The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, November 14, 2014

2 + 2 = 5

In a recent column, James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal reminded me of an important passage in a classic novel:
... a government functionary named O’Brien explains to Smith, the protagonist of Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” the totalitarian theory of epistemology: “I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.”

The Party, according to O’Brien, is the arbiter not only of empirical facts about the physical world but also of questions of pure logic. “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes?” Winston asks. “Two and two are four.”

“Sometimes, Winston,” O’Brien replies. “Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.” In due course, with the help of O’Brien’s torture device, Smith becomes “sane” and sees that two plus two are five.
It seems that many Democrats and their media sychophants are interpreting the 2014 election results as meaningless or unimportant. After all, the 60% of the electorate that didn't vote really do back this president and his policies, just ask him. The problem isn't progressive policies—big intrusive government, a poor economic recovery, high taxes, debt, weakness internationally—it's that the progressive message just wasn't enunciated properly.

"Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth." And just to be sure, the main stream media is right there to validate that "truth."

We now learn that a prime architect of Obamacare stated at least three different times and in three different venues that the legislation was built on lies and deceit. The Washington Post reports:
Economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the Obama administration's consultants on the Affordable Care Act, is under attack from conservatives for comments he made last year in which he said the "stupidity of the American voter" was a factor in passing Obamacare in 2010.

The comments were made during the panel sessions at the Annual Health Economics Conference last year. A video of the panel began circulating Monday on conservative media.

"This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes," he said during a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania in October, 2013. "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the 'stupidity of the American voter' or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”
But don't worry—if you have insurance, you can keep that insurance; if you have a doctor you can keep your doctor; health insurance premiums will go down; Obamacare won't cost the taxpayer a "dime." That was the "truth" until it wasn't.

And now past DNC chairman Howard Dean has the unmitigated gall to suggest that Gruber is an elitist. Only Gruber? How about a presdient and a Party that decides it knows what's best for the "stupid" yokels who have no right to decide what insurance or medical care they want or need.

Oh, I forgot. "Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth."

But then again, maybe not.

Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal discusses the reasons for Democratic Party losses in traditionally blue states. He writes:
The Democrats are the party of the state and public sector. Over a long period, the costs of maintaining the state have risen inexorably, especially in the North due to public-union costs and transfer payments. We may call this phenomenon political global warming, with the gases of public spending driving the fiscal tides ever higher.

Unwilling to restructure government, state Democrats used taxes as sand bags. First they raised taxes on large business. Then the “wealthy.” Then came the fees and regulatory costs for smaller businesses. In Maryland and Illinois, companies and the wealthy fled.

It still wasn’t enough. Over the past decade, Democratic politicians (and some Republicans) started imposing regressive fees on everyone. Which means the party’s pols are now siphoning cash straight out of the budgets of their blue-collar and middle-class base. That hurts.

Traditional Democratic liberals understood that the private sector at least needed room to breathe. The party’s left, having self-deported from the private sector, does not. Thus at the same time their governors were bleeding the base, congressional Democrats voted through ObamaCare with its “Cadillac tax,” device tax, Transitional Reinsurance Fee and noncompliance penalties. As you can see, it’s just a messaging problem.

It was good being the party of Robin Hood. Until they morphed into the Sheriff of Nottingham. In November 2014, the forest people in at least four states figured out who has been picking their pockets.
It's ironic. Our entire culture is moving from hierarchical (top-down) structures to a networked model in which nodes have significant independence and autonomy. Big Intrusive Government (BIG) and its proponents are the antithesis of this trend and will fight dirty to stop it. But I believe that the days of BIG may be numbered.

The Democrat big government model is fundamentally outdated and has begun to fray at the edges. It demands ever-increasing levels of funding because it moves decisions and services farther and farther away from those who need them (sucking out resources that never reach those who need them). BIG is, to be blunt, an anachronism. Hopefully, the electorate will recognize this sooner, rather than later, and the era of BIG will slowly return governance to local control. More importantly, so called populist politicians of the far left, like Barack Obama or Elizabeth Warren, will become footnotes in the history of a failed political paradigm. The future will tell.