Speaking the truth helps focus the mind.
To borrow from R. Emmett Tyrrell, the illustrious founder of this publication, I have the sense that liberal America is headed for a huge crack-up.
Mid-term elections are less than a year away. A Republican blowout is in the making. That will leave President Obama without his majorities and a lame duck in his first term.
Yet the President isn’t the type that can handle this well. Bill Clinton had conservative tendencies and was able to triangulate between his Republican Congress and the public. Some of our best governing came in those years — welfare reform and balanced budgets.
Obama isn’t likely to do this. He comes from a liberal tradition that doesn’t even understand conservatism but thinks of it as a bunch of country yahoos, anti-abortion fanatics and fat capitalists trying to hang on to their bank accounts. His advisors believe the same, not to mention the panoply of cheerleading bloggers and newspaper columnists. All this is going to make it difficult for liberals to accept the idea that they have squandered their “once-in-a-generation” chance to impose a socialist agenda.
Health care will probably make it through Congress. Something will emerge from all the pushing and pulling. When people realize what they’ve gotten, however, the opposition will crescendo. Wait until young people realize the “solution” to their lack of insurance is that they are now forced to buy insurance under threat of fines and imprisonment.
Even if they regain control of Congress, however, Republicans won’t be able to repeal healthcare reform. The protests will go on for a few years, I suspect, until it will finally be overturned by the Supreme Court on the grounds that forcing people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. Like the National Recovery Act of 1933, Health Care Reform of 2009 will have lost popularity and will die a quiet death.
As far as the rest of the agenda is concerned, liberals simply don’t seem to realize there is a vast American middle class out there that enjoys its freedoms and isn’t looking for handouts from the government. Take an article that appeared two weeks ago in the “Outlook” section of the Washington Post, headlined “What if conservatives ran health care?”
If you’re a progressive like me, and you’re upset by the Stupak amendment, which bars federally subsidized insurance from covering abortions, consider this: What if we had a single-payer health-care system and someone like Jeb Bush or Sarah Palin were running the country?… [A] single-payer system would have put us at the mercy of whomever happened to take control of Washington.
The author, Maggie Maher, thinks the only issue at question is which party gets to run the healthcare system. She doesn’t seem to realize the third option — that nobody run healthcare but that the principal players — doctors, patients, insurance companies — run it themselves. The idea that there is an “American people” capable of taking care of themselves is alien to the liberal mind.
Or take New York Times’ columnist Gail Collins’ recent column on “2012,” which has apparently replaced the Y2K crisis as the latest version of the apocalypse:
This seems to be the fault of Nostradamus, the Mayan calendar, angst on the left about global warming and angst on the right about the election of Barack Obama. Or the health care bill. Or government bailouts. Or the repositioning of “In God We Trust” on the nation’s coinage.
Really, for ultraconservatives, the last year has been one sign of the apocalypse after the other. Soon, the rivers will run red with Starbucks Raspberry-Flavored Tazo Passion Shaken Iced Tea. Owls will give birth to two-headed frogs who shriek the lyrics to Lady Gaga songs.
2012 is a movie made by the director of The Day After Tomorrow, who was looking for a sequel to Al Gore’s version of Armageddon. It has the usual liberal fingerprints all over it. Yet Collins has to come up with some fantasy that attributes it all to the “religious right.” If somebody makes a movie of “Left Behind,” then we can start blaming conservatives for apocalypse mongering.
And speaking of the religious right, have you seen this month’s Atlantic Monthly? The cover story — I’m not making his up — reads as follows: “Did Christianity Cause the Crash?” Hanna Rosin, whoever she may be, has made the rounds of some Hispanic evangelistic churches in Charlottesville, Virginia, and discovered that they were preaching — are you ready for this? — self-reliance and upward mobility!
Every Sunday, the parishioners drive slowly into the parking lot, never parking on the sidewalk or grass — “because Americanos don’t do that,” one told me — and file quietly into church. Some drive newly leased SUVs, others old work trucks with paint buckets still in the bed. The pastor, Fernando Garay, arrives last and parks in front, his dark-blue Mercedes Benz always freshly washed, the hubcaps polished enough to reflect his wingtips.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?