We’ve come a long way since 2009. Back then, Barack Obama was crowing, “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”
Now, a day before the 2014 midterms, there’s no crowing from the Dems, only a sullen susurration of rage. It’s no longer possible to blame George W. Bush for the party’s impending dégringolade (though there continue to be pathetic efforts to do just that).
Someone is to blame, you can be sure that point will eventually be established. But in the meantime the Democratic grievance machine has shifted gears. Everyone’s still affronted. There’s still a “war on women” — at least on women who stay at home and take care of their children: quoth Obama, “That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.” (Wow. Just wow.)
And there’s still “climate change” — or is there? The award-winning meteorologist John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, just sent an open letter to UCLA that begins:
There is no significant man-made global warming at this time, there has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future. Efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant “greenhouse” gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have failed. There has been no warming over 18 years.
Uh oh. The great thing about the Green Philosophy, of course, is that you can never be green enough. As a strategy to promote moral smugness among liberals and scapegoating of the productive segments of the economy, the whole green apparatus is a godsend. It has the additional advantage of being international in scope. Not only can you employ it against domestic entities, but it can also be used to justify redistribution on an international scale. So people like Colemen, along with the 9,000 other scientists who endorse his contentions, must be ignored — demonized first as tools of the evil Koch brothers, then ignored.
But that’s not going to happen. Environmentalism, as the philosopher Harvey Mansfield observed a couple of decades ago, may be “school prayer for liberals.” But reality still counts for something, and in the clash between possible prosperity and certain immiseration, the former will always win out — unless, nota bene, it is prevented by the coercive power of the state.
What else has changed? Obama came to office promising a “reset” with Russia. How is that working out? (Ask yourself this: Who owns Crimea?)
Obama has said that his is the “most transparent administration ever.” Care to comment on that? He also said — and said repeatedly while campaigning for Obamacare — that “if you like your health care plan [doctor, etc.], you can keep your health care plan [doctor, etc.], period.”
I could go on in this vein for quite a while. But let’s leave the president’s various economies with the truth, his failed policies, his miserable performance as commander in chief, his alarming success in “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” — let’s leave all that to one side and ask, now that we’re at the final midterm election of his reign, what will be the significance of the elections tomorrow? Many key races are close, too close to call. But everyone, Republicans gleefully, Democrats with other emotions, recognizes that there has been a marked change in the Zeitgeist. Republicans are almost certain to do well. Will they do well enough to overcome what has come to be called “the margin of corruption?” We don’t know. Chatter from the Democratic side of the aisle suggests that they fear so, expect so. How will they react?
The rhetorical static coming out of the Democratic camp suggests that the first gambit will be to deny that the election mattered. Steve Hayes, writing in the Weekly Standard, has a powerful column about this exact subject. Liberal pundit after liberal pundit, Hayes points out, has lately taken to assuring his readers that this midterm election is small beer — a “Seinfeld election,” as the Washington Post put it, “an election about nothing.” (By “liberal,” Hayes means to include such faux-conservatives as David Brooks who, from his perch at the New York Times, has dismissed the campaign as “the most boring and uncreative I can remember.”
In fact, as Hayes argues, far from being a “Seinfeld” election, an “election about nothing,” it is an election about everything
It’s about the size and scope of government. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about the security of the citizenry. It’s about competence. It’s about integrity. It’s about honor.
That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? And there’s more:
It’s about a government that makes promises to those who have defended the country and then fails those veterans, again and again and again. It’s about a president who offers soothing reassurances on his sweeping health care reforms and shrugs his shoulders when consumers learn those assurances were fraudulent. It’s about government websites that cost billions but don’t function and about “smart power” that isn’t very smart. It’s about an administration that cares more about ending wars than winning them, and that claims to have decimated an enemy one day only to find that that enemy is still prosecuting its war against us the next. It’s about shifting red lines and failed resets. It’s about a president who ignores restrictions on his power when they don’t suit him and who unilaterally rewrites laws that inconvenience him. It’s about a powerful federal agency that targets citizens because of their political beliefs and a White House that claims ignorance of what its agents are up to because government is too “vast.” In sum, this is an election about a president who promised to restore faith in government and by every measure has done the opposite.
Is that “boring”? Maybe it bores David Brooks because it doesn’t present any easy road to adulation from the White House or the beautiful people in Washington. But for most Americans, the litany that Hayes recites is the opposite of boring. The 2014 midterms, as Hayes puts it, are “about an electorate determined to hold someone responsible for the policy failures that have defined this administration and the scandals that have consumed it—even if many in the fourth estate will not.”
This midterm election is about all of those things listed above and, as Hayes concludes, “it’s about time.”
Also read predictions for tomorrow: