Ed Driscoll

Mugged by Reality, the Eternal Recurrence

Just in time for Groundhog Day: In 1994, George McGovern made a shocking discovery:

What would happen, if, heaven forfend, Obama actually went into business himself? Since his far left administration is basically an extension of George McGovern’s Pyrrhic 1972 campaign, perhaps this anecdote fits as well. It’s from 1994, after McGovern retired from politics and attempted to open, Bob Newhart style, a New England inn:

George McGovern laments that after his experience in the bed-and-breakfast business he realizes that laws and regulations pertaining to small business are actually hurting the lower-wage workers whom he had tried to help during his entire political career. With his Stratford Inn in bankruptcy, McGovern now says:

In retrospect, I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business…. I wish that during the years I was in public office I had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better Senator and a more understanding presidential contender… To create job opportunities, we need entrepreneurs who will risk their capital against an expected payoff. Too often, however, public policy does not consider whether we are choking off those opportunities.

— “There’s a Reason Why it’s called the Forgotten Man,” Ed Driscoll.com, May 27th, 2011.

MATT YGLESIAS MAKES A SHOCKING DISCOVERY: Starting a Business Is a Huge Pain: I’ve been to three offices, filed five forms, spent $200, lost a day of work—and I’m not even close to getting the simple license I need.

As reader Darrin Moore emails, “America’s economy isn’t failing because there are too many people trying hard to make a profit, it’s failing because the government makes it too hard for people to make a profit.”

UPDATE: IowaHawk: “Perhaps instead of starting a small business, young Matt should have taken the time-honored liberal approach and started a BIG business. Those rules are simpler: (1) come up with idiotic idea, (2) give large wads of cash to a politician, (3) reap ginormormous government contract. Bob Menendez is waiting to take your call, Matt.”

— Instapundit.com, today.

Twitchy rounds up the reaction: “Obama lapdog Matt Yglesias has epiphany: Gee, it’s hard to start a small business in D.C.!”

The mockery on Twitter of the Washington Post Company employee and member of the JournoList, which described itself as the “non-official campaign” staffers of Obama in 2008 is intense, leading up to this moment:

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I want to believe, but this one of those moments where past performance is an indicator of future results:

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And for another flashback, here are Matt’s thoughts last year during Obama’s “You didn’t build that moment.” As Twitchy noted at the time:

In Matt’s universe, your business? Your life? You didn’t build that. Your property? You didn’t own that. Ever. Matt’s credibility as a “real journalist”? He didn’t earn that.

And speaking of the Eternal Recurrence, as John Hayward writes at Breitbart.com’s Conversation in response to Yglesias’ epiphany:

What a beautiful, heartwarming story for us to contemplate on this 100th anniversary of the income tax!  It used to be said that a conservative was a liberal who got mugged by reality.  We can add the socialists who got mugged by the government, after they tried to do something other than worship it or suckle at its breast.

Irving Kristol is associated with the phrase that a conservative is a liberal who is mugged by reality. But when your worldview is one that makes reality an infinitely pliable medium, why would you bother to actually change?

Related: “Many Unhappy Returns—Millions of Them: It’s the 100th anniversary of the 16th Amendment. Don’t forget to file your taxes.” Plus this answer to the question, “Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?” “Nothing so offends the doctrinaire intellectual as our ability to achieve the momentous in a matter-of-fact way, unblessed by words.”