Thursday, April 6, 2017

Democrats Ride the Tiger of Progressive Rage

Today the Senate Republicans voted to change Senate rules to end the Senate filibuster for US Supreme Court nominations. This was done after the Senate voted not to end debate on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the court.

On the Drudge Report there is a mushroom cloud, as in "nuclear option."

It is not elected Democrats that are pushing the filibuster; it is progressive activists.

Apparently in progressive circles there is a strong belief that Republicans will pay for this vote to end the filibuster. But, as Jim Geraghty writes, maybe not. The progressives predicted doom and gloom for Republicans when they refused to bring Merrick Garland's nomination to a vote in 2016. And nothing happened. Actually less than nothing happened because Hillary Clinton's campaign barely mentioned the Garland nomination, the Republicans kept control of Congress and the American people elected Donald Trump.

Apparently, the Democratic rage at and consistent "Borking" of conservative Republican nominations to the Supreme Court is all about one thing and one thing only.

Abortion.

That's what Kristan Hawkins writes.

I suppose that is true. But it seems crazy.

The thing is that if the Supreme Court were to vacate the Roe v. Wade ruling it would not make much difference, because Roe v. Wade was a preemption of state laws. If liberals want abortion they can have it, in New York, in California, and wherever Democrats and liberals are gathered together and wear pussy hats.

So the progressives are getting all excited about nothing.

Meanwhile, we ought to get back to legislating changes in the law in the legislatures and untangling legal problems in the courts, rather than using the courts as a way for the elite to short-circuit the legislative process and implement its moral vision without consulting and persuading the broad American people.

But that brings us back to the Democrats. They are riding the tiger of progressive rage and hoping that they don't get thrown off and eaten by the electoral process.

Because ordinary Americans that don't listen to NPR and don't read the New York Times live in a different world from the religious cult we call "progressivism" with its sacraments of activism and peaceful protest, and I suspect that Democrats will continue to lose at the ballot box. That's because ordinary people don't like street action and heightened political strife.

I doubt if ordinary people understand that it is they that pay the price when politics transforms itself into street violence and ultimately civil war. But they know that they don't like the sound of political war drums.

Always in the back of my mind is Peter Turchin's Ages of Discord in which he notes that the "political stress index" in the US is soaring just like it did in the years before the Civil War broke out in 1861.

Today's elimination of the Supreme Court filibuster is just one more flashing red light telling us that all is not well in the United States, that both sides of the partisan divide are cruisin' for a bruisin'.

According to Turchin the present divide started with the election of Ronald Reagan, so you could say that it started when people like me decided that they couldn't take the progressive bullshit any more.

You can see that the progressive pushback ever since has been based on the Deplorables argument so thoughtfully advanced by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

How dare those Deplorables dare to oppose our glorious progressive vision!

Well, I would only tell my progressive friends that politics is a very blunt instrument, and that the Great Enrichment of the last 200 years that has brought the world's poor from age-old starvation to an astonishing competence has occurred in the face of non-stop leftist prophecy that the End is Near, the poor would suffer, and that only the political hegemony of the educated, evolved, compassionate people could stop it.

In other words, the progressives get it wrong. Politics is not the answer. Period.

And until progressives finally understand that -- and don't hold your breath -- the poor will suffer.

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