WASHINGTON — The Great Denial continues. The Liberals continue to labor under the assumption that nothing very bad happened in early November. They are still supreme. The columnists go on as though nothing is amiss. This week E.J. Dionne consulted with three defeated congresspersons whose advice he passed on to President Barack Obama on how to succeed during the next two years. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi continues as though she is Speaker for Life, though she is probably the last Democrat to hold the post for a generation. Mental illness can be amusing.
The fact is that the Democrats lost badly in the midterms and they are probably going to lose again in 2012. The Republicans picked up 6 seats in the Senate and over 60 in the House. They won 682 legislative seats nationwide and gained 6 governorships. That will give them a powerful say in redistricting. Moreover, in 2012 the Democrats have to defend 23 seats in the Senate and they will probably lose the presidency, unless the Republicans run a platypus.
In truth, the Democrats have been living on borrowed time for years. Their philosophy is Liberal, and outside of the academy, government employee labor unions, and a few enthusiasts wedded to identity politics, Liberalism is not very popular. In the last election Liberals accounted for 20% of the vote. Conservatives accounted for 42% of the vote, and Independents accounted for 29% and broke for the conservatives’ positions. These figures have been about the same for nearly three decades.
Most polls show a margin of 40% for conservatives and 20% for Liberals going back to the Reagan years. Even before that conservatives clearly outnumbered Liberals, which is why in the aftermath of the last two elections one had to wonder about the predictions of conservatism’s demise. Where were 40% of the electorate to go? How could a minority of 20% govern the country for long?
Actually, the Liberals have been hustlers for a long time. Remember in 2009 when Sam Tanenhaus wrote The Death of Conservatism? What did he have in mind? I read the book, it was not very obvious. Or James Carville, who wrote the similarly charnel 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation. I did not read Carville’s mendacious book, but what could he possibly have said? Did he talk policy? Did either of these two con men consult the numbers out there among average Americans? Or how about considering their ideas? Americans are alarmed by high deficits and grand political schemes. Actually, the whole world is alarmed. Now the bills are coming due for the European welfare states’ entitlements, and there is not the money in Europe to pay for them. The street demonstrations of Greece are going to be Europe-wide before not too long, and we Americans want to avoid them. That is why we threw the big spending Liberals out in November.
Over the past two years the Liberals have shown their true colors. Faced with an entitlement crisis, they rang up trillion dollar deficits. We now face the aforementioned entitlement crisis and gigantic budgetary problems — and Liberals have no answer for it beyond the policy of tax and spend. They are going to be out of office for a long time. They lean toward calling themselves not Liberals but Progressives. I have a better title for them, Friendly Fascists. The alacrity with which they sprang to supporting the takeovers of the giant banks and the automobile industry over the last two years suggests their program for the future: corporatism. All they need is a Mussolini and a bankrupt America. I think there is enough vitality in the land to avoid the latter. As for the former, Americans do not like uniforms very well.