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

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Over the past five years, the American Left has, in its own view, been in ascendency. They elected a hard-Left president with neither the background, the experience, the temperament, or the leadership skills to guide a nation composed of different views, politics, and needs. They have given new meaning to the phrase economic irresponsibility, encouraging—no, actually vigorously defending—trillion dollar deficits, unrestrained spending, and uncontrolled entitlements. They discovered the political benefits of class warfare and used it quite effectively. They work tirelessly to grow government even bigger, blind to the failure of government to do things efficiently of effectively. The cannot see waste and don't care if it exists—big government is the goal. They celebrate high taxes and seem blind to the deleterious effects of all of this on economic growth. They claim to want to tax only "the rich" but clandestinely create hidden taxes for us all. And then, of course, they created (with absolutely no bipartisan support) the monstrosity that is Obamacare. And as demographics continue to evolve and the number of people who are fully dependent of big government grows to over 50 percent of the population, it appears that they will cement solid control of the executive in coming years.

Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal observes all of this and writes:
In the 1990s, the American left, burdened with 90 years of unfortunate left-wing metaphors, rebranded itself in the U.S. as the "progressive movement." Teddy Roosevelt invokes cheerier memories than Leon Trotsky. In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, the left rode to power with Barack Obama.

Mr. Obama is, without embarrassment, a man of the left. American progressives saw their win with Mr. Obama as the overthrowing of the postwar Democratic liberalism that culminated with the Clintons, a liberalism willing most of the time to coexist with markets, property and private enterprise. Progressives hated these accommodations. They were purer than that. He was purer than that. Together, they created ObamaCare.

What made ObamaCare an exemplar of progressive politics and policy is precisely what has been on view this week in news stories and the Sebelius hearing. It's not that the health program was to be administered by the state or that it promised benefits to all. Liberalism did that for decades. What made it peculiarly progressive were the mandates. And not just the law's individual and business mandates to purchase their insurance. The essence of modern Democratic progressivism is: "You will participate in what we have created for you, and you will comply with the law's demands."
Indeed. That is the unstated goal of this president and his "progressive" supporters—we alone know what's best, those who disagree with use are stupid or evil and we will belittle them at every opportunity. Failing that, we will use the full force of the government (think: The IRS scandal) to destroy them.

Over the past week the lies that were used to justify Obamacare have come to light. Every prominent Democrat used those lies to build support for seriously flawed legislation. And the lies worked.

Now, Obamacare supporters are trying to spin the lies and blame others—the GOP or the evil insurance companies—for the ACA's early failures. After all, the millions that are losing their insurance have "substandard plans." Of course, the standards have been established by the same people who created Obamacare, so ...

Progressives are absolutely correct when they complain that conservative social views are intrusive. The government has no right and certainly no obligation to become involved in reproductive or sexual politics. But progressives fail to see the irony in their own intrusive thrust toward big government. Henninger writes:
American progressivism is politics by cramdown. Ask Jamie Dimon. Ask the coal miners the EPA is putting out of business. Ask the union workers waiting for jobs on the Keystone XL pipeline. Ask Boeing in South Carolina or the harmless tea party groups from towns no one has ever heard of that were shut down by the IRS, or the 20,000 inner-city parents and students who marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest obliteration of their charter schools by New York's progressive mayoral candidate, Bill de Blasio.
We are at a tipping point. With this president at this time, the United States can move to recover or it can decelerate—moving inexorably toward bankruptcy. Henninger says it better that I ever could:
Barack Obama may have spent a lifetime failing up, but eventually it's just failure. He has presided over five years of sickly economic growth, inadequate job creation, a doubling of the food stamp population and now this—ObamaCare.

Progressive government has failed in the U.S. Most fascinating to behold will be whether the Democratic presidential candidate who follows this meltdown will embrace it, fake it or move on.
I suspect the next candidate will embrace it. After all, it's a winning strategy for progressives. Too bad it's a losing strategy for the United States.