth. I understand power politics up to a point. In some ways it may even be useful. But this is ridiculous.

Why can’t these people wake up? Don’t they have children, grandchildren? Don’t they realize we are going broke? The evidence is everywhere — from Michigan to Madrid. Keynesian economics — the welfare state itself — has become completely inoperative, morphed into a Ponzi scheme by an aging population.

You can pretend that’s not true. You can put your fingers in your ears and wait for it all to go away. You can recite the mantra about taxing the rich until you drop, blame Bush until he’s a figment of our memory more distant than William Henry Harrison, or pledge your allegiance to Gaia while circling the globe in a solar-powered Lear jet. But the reality remains.

(By the way, if you taxed the rich at a hundred percent, it would only push back our bankruptcy from entitlement programs a year, possibly two.)

So what exactly is wrong with the Democratic Party and its constituents? I know change is difficult, that breaking with old ideas — as the Maoists would say — can be painful, and that few of us like to admit we were wrong, but do we have to wait for bread lines?

So what’s the explanation? Why is it that, in these times, there is nothing less liberal than a “liberal,” less progressive than a “progressive”? Why do they and their party adhere to an ideology so shopworn and stultified — forget about tie-dyes and bell bottoms — they should all be running around in jodhpurs and crinolines?

What explains this political party of lemmings?

I don’t buy the Cloward-Piven argument. Sure, there are some who would like to bring this country down economically so they can rebuild it as some sclerotic socialist utopia replete with Young Pioneer camps and pompous people’s art in the subways (and no food in the stores), but most are not even imaginative enough for that.

I think there are three things at work — habit, fear of change, and pure, unbridled, screw-the-rest-of-us, self-interest. And the ones who focus on the latter — the powerful and self-interested  – rely on the habit and the fear of change on the part of the others — plus a soupçon of patronage — to hold the whole tawdry ball of wax together.

Of course this patronage system is deteriorating rapidly. It cannot continue in its present manner without bringing on that economic Samson Option.

So the Democrats are at a crossroads. Will they face reality?

That’s asking a helluva lot from postmodernists.

And it doesn’t help that they’ve cried wolf about the economy on past occasions. Recall the mild recession of 1992. It was exacerbated by the left talking George H.W. Bush into raising taxes, which they then proceeded to demagogue him on during the election, and dubbed “The Worst Economy in 50 years.” 13 years later, with another Bush running for re-election, and similar language was still being trotted out. This CNN article from the summer of 2004, which reads like a Kerry-Edwards press release, referred to the 2004 economy as “a long slump, the deepest in many ways since the Depression.” US unemployment averaged 5.5 percent that year, a rate that Obama would kill for today.

Add to that the cries from such far left figures as Van Jones and Richard Trumka, that as Jones said at last year’s Netroots conference,“There’s plenty of money out there; don’t fall into the trap of this whole deficit argument.”  A month later, Trumka told C-Span that there is “no deficit problem.” It’s entirely possible that the left has convinced themselves that today’s recession is pretty mild — and will recover as long as they can find somebody new to shake down. Call it the “The Man is Hiding the Stash” Fallacy, as the Chicago Boyz econo-blog dubbed it earlier this year.

That may also explain the rash of “unexpectedlys” by the media as well. Or perhaps, as Rob Long jokes at Ricochet, “Inattentional Blindness Explains Everything:”

Maybe the American voter is suffering from inattentional blindness.  They’re focusing so hard on finding a job they’re missing the good news that’s out there.There is good news, isn’t there?

All in all, it’s enough to make you want to laugh to keep from crying: