Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Some Unsung Heroes of the Massachusetts Miracle

Here's a little honor roll of just the House Democrats who have ruled and continue ruling the Democrat roost on the Hill....and appear poised to rule it right back into political oblivion.

From the WSJ:

• Ed Markey of Massachusetts, first elected in 1976, helped to ram the cap-and-tax bill through the House and has pushed relentlessly for the EPA to declare carbon a pollutant under the Clean Air Act that didn't mention carbon.

• Wisconsin's David Obey, elected in 1969, is the House Appropriations chairman who steered the $787 billion stimulus to focus on Medicaid expansion and other transfer payments that have done nothing for economic growth.

• Henry Waxman, first elected in the Watergate class of 1974, deposed John Dingell in 2008 as too moderate to run the Energy and Commerce Committee. The Hollywood liberal is co-author of the cap-and-tax vote that will cost numerous Blue Dogs their seats.

[1obama]

Pete Stark; Henry Waxman

• Pete Stark, class of 1972, runs the health subcommittee on Ways and Means and has written most of the House health reform that has forced moderates to walk the plank on the "public option."

• George Miller, class of 1974 and chief enforcer for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has pushed to nationalize the college student loan market. Like Mr. Stark, he's from California.

• Barney Frank of Massachusetts, class of 1980 and chief protector of Fannie Mae, wrote the financial reform that would make too-big-to-fail the law for the largest banks. He has also pushed the mortgage foreclosure programs that have extended the housing recession by preventing home prices from finding a bottom.

1obama

Barney Frank; Ed Markey

It is the combination of all of these and other policies that has ignited the political revolt we are now seeing in Massachusetts, and first saw last November in Virginia and New Jersey. Had Democrats modified their agenda to nurture a fragile economy and financial system, they could now claim their policies worked and build on them later.



It's striking how most of these entrenched liberal Democrat Congressional lifers have been at this power game for as long or longer than many of us have been alive (and I'm pushing 40).

It's bad enough these people have been getting it wrong for 30-40 years, now they are getting so old they likely won't even be around to see the wreckage their ideology will visit on the country if brought even close to fruition.

Time to hang it up, fellas. Give the country a break and let the next generation of leadership throw the last shovels-full of dirt on your misguided, ever-failing Quixotic quest to socialize America.

From a Washington Post poll last weekend:

Fifty eight percent of respondents favor smaller government with fewer services while 38 percent prefer a larger government and more services, according to the poll.

The small government preference has climbed 4 points since the last time our pollsters asked the question in June and 5 points from almost the same time a year ago.


But by all means, Democrat statists, keep swimming upstream, endlessly scheming to fleece the people into muddling socialized mediocrity and dependency.

Your electoral fate awaits you. Hopefully sooner than you think.

Thank You, Democrats!

Ahhh, so many people to thank this morning, on this sunny one-year anniversary of the coronation of Him.

Where to begin. Of course, Him Himself - Barack. And then there's Harry, Nancy, Joe, Barney....heck, too many to name here.....THANKS(!) to every one of you rabid ideological 20%ers who are leading the Democrat party and its denizens of national statism into defeat after ignominious defeat.

Your arrogance, tone-deafness, self-righteousness, smug paternalism, and smoldering megalomania are paying off in droves for the country with every race the voters have a chance to weigh in.

My advice to you: FORGE AHEAD! (The cliff awaits.)

By all means, force feed the country more of your grandiose schemes to save us all from all those millions and millions of silly misguided fools clinging to their constitution and their quaint out-dated notions that America is the "Great Republic", as President Kennedy once called it, rather than a test tube for the dictatorship of liberal dogma and hubris.

See how well that keeps working for you. Don't listen to those treacherous unenlightened DINOs like Lanny Davis who think we should "Blame the Left for Massachusetts".

Davis asks: "The question is, will we stop listening to the strident, purist base of our party who seem to prefer defeat to winning elections and no change at all if they don't get all the change they want."

I think we all know the answer to such a silly question...

Congratulations Massachusetts Republican Senator-Elect Scott Brown!

