You don’t need to be a genius to know that Democrats are worried about the midterm elections. But it does take a little ingenuity to come up with this explanation for what the New York Times rightly called “The Democratic Panic.”
You or I might think that the Dems are panicked because almost every poll shows that the Republicans will pick up at least 7 and possibly as many as 9 Senate seats on November 4. This will put the Republicans comfortably in control of the Senate, which, since they will doubtless also extend their majority in the House, will put one or two road blocks in the way of Obama’s promise to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”
I do not say that Republican control of the Congress will prevent Obama from further realizing his dreams of transforming the United States into a socialist utopia where everything that is not mandatory is prohibited and the country’s innovative spirit is finally quenched by staggering debt, mindless regulation, and all the assorted enervations that Tocqueville aggregated under the memorable phrase “Democratic Despotism.”
No, Obama has shown sufficient contempt for Congress, as well as ostentatious disregard for the law, that Congress will have a hard time providing that check on abuse of power by the executive that so worried the Framers of the Constitution. If the president simply ignores Congress and governs by fiat — having taken care to pack the courts and civil service with apparatchiks sympathetic to his statist ambitions — then there is not much the Congress can do unless it is willing to confront the president directly and call him to account. The spineless John Boehner has shown just how likely that contingency is. Barack Obama flagrantly disobeys the law. John Boehner threatens to sue the president. Ha ha ha. With what Justice Department were you planning to do that, Mr. Speaker?
But I digress. It’s pretty clear, I say, why the Democrats are panicking. They are panicking because all signs point to a “shellacking” at the polls that will make the 2010 shellacking look like a walk in the park. That’s the simple explanation. It also happens to be the true one.
Want to read something funny? Here’s how our former paper of records explains it:
The panicky Democratic flight away from President Obama — and from some of the party’s most important positions — is not a surprise. Mr. Obama remains highly unpopular among white voters, particularly in Southern states where candidates like Ms. Nunn, Ms. Grimes and several others are struggling to establish leads. But one of the reasons for his unpopularity is that nervous members of his own party have done a poor job of defending his policies over the nearly six years of his presidency, allowing a Republican narrative of failure to take hold.
Let’s devote a little scrutiny to this remarkable passage. First, note the coy insertion of the adjective “white.” It’s among “white voters,” you see, especially in Southern (code word for “racist”) states, that Obama “remains unpopular.” Why is he unpopular? Because “nervous members of his own party have done a poor job of defending his policies over the nearly six years of his presidency.” Really? Let’s list just a few of the defining moments of this wreck of a presidency: Obamacare (probably the most unpopularity piece of legislation shoved down the throats of the American people since Prohibition), the IRS scandal, Benghazi, the Bergdahl swap, the recovery-that-wasn’t, the loss of prestige of the country, the S&P downgrade, the 20-plus trillion (trillion!) dollar federal debt, chaos on our Southern border, a newly emboldened Russia, China, Iran, the “jayvee” threat of ISIS that suddenly made varsity, the bungled effort to manage the Ebola scare, etc. etc. What greater litany of failure do you need?
I guess the New York Times needs something more, because according to them, Obama is unpopular not because he has failed but because the Republicans have somehow enveloped him in a “narrative of failure.” Yes, that’s right, folks, the evil Republicans called Obama’s failures, er, failures, and by so doing they managed to substitute a fiction (that’s what the Times means by “narrative”) for the truth.
You can sense a bit of desperation around the edges of this shameless gambit (“Will they buy it?”). And I suppose the chief effect of this Hail-Mary-Pass of an editorial is to reinforce the sense of widespread panic that it was intended to dispel. It’s a curious rhetorical specimen, that’s for sure. My own suspicion is that the panic is beginning to make inroads in the editorial offices of the New York Times even as it has taken root in the campaign offices of of many Democratic contenders. If you were interested in seeing what a public nervous breakdown looked like, stick around. The New York Times is already showing signs of coming apart at the seams. The next weeks should be instructive even if they are unedifying.