Ed Driscoll

The Return of the Son of Shut Up and Enjoy Your Funemployment

At Power Line, John Hinderaker notes that Artur Davis, “One of Obama’s Earliest Supporters,” Hinderaker writes, has left the Democratic Party to join the GOP. Hinderaker quotes this passage from Davis on why he left:

In his message on Tuesday, Davis wrote: “On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country.”

While Republicans welcome Davis into the party, he’s instantly become something of an unperson in the eyes of the left and the MSM (but I repeat myself), which brings to mind a quote from Glenn Reynolds a decade ago:

As the old saying has it, the left looks for heretics and the right looks for converts, and both find what they’re looking for. The effect is no doubt subliminal, but people who treat you like crap are, over time, less persuasive than people who don’t. If people on the Left are so unhappy about how many former allies are changing their views, perhaps they should examine how those allies are treated.

Will more Democrats abandon ship in 2012? Roger L. Simon explores the notion of “Changing Minds in Crunch Time:”

We are in crunch time in our politics. It’s late in the fourth quarter and the lead is swinging back and forth.

Unfortunately, we don’t have Kobe or Lebron to bail us out. We only have ourselves. We are the ones who must save our country.

I thought of that rather obvious analogy while reading the comments — a number of them unfavorable — about my last column, “Is Liberalism Dead?”

What I had written of liberals for my conclusion is what particularly irritated some readers: “But secretly – I am more than ever convinced — many of them know they are wrong. Our job is to bring them over. To make them comfortable. But we must bring them over soon before it is too late for all of us.”

Because as Troy Senik notes at Ricochet, the left is descending (well, descending even further) into self-parody:

Imagine yourself a committed liberal democrat. In 2008 — after eight years of a presidency you regarded as plucked from the darker recesses of Dante’s mind — you get a man who is the seeming embodiment of everything that is Good and True in American liberalism elected to the White House. Then, four years later, that very same man has, by any reasonable estimation, utterly failed to repair a tattered economy. What do you do?

Well, if you’re Mother Jones‘ Clive Thompson, you set pen to paper to write one of the most barkingly mad pieces ever beheld by the human eye — one that proposes the idea that the nation should actually be aspiring towards an economy with no growth. And, before the laudanum wears off, you seriously entertain writing passages like these:

…To move away from growth, we’ll all have to work a lot less…Handled correctly, this could bring about an explosion of free time that could utterly transform the way we live, no-growth economists say. It could lead to a renaissance in the arts and sciences, as well as a reconnection with the natural world. Parents with lighter workloads could home-school their children if they liked, or look after sick relatives—dramatically reshaping the landscape of education and elder care.

Since no growth=no new jobs, the above story dovetails remarkably well with this actual recent headline at Time magazine: “Being 30 and Living With Your Parents Isn’t Lame — It’s Awesome.”

Hey, Obama — and tacitly, Time magazine — have long wanted to make us more like Europe in the 1970s. Oddly enough though, that Europe was pretty darn astonished at the life Americans in their 20s were leading at the time, as this passage from Tom Wolfe’s epochal “Me Decade” article from 1976 highlights:

In 1971 I made a lecture tour of Italy, talking (at the request of my Italian hosts) about “contemporary American life.” Everywhere I went, from Turin to Palermo, Italian students were interested in just one question: Was it really true that young people in America, no older than themselves, actually left home, and lived communally according to their own rules and created their own dress styles and vocabulary and had free sex and took dope? They were talking, of course, about the hippie or psychedelic movement that had begun flowering about 1965. What fascinated them the most, however, was the first item on the list: that the hippies actually left home and lived communally according to their own rules.

To Italian students this seemed positively amazing. Several of the students I met lived wild enough lives during daylight hours. They were in radical organizations and had fought pitched battles with police, on the barricades, as it were. But by 8:30 P.M. they were back home, obediently washing their hands before dinner with Mom&Dad&Buddy&Sis&theMaidenAunt. Their counterparts in America, the New Left students of the late sixties, lived in communes that were much like the hippies’, except that the costumery tended to be semimilitary: the noncom officers’ shirts, combat boots, commando berets—worn in combination with blue jeans or a turtleneck jersey, however, to show that one was not a uniform freak.

That people so young could go off on their own, without taking jobs, and live a life completely of their own design—to Europeans it was astounding.

Another four years of Obama and his high rates of what his palace guards at the L.A. Times once dubbed “funemployment,” and it will be astounding to us as well.