Monday, January 18, 2010

What's At Stake In Massachusetts

From Richard Dunham at the San Francisco Chronicle's politics blog a tidy breakdown of what could be the fallout from tomorrow's election, averted or realized :

It's almost impossible to overstate the political significance of tomorrow's Massachusetts Senate election. Here are ten reasons why the election is so important nationally:

1. Massachusetts is one of the most Democratic states in the nation. It's the only state that voted for George McGovern over Richard Nixon in 1972 and it hasn't elected a Republican senator since 1972. Its entire congressional delegation is Democratic. A GOP win would shock the liberal Democratic establishment that dismissed the 2009 gubernatorial setbacks in Virginia and New Jersey as mere flukes.

2. Health-care reform is at stake. A victory for Scott Brown would deprive the Democrats of the 60 votes they need to push their brand of health-care reform through the Senate without any Republican support. That would be a huge defeat for President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. No way to spin that one.

3. Democrat-only legislative power would come to an end. If Senate Democrats were to lose in Massachusetts, they'd lose their tenuous 60-seat majority needed to push forward legislation without bipartisan support. That means that moderate Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine would instantly become two of the most powerful people on Capitol Hill. One way or another, the Obama agenda would have to be retooled or scaled back.

4. This is the "Kennedy" seat. For six decades, this particular Massachusetts Senate seat has been represented by Jack Kennedy, Ted Kennedy or a family designee (on a temporary basis). The symbolism of Republicans seizing the "Kennedy seat" is huge.

Scott Brown.jpg
AP photo
Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown campaigns at the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton, Mass., yesterday.

5. This is where the Boston Tea Party took place. New England "patriots" rebelled against high taxes by dumping tea into Boston Harbor some 235 years ago. Now, the new generation of "Tea Party patriots" is hoping to dump candidates (Democrat and Republican) who raise taxes and increase federal spending. Again, a big symbolic thing.

6. This is a test of the power of political independents. Fewer than one in eight Massachusetts voters admits to being a Republican. So GOP nominee Brown couldn't come close to victory without carrying independent voters by a wide margin and chipping away at the Democratic base. That's terrible news for Democrats looking ahead. If independents continue to flee the Democratic Party -- as they did in New Jersey and Virginia last year -- the midterm elections could be an absolute disaster for the ruling party.

7. It's a good indicator of voters' desire for divided government. Even in Massachusetts, many voters want to send a message to Democrats in DC: One-party government is not a good idea. A Brown win -- or even a photo finish -- would tell us that even some Democrats want a limit on the power of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

8. It could give a jump start to GOP recruiting efforts in other states. One of the keys to the Republican takeover of Congress is 1994 was a superb recruiting effort that enlisted big-name challengers to Democratic incumbents. If Brown wins in Massachusetts, the Texans atop the GOP congressional campaign efforts -- John Cornyn in the Senate and Pete Sessions in the House -- probably would have recruits lining up outside their offices to take on Democratic incumbents.

9. It's proof that Republicans don't have to be moderates to win on Democratic turf. Conventional wisdom holds that Republicans need to recruit moderate candidates to win elections in the North and Midwest. But Scott Brown is an unapologetic conservative. If he can win (or come close) in Massachusetts, it sends a message that conservative Republicans can play ball in "blue" America.

10. It would be a personal and political repudiation of President Obama. The president upped the political ante yesterday by flying to Boston for a rally with Democrat Martha Coakley. He told voters just how important her election was to him. By inserting himself into the race, Obama raised the stakes: If Massachusetts voters reject his personal appeal, it's a sign that the president's (remaining) personal popularity is not necessarily transferable to endangered Democrats.



Wow. No wonder the Democrats are flailing, thrashing, and desperately re-hashing.

Rich Lowry sums this up nicely:

If Brown wins, Massachusetts will be a kind of repeat of New Jersey — with Democrats desperately trying to energize their side but losing the middle; hoping to transfer Obama's appeal to a politician people don't particularly like; relying on the mechanics of a turn-out operation; paddling against a strong backlash caused by the unpopularity of their agenda; and working overtime to smear their opponent.


Clive Crook offers them some sound advice at The Atlantic:

Democrats need to recover some sense of shock at what the polls in Massachusetts are saying...They also need to ask what the electorate will make of a response that says, "We don't care what the voters think. We know best."

