Aug 04 2006

Another Liberal Fantasy

Published by at 7:31 am under 2006 Elections,All General Discussions

E.J. Dionne splashes another liberal fantasy out on the pages of the Washington Post. He posits the perennial question for libs: Is it our turn yet? Of course, he uses more words so that a rationalization can be built into the question which supports his deepest fantasy: Conservatism has run its course after only a quarter of a century!:

What might have seemed an absurd question less than two years ago is now one of the most important issues in American politics. The question is being asked — mostly quietly but occasionally publicly — by conservatives themselves as they survey the wreckage of their hopes, and as their champions in the Republican Party use any means necessary to survive this fall’s elections.

Only a desparate liberal would confuse the classic case where the President’s party succumbs to “second term voter itch” in the second off year election cycle with the demise of the now well established political view of the nation. Bush and the Reps have defied political conventional wisdom in all three elections since 2000. Bush defeated a sitting VP (not that hard) while the country was experiencing an economic boom (which is very hard to beat). The boom was actually a fantasy and the VP had a disaster of a boss who lost control of Congress in two short years in the very beginning of his term. But Bush was a clear underdog at the time. All the Clinton disaster came to light after Bush was in office.

In 2002 the Dems had control of the Senate thanks to a defecting Rep Senator, and promptly lost control of the Senate in that year’s election. Off year elections are notoriously famous for being bad for the sitting President’s party. Not 2002.

Mired in a war and with a still sputtering economy, Bush went on to trounce the Dems in 2004 and increase the Republican hold on the Senate, knocking of the Democrat’s Minority leader in the process. In the 96th Congress (79-81) Democrats led the Senate 58-41. They have been losing ground ever since. There have been periods where they come back a bit, but typically they squander the moment and slip further back into history.

That means by Dionne’s logic, the end of the left happened already. But has the Republican landscape been blighted? Let me see. There have been modest but positive changes in abortion laws to return parental rights to the parents. There have been changes in the welfare state to term limit those capable of working from sitting on the dole. There have been so many tax cuts since Reagan it is hard to imagine the horrible rates the Democrats strangled our economy with during the 1970’s. The Soviet Union is gone, along with it oppression of humanity. The people of the Soviet Block are now our partners in a world economy and world security (recall the left wanted a nuclear freeze, basically freezing the world into two stagnant zones between the West and Communism). The left was adamently against a missile defnese system from the 1980’s on, only to find out we now really need one (the left thinks we can talk ourselves out of trouble and need no weapons). We have a morally prudent and ethical ban on harvesting the guts of human beings in their earliest stage of life to cull stem cells out and create spare parts for other human beings. We have an education system that must demonstrate minimal results in educating our children. We have a Congress now required to live under the very same laws they impose on us.

We are not debating immediate citizenship as an option to fixing our immigration issue. We are not debating tax increases to solve our budget deficits (instead we are trying to grow the economy and control spending – note I said ‘trying’). We are not offering to pay for the world’s abortions. We are not buying into any false promises on nuclear weapons proliferation and we have taken down a black market ring and have disarmed Libya peacefully. We are not giving any serious credence to reparations for slavery since there are no slaves alive today in this country. We are not cutting and running from our commitments to Afghanistan and Iraq. We are not starting the draft up again.

I could go on for pages. Dionne has really got some A-1 blinders on if he thinks the end of conservatism is here. After 25 years of replacing failed liberal policies with working conservative policies Dionne has set the bar way too low. If the cons lose a few seats in an election where the majority party nearly always loses seats, then conservatism is not in shambles. I would argue that the signature conservative values and policies would have to be removed before we see then end of the now dominant political view. But everytime they Democrats try to do just that (e.g., gay marriage) they get trounced at the polls. Sorry E.J., but your little fantasy is about as real as woodland elves.

One response so far

One Response to “Another Liberal Fantasy”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:


    I am not going to suggest what the outcome will be in the midterm and persidential elections, I am not a politcal handicapper with that kind of skill.

    Having said that, the type of stuff Dionne supports would seem to be fragmenting the democratic party. Center dems are being more and more distanced from the radical left.

    If the dems do another crash and burn in the next two elections, it is very likely that the center will rise up and force the democratic party to abandon the most extreme special interest fringe segments as a move of reasoned self preservation.