A great deal will have been written about the 2010 election by the time our readers receive this issue of The American Spectator. Such lag time is just one of the downsides of publishing a monthly magazine — a downside countered by the thoughtfulness and reflection we add to the debate when the deadline is not just the end of the day. Nevertheless, we hope that some of our reporting and analysis on what happened on November 2 and what it means to conservatives, and more importantly to the county, will be useful.
A first stop will be the election symposium, setting forth the views and reflections of some of the country’s most astute political observers. Michael Barone, Fred Barnes, Grover Norquist, Tony Perkins, and others have banded together to provide a unique view of the election’s results, what they mean and what their impact will be over the next couple of years.
A theme that runs through the current pages is one the liberals don’t want to talk about: the election was nothing if not a repudiation of the leftist Obama ideology — an ideology designed to expand government, to redistribute wealth, and to turn the U.S. into a European democratic socialist state. But it was also a repudiation of the Ruling Class — the elites who like to think they run the country, but whose real motive is to run it for their own benefit. With more than 60 House seats shifting from left to right, and with some 20 state legislative bodies flipping from Democrat to Republican, the election results reflected the thinking of virtually the entire electorate.
If the electorate repudiated the Ruling Class, it hardly means the Ruling Class is not still in charge. The public employee unions, who epitomize the Ruling Class, were the largest campaign spenders, according to the Wall Street Journal, coming in around $80 million. They were trying desperately, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, to save those members of Congress whom they had bought earlier in order to preserve the excesses received in return for earlier campaign assistance. We note that it has been widely reported that the average federal government worker makes $123,000 annually — about twice as much as the poor slob working in the private sector. Add this to the staggering $3 trillion of unfunded public employee pension liability, and it is little wonder that the unions will do anything to keep the liberals in power.
Fortunately life, even in Washington, is more than just politics. One of the great joys of life is to settle in before the fire and consume a good book. So we are pleased to present our annual “Christmas Books” recommendations — a lively column of short reviews, produced by our friends, colleagues, and associates, of the books they’ve enjoyed the most over the years. Recommendations range from politics, of course, to sports, religion, history, and war, among much else. It is refreshing to know that our friends have interests that span the range of literature!
Finally, you might have noticed that shortly after the November election, President Obama fled the country (I’ve stolen that line from Bob Tyrrell). Which doesn’t mean he won’t be coming back, and as Quin Hillyer warns, he has big plans for all of us that he thinks won’t require him to deal with the new Congress at all. So many regulatory agencies, so much regulating to do. He’s not going away, Harry Reid is not going away, not even Nancy Pelosi is going away.
But we’ll be here. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you.