I support healthcare reform; for all its flaws, I think the Senate bill is a big step forward. But supporters of the bill must take pause at its unpopularity, which the polls in Massachusetts underline. The plain fact is, the Democrats have failed to make their case. They need to ask why, and start trying to fix it.

Finding cunning ways to carry on regardless sends a message of contempt to the electorate, and one thing we know is that the electorate always gets the last word.

Two Most Ignorant Fantasy-Based Comments of the Week

(And the week has barely just begun.)


#1
"As long as I have served ... I've never seen, as my uncle once said, the constitution stood on its head as they've done. This is the first time every single solitary decisions has required 60 senators. No democracy has survived needing a supermajority." - VP Joe Biden

I guess our "constitutional professor" VPOTUS forgets all those supermajorities that, for example, impede tooling with the very document that makes us a constitutional republic and not a democracy based on pure majoritarian tyranny.

Clue : Not all majorities have to be just 50% + 1 to be valid and desirable in a careful system of laws, checks, and balances - especially as the stakes get higher and the impact broader and deeper on the most numbers of citizens, especially if ALL citizens.


UPDATE : Some follow-up idiocy to Biden's comment comes from the American Prospect (subtitled, oxymoronically, "Liberal Intelligence").

"It would be nice if the executive branch, at least in the form of Biden, made clear their willingness to eliminate the filibuster in order to pressure Harry Reid et. al. to clean up their own mess."

I truly get the feeling these people just make it up as they go, no matter what aberrations or fabrications their mania requires in order that they have their way.

This writer clearly has no understanding of the notion of separation of powers, much less the basic prerogatives flowing therefrom, by which the legislative branch governs its own internal, especially procedural, affairs.

But hell, why not? If the Congress ever faces another presidential veto, perhaps they should just make clear their willingness to eliminate it in "pre-signing" statements perhaps.

Of course this is mild by comparison to the Democrat leftists' mind-boggling insertion of language in health care legislation that attempts to make parts of it, once passed, un-repealable.

The point is: where does it end with these people? How much singularity of power must these statists people have concentrated in their grubby hands before they are sated? How many political, historical, and constitutional protections must they destroy to achieve their all-powerful national government as little more than a majoritarian cosa nostra run by elitist electoral lifers?

That the nation is plagued by Machiavellians of such unhinged, untethered hubris, consumed to delusion that their ends justify any means, shows how far the leftists will go to defile and destroy anything that stands in the way of their will to power...even our basic understandings of self-governance and constitutional checks and balances.


#2
"The Obama administration’s troubles are the result not of excessive ambition, but of policy and political misjudgments. The stimulus was too small; policy toward the banks wasn’t tough enough; and Mr. Obama didn’t do what Ronald Reagan, who also faced a poor economy early in his administration, did — namely, shelter himself from criticism with a narrative that placed the blame on previous administrations....And politics should be about more than winning elections. Even if health care reform loses Democrats’ votes (which is questionable), it’s the right thing to do." - Bearded New-York-Times-based leftist Keynesian Democrat economist shill. (If you can't guess who, stop reading because you are a moron.)


Biden's worried about democracy while Krugman prances through delusional ga-ga land where not even elections matter if your lust to rule the masses is for their own 'good'.......errr, the "right thing to do".

We'll see how far this attitude and its attendant force take the Krugmans of the world against citizen-voters motivated not by idol worship and cultish programmatic brainwashing, but instead by informed, intense, and intrinsic opposition to everything Krugman and his ilk would impose on us and, more importantly, how they would impose it : by force of their will, exercised in corruption of the seats of public power.

We're going to need to find a much stronger term than delusional megalomania to accurately describe the character on display above.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Massachusetts Senate Race : Scott Brown Surging in the Polls

Despite certain wishful proclamations of delusional leftists that his "campaign is over" and similar mentally-disjointed tangential attempts to tie him in to their anti-tea party derangement, Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown is actually surging ahead in the polls, with Democrat candidate Coakley's own polls showing a potential upset victory for Brown.


Riding a wave of opposition to Democratic health-care reform, GOP upstart Scott Brown is leading in the U.S. Senate race, raising the odds of a historic upset that would reverberate all the way to the White House, a new poll shows.

