Friday, December 23, 2016

Democrats Blundering in Denial

Get a load of this, from Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and his daughter Anna in The New York Times.
President Obama will be remembered as a thoughtful and dignified president who led a scrupulously honest administration that achieved major changes.
I guess the advantage of that statement is that is reveals the liberal agenda for Barack Obama's "legacy." You will agree that President Obama was "thoughtful and dignified," etc., or we will know the reason why.

Yep, people will disagree about Obama's "impatience with politicians and Republican intransigence denied him bigger accomplishments" but he saved the economy, passed Obamacare, and committed the nation to climate change. Yay!

But then Greenberg has to deal with the fact that Democrats have experienced astonishing losses during his administration. So what went wrong? Here is Greenberg's list:
  • The president declined to explain his initiatives effectively.
  • He focused on helping the "ascendant... multicultural America... rather than the continuing economic struggle experienced by a majority of Americans."
  • He offered "tepid support" for the labor movement.
  • His presidential campaign technology did not help in mid-terms and 2016.
  • His campaign messages were all about "progress and growth."
I think the way to get past the partisan bubble-thinking is to start with the first paragraph reproduced above.
  • "Thoughtful and dignified?" The guy that told his supporters to bring a gun to a knife fight?
  • "Scrupulously honest administration?" The one that sicced the IRS on its political opponents and whose Attorney General met Bill Clinton, husband of a woman of interest to the FBI, for a little chat on the tarmac?
  • "Achieved major changes?" As in rolling over the opposition without bothering to achieve consensus?
Do liberals really believe this, or does Stan Greenberg believe that the liberal base isn't ready for the truth yet?

Because I live in another universe.

Here's my report card on the Obama administration.
  • Obama was foolish to push a Democrat-only stimulus. I'd say that the science tells us that big-government stimulus doesn't work.
  • Obama was foolish to push Obamacare before getting the economy back on track. Big government programs are a weight on the economy, something we didn't need after the worst financial crash since 1929.
  • Obama was foolish to push Dodd-Frank financial regulation on a weak economy.
  • Obama was foolish to push climate-change subsidies and regulation before getting the economy on track. Subsidies and energy regulation are a weight on the economy. See above.
  • Obama was foolish to abandon the Moynihan Rule, that you need a 70-30 vote in the Senate to pass big policy changes. Instead he passed Obamacare with a partisan majority and hid his radical changes in a torrent of executive actions and regulations, most of which can be rolled back.
But those are the tactical issues. The official Christopher Chantrill Strategic Appreciation is more important, and more compelling:
  • Liberal faith in political power is the folly of the age. Humans need protection from enemies foreign and domestic. But the age-old problem is who will protect us from the protectors: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? from Jouvenal's Satires. Sorry liberals; you are not going to make the world a better place with political power.
  • Liberals still believe in big government administration and regulation. That's a century after Mises statement that socialism couldn't work because it couldn't compute prices, 60 years after Hayek said that a bureaucrat couldn't outperform the market, and 45 years since Stigler's article on regulatory capture. It's the Science, liberals.
  • Liberals are using government power to push their secular religion. Sexual liberation, divorce, abortion and LGBT may be the wave of the future, but this secular religion should not be a government-established church, and its precepts should not be imposed by government fiat or by elite Supreme Court ukase. This cannot end well.
But don't think that I don't appreciate President Obama. I do, I really do, and here is why.

In my view, the recovery from the 2008 financial crash would have been slow, whichever president and party was in power. See the Crash of 1873 and its great depression, and the Crash of 1929. And the president and party in power would have suffered just because it all happened on their watch.

So I thank God we had a Democratic president during the disappointing and slow recovery from the crash. And nobody dared criticize the president, because racism. Imagine if Republicans had been in power! Why, in was in 2003, a mere two years after the Tech Crash of 2000 that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) started complaining about a "jobless recovery." Imagine what Nance would have said during a Republican presidency after 2008!

I reckon that if it weren't for President Obama we wouldn't be seeing the Republican Party in its best political position since 1928. Instead we would be seeing the Democrats in their best position since 1937.

And best of all, it looks like Democrats still don't get what hit them.

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