Although Brown’s 4-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley is within the Suffolk University/7News survey’s margin of error, the underdog’s position at the top of the results stunned even pollster David Paleologos.

“It’s a Brown-out,” said Paleologos, director of Suffolk’s Political Research Center. “It’s a massive change in the political landscape.”

The poll shows Brown, a state senator from Wrentham, besting Coakley, the state’s attorney general, by 50 percent to 46 percent, the first major survey to show Brown in the lead. Unenrolled long-shot Joseph L. Kennedy, an information technology executive with no relation to the famous family, gets 3 percent of the vote. Only 1 percent of voters were undecided.

[snip]

Yet even in the bluest state, it appears Kennedy’s quest for universal health care has fallen out of favor, with 51 percent of voters saying they oppose the “national near-universal health-care package” and 61 percent saying they believe the government cannot afford to pay for it.

The poll, conducted Monday through Wednesday, surveyed 500 registered likely voters who knew the date of Tuesday’s election. It shows Brown leading all regions of the state except Suffolk County.

“Either Brown’s momentum accelerates and his lead widens, or this becomes a wake-up call for Coakley to become the ‘Comeback Kid’ this weekend,” Paleologos said.

And with 99 percent having made up their minds, voters may be hard to persuade.

The poll surveyed a carefully partitioned electorate meant to match voter turnout: 39 percent Democrat, 15 percent Republican and 45 percent unenrolled.

Brown wins among men and is remarkably competitive among women - trailing Coakley’s 50 percent with 45 percent.

While Brown has 91 percent of registered Republicans locked up, an astonishing 17 percent of Democrats report they’re jumping ship for Brown as well - likely a product of Coakley’s laser-focus on hard-core Dems, potentially at the exclusion of other Democrats whom she needed to win over, Paleologos said.

For Coakley, Brown’s surge may be as ominous as the fact that her campaign’s peril is not fully recognized, with 64 percent of voters still believing she’ll win - a perception that threatens to keep her supporters home.

Brown’s popularity is solid. He enjoys a 57 percent favorability rating compared to just 19 percent unfavorable. Coakley’s favorability is 49 percent; her unfavorability, 41 percent.

No longer does Brown suffer from a name-recognition problem, with 95 percent of voters having heard of him statewide.

7News Political Editor Andy Hiller said, “Voters obviously think Brown is running a better campaign than Coakley. For months, it has been Coakley’s race to lose, and now in the last days that’s exactly what she may be doing.”


Let's face it, they may not have a firm hold on reality but reality sure is getting its hold on the Democrat national statists who have run amok this past year. It is increasingly looking like their megalomania and hubris have blown the whole deal for them with the majority of America's voters...even so far as the deep blue Taxachusetts....erstwhile Republican-proof (except for Romney).

Amazingly, this type of political and electoral damage is something Bush took YEARS to realize upon the Republican party. Now it looks like Democrat leftist statism on national parade has not only neutralized this damage but is rolling it back lickety-split (in less than a year, really).

Even better, this grotesque Democrat carnival of unbridled power lust, greed, corruption, arrogance and smarmy patronage is focusing and rallying counter-forces not just around opposition to the lefties' megalomania subsuming issues like health care "reform", but around the larger purposes of seriously limiting government power and bringing some semblance of fiscal sanity to (and citizen-based control over) DC's would-be masters of our universe.

Hard doses of such damaging reality and a growing tidal wave of real grass roots populist outrage, citizen organizing, and electoral defeats are making the hardcore partisan Obama leftists even more agitated, bizarre, and vicious than they were in their saccharine-sickening euphoric cult-like adoration of Barack Obama leading up to his coronation.

It has to be tough for these nasty lefties to watch the utter implosion of their self-deluding narrative that opposition to their grandiose statist fantasies is merely marginal. They are now watching all these 'marginal' forces taking out their elected viziers, one by one by one, if not at the very least forcing massive triage efforts, most revealingly through paid-off proxy thugs like the unions (SEIU, in particular, in Massachusetts).

Couldn't happen to a more deserving set of people.

The continued hardening (and increasing flailing) of their echo chamber / bubble ideology, as it comes apart at the seams before their very eyes, will likely see us visited with more and more delusion, deceit, and squealing and screaching of increasingly irrelevant and irrational rhetoric.

Their own new term "lefteabaggers" couldn't be more appropriate. Except that those using it against their ideological fellow travelers unwilling to defend Obama at all costs (no matter how much he mimics Bush's worst policies) appear most to fit their own definition of this vulgar slur.

As I watch all this carnage unfold, as reality and the human will to freedom conspire once again to halt the incessant march of leftist statism, I am reminded of the scene from Alien in which it is discovered that 'Ash' is an android after he goes violently berzerk, spewing milky ooze all over the entire room and everyone in it...


PHOTO : The American Left Wakes Up To Face Their Reality

Even if Scott Brown loses by a thin margin, such a result would be a serious harbinger of the ugly future in store for the messianic big government crowd...surely leading only to more berzerk spasticity from America's hind left quarters.

Enjoy your messy political doom, my lefty friends. You've earned it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Next (Republican) Senator from Massachusetts

Damn, I already really like this Republican candidate for Senator from Massachusetts, State Senator Scott Brown.

“Gurgling” Dave Gergen, empty-suited establishment media gatekeeper, career presidential brown-noser, recent Obamaphile, and otherwise all around elitist jackass, gets put in his place with his hoity-toity attempt at a gotcha question, trying politically to exploit the memory of Senator Ted Kennedy against a Republican.

Shoved very skillfully and understatedly back up Gergen's ass (which to his mind, weighs a ton) is Gergen's typical DC inside-the-beltway elitist premise : that public seats of power belong to the personalities and the politicians who hold them (friends of Gergy, of course) rather than the people.



If the leftists can't read the writing on the wall about the closeness of the race for U.S. Senator from Massachusetts they are in for major shocks with every election ahead.

I am gathering that the left is just plain functionally illiterate or purposefully dismissive about how most Americans now feel (disempowered and disgusted) in relation to government and about the latest greatest government expansion schemes of lefty crusaders.

I can think of no better cosmic justice than filling "Teddy's seat" with a bright, feisty, limited government Republican.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Speaking of "Racism"

Two paragons of leftist statism comment on the first black president in our history (before he was elected, of course) :

"A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee." - Bill Clinton (as recounted by Ted Kennedy)
Here's one from the man who just days ago characterized opposition to socialized health care as akin to support for slavery. Speaking of our (now) President, he assessed Obama's positives as a candidate by saying Obama is :

"[L]ight-skinned'...with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." - Harry Reid - Democrat Leader of the U.S. Senate

And, of course for good measure, let's not forget the Human Gaffe Machine cum VPOTUS, speaking of candidate Obama during the campaign:

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." - Joe Biden

Do I think any of these elitist power-lusting buffoons is racist? No, I don't.

Incredibly smug paternalistic hypocrites witlessly revealing who they really are as they look down their noses to make such unfortunate comments? Absolutely.

But more so, who am I (or anyone else) to sit in judgment of those with such deeply-contemptuous self-superiority towards a black politician.

Best to leave such incendiary accusations and hysterical rhetoric to all their faithful supporters, the experts in such tactics.

The Reality of America's Grass Roots Tea Party Movement (or "What He Said....")

A writer for The Daily Beast, also a research fellow at (that oh so crazy, nutbag, racist) Hoover Institution at Stanford, writes a very balanced and incisive response to the superficial rantings of those whose neo-liberal politics of demonize-belittle-and-hate-thy-political-opponent blind them to the reality that the Tea Party movement is a broad grass roots example of "community organizing" at its finest....and a huge threat to their burning desire for control and power over everything and everyone under the sun.

With a dose of cold hard reality Tunku Varadarajan puts in their places the hate-filled and self-deluding leftists spewing incessant childish-if-not-so-vulgar-at-times invective against the nationwide storm of gathering protest against unfettered government power, control, corruption, and profligacy.

Varadarajan takes head-on the inherent elitism and self-importance of the media's legion fellow travelers to the hateful anti-populist left.

Varadarajan also handily disposes of the self-reinforcing dishonesty and mischaracterizations with which these haters from the left attempt by juvenile smears, blanket condemnations, and outright lies to destroy this movement they so fear (beneath all their bluster)...and fear it they damn well should.

In Defense of Tea Parties

David Brooks, The New York Times op-ed columnist, is a friend of mine. Flying always at 40,000 feet above ground, he strives to observe the political landscape with a dispassionate conservatism. His best columns are spare and thoughtful, and offer reliable contrast to the gaudiness of Maureen Dowd, the glibness of Tom Friedman, the mediocrity of Bob Herbert, and the mawkishness of Nicholas Kristof. Yet last Tuesday, in a column titled “The Tea Party Teens,” David made irrefutably clear that he, too—like so many others in the mainstream metropolitan media—is a cultural supremacist.

The column was about the Tea Party movement, which has, in the space of a year, come to inhabit—and inhabit raucously—the landscape that Brooks parses from his lofty perch. In the piece, he sets up a dialectic between “the educated class” on the one hand, and, on the other, a force that he identifies variously as “public opinion,” the “opposition,” and “the Tea Party movement.” The latter, a “fractious confederation of Americans who are defined by what they are against,” are, David writes, reflexively opposed to the beliefs of the educated class (to which he, naturally, belongs). They are, in effect, reactionaries.

[That last descriptor sure rings familiar to me as the latest label used against citizen-protesters by those sold on leftist dictates at all costs.]
Put to one side, for the moment, David’s exaggeratedly Hamiltonian belief in the natural leadership abilities of people like him, and ask this: What exactly is this “educated class,” and what leads him to think that those who oppose it are not, somehow, sophisticated? Forgive me, here, for bringing to the discussion a personal note. I have a cousin who is a Wellesley graduate, a widely traveled, thirty-something, multilingual daughter of Indian immigrants who lives in that most redneck of territories…Union Square, in Manhattan. She is a Tea Party supporter, and she wrote me these words in an email:

"I laugh, but also feel indignant, when I read that the tea parties are filled with angry white men, because it’s obvious that reporters are not attending the same tea parties I attended. The events were a mix of young and old, VERY mixed ethnicities (but yes, a majority white). Everyone to a person was courteous and polite, and the best part was the signs, which were funny and clever. It did feel very grassroots and very much a movement fueled by the people rather than by shadowy party apparatchiks. It felt cool to think that we were not going to be taken in by government and be told what was good for us. (Does that sound really hokey?) It felt good to be a part of a group of people who were saying “enough!” I’m a huge supporter of the tea party movement because I think it exists outside of the traditional parties and is a true manifestation of the voice of the citizen."

Not everyone in the movement is a Wellesley graduate, and I bring my cousin into the story only as a forensic counterpoint to David’s fixation with the “educated class.” America doesn’t really have a class system, but that fact makes it tough for people like David, who sometimes seem to wish it did.

The traditional solution has been to attend an Ivy League school if possible—or just cop an “intellectual” attitude if not—and then look down on the rest of America. When America was less of a meritocracy (and that was not so long ago), this solution was less damaging. Now that the country is run mostly by graduates of Ivy League schools, however, that they look down on the electorate is becoming not only vastly irritating to the electorate but also rather dangerous. Elitism, now, might have adverse political consequences —and a backlash.

David Brooks is not alone in his disdain: On right and left, “educated” people have given vent to their contempt for the Tea Party crowd, leading me to conclude that there must, surely, be considerable significance in a movement that has had scorn poured on it by such varied names as David Frum, who is also, like Brooks, a friend of mine; Michael Goldfarb, a former spokesman for the McCain presidential campaign; Paul Krugman; Chris Matthews; and Keith Olbermann. (For a full account of the media’s ill treatment of the movement, read A New American Tea Party, by John M. O’Hara.)

Many people, one might conclude, are afraid of the Tea Party movement: On the left, they are afraid that it will initiate a tidal wave that causes the loss of numerous House seats. On the right, the fear is that it will mount its own candidates and simply be a spoiler.

This fear would explain the sneering toward the Tea Partiers, the smugness with which they are looked down upon. As many in the movement note, you need only change the protesters ideologically and demographically, and you have merely another cool example of “community organizing.” Besides, the civic engagement and participation, as demonstrated by the Tea Party movement, seem to be very much like that which the communitarians (Michael Sandel and Michael Walzer) and the social-capital scholars (like Robert Putnam)—not to mention other high-minded and good-hearted men and women of the left—have for decades been calling for.

What bothers me, however, is that although ideological differences are at the bottom of the Tea Party assaults, the critique is almost purely aesthetic: The Tea Partiers, it is said, are crude, sloganeering, lemming-like, heartland Bible-Beltists who don’t understand policy or David Brooks’ subtleties.

(Interestingly, the Alexander Cockburns and Glenn Greenwalds do not attack the Tea Partiers, whom they see as possible grassroots disrupters of entrenched interests. Neither man went after Sarah Palin much, or quickly. The far left is better than the neo-liberal kind on such matters, in my view.)

It is hardly surprising that in times like these there should be a large, angry, populist movement. But populism does not conform to the standard left/right divide, and in different circumstances it can go either way. (A rather good Greenwald column makes this point, too.) The populist’s personality is driven as much by wounded pride as by economic concerns, and so he resents the cultural elitism of the liberal elites, including their patronizing desire to help him, as much as the economic elitism of the wealthy.

Yes, the populists fear and hate the big businesses and Wall Street; but—and this is the heartening thing—they have not let this turn them against capitalism and the free market.

They seem truly to have taken in the point, long emphasized by libertarians and others, that big business is not the same thing as capitalism or the free market, that it is in fact often their enemy.

Perhaps the Obama administration has finally driven this point home, as it has been an object lesson in how the party of big government is really in bed with big business, giving it all the bailouts and favors.

So by this reckoning, the Tea Parties would be a very serious development in which anti-big business forces would finally join with anti-big government forces to create a genuine free-market party that would maximize the opportunities of the little guy—like this small-business owner from California. (Note, this YouTube clip has nearly 250,000 hits and 6,000 comments.)

This video makes me emotional, because this woman represents an America that Tocqueville would have lauded. I will take her any day over the “educated class,” the bureaucratic mollusks and the defeatist sad sacks in Washington.

I do think the Tea Partiers are political amateurs, but the content of their politics is deadly serious. The professional politicians will dismiss them at their peril.


To my raging leftist brethren and sistern, take careful note and put aside your anti-logic and your histrionics for a moment and realize that you can toss mud, screach, squeal, and otherwise demean yourselves with childish and one-dimensional slurs against this large, growing, diverse organized protest movement across America - but it will never make the reality of it what your wishful hating wants it to be...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan to Retire. Good Riddance.

I hope they are just two of many many more in a building wave of departures from Congress (voluntary or otherwise) of big corporate/big government Democrats.

Harry Reid is likely to be at the top of that list (involuntarily of course), joining Tom Daschle as the 2nd consecutive Senate Democrat Leader to be tossed from office by the constituents he so blithely betrayed term-after-term in Congress.

Clearly, the heat is on and many smarmy Democrat government lifers (in Dodd's case also a political family dynasty beneficiary) are beginning to see the writing all over the wall.

We saw such (forced) retirements with plenty of big government corporatist Republicans these last several years. (Good riddance, too.). Now it's the Democrats' turn.

All of the above-mentioned are likely to leave new Republican U.S. Senators in the wake of their careers of destruction from on high.

Of course, there will always be the last holdouts in the bunker to the bitter end.

One can only hope they don't get away with too much before the door slams their pampered derrieres on the way out.

No doubt, the spoils of K Street await them in their lifelong quests to do "public service." (Hah.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome Back, Dana Garrett!

Well, once again we have an example of how blogging, once it gets into your system, appears nearly impossible to put down...for very long.

There are certainly examples of local bloggers who (at times, comically) bid adieu forever to their blogging, only to return within months if not weeks.

I am glad to see Dana Garrett has returned to the scene, with Delaware Watch back in force.

Now if we can just eventually get my erstwhile blog-colleague Steve Newton to reconsider his moratorium on blogging, things might actually get interesting again in the Delaware blogosphere.

Admittedly it has become quite two-dimensional and rote lately...and certainly I can't claim doing anything to remedy that. Such feats require the heavyweights...

Welcome back, Dana!