Friday, November 28, 2014

Enabling the Delusional Democrats

After the 2012 campaign, liberal journalists swarmed around Republican Party chair Reince Priebus offering what was called an "autopsy" on every way Republicans failed, with a special emphasis on more outreach to minority voters. Democrats and their media enablers painted a picture of demographic doom for an aging white Republican base.

Two years later, Republicans made dramatic gains among minority voters. In House races across America, Republicans won 50 percent of the Asian vote to 49 percent for Democrats. Republicans won 38 percent of the Hispanic vote in House races. Gov. Sam Brownback drew 47 percent of Hispanics in Kansas, and Gov-elect Greg Abbott pulled in 44 percent of Hispanics in Texas. Support for Obama among Hispanics has been cut in half.

Surprise, surprise: It's a development you didn't find reported on the networks.

Meanwhile, Democrats will not only be in the minority in both houses of Congress, facing the largest GOP House majority since 1949. They will likely hold just 18 statehouses and both chambers in only 11 state legislatures.

Unlike Priebus, Democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz admitted no need for an "autopsy," but instead took to PBS and bizarrely argued Democrats didn't really lose. "If you look at 2010 and the 2014 midterm elections, clearly, we know the voters support our agenda, that they consistently last Tuesday voted to increase the minimum wage, voted in a gun safety statewide initiative. They defeated personhood amendments."

She's delusional or a serial liar. There ain't a third option.

PBS anchor Gwen Ifill didn't point out that the four states that passed a minimum-wage hike — Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota — all elected Republican senators, which would seem to contradict that weird "voters support our agenda" line. Ifill didn't point out to the deluded Democrat that Planned Parenthood dumped millions of dollars to fight "anti-choice" Republicans in Colorado and North Carolina and failed badly.

Journalists just pass along the weird Democratic denials that they have any unpopular stands without comment or context. On NPR, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne reported Obama would issue an executive order on amnesty because he has a mandate ... from the midterms?

"The president points out this is the lowest turnout since 1942. Nearly two-thirds of the public didn't vote. Most of those nonvoters were Democrats. A lot of them were young people and Latinos," he explained. "And so what he's saying is folks are dispirited because nothing has happened."

His Post colleague Chris Cillizza repeated that line in the newspaper: "Democrats — and Obama in particular — remain convinced that the 2014 elections proved nothing about how the country feels about Republicans." Ordering amnesty will supposedly enrage and expose "elements within the Republican Party that its leaders have worked to keep quiet in recent months."

These people cannot fathom — just as they couldn't with Reagan — that America wants a conservative agenda enacted. It's not just liberals; it's the moderates, too. They are convinced conservatives are going to destroy the Republican Party, even when the GOP wins one victory after another when it champions conservative solutions.

So they bray that the new Republican majority will go too far to the right. They make that prediction every time there's hope for a conservative policy victory. Remember: Their crystal balls said Ted Cruz's Obamacare shutdown was going to destroy the GOP. They all said that. The result: a GOP landslide this year with nine new Republican senators who all pledged to repeal Obamacare.



The far left’s emboldened totalitarian impulses

By Bill Wilson

The modus operandi of America’s far left isn’t subtle: It’s all about “taking.”  Money, property, privacy, speech, guns — you name it.  Everywhere we look, the foundational underpinnings of our once-free, once-prosperous society are being encroached upon by government’s emboldened totalitarian impulses.

Which brings us to the No. 1 thing they are taking from us: Control — over our lives, our livelihoods and our children.

For the American people the arc toward totalitarianism has been accompanied by unsustainable government debt, soaring dependency, economic stagnation and the steady decline of individual liberty.  For those in charge, though, it’s meant more money, more power and more patronage.

Author Jason Mattera had the audacity to walk into a public building in Washington, D.C. recently and ask one of the architects/ profiteers of this totalitarianism — Senate majority leader Harry Reid — how he managed to become a multimillionaire in the service of the public.  Reid refused to respond to Mattera’s questions, but one of his henchmen did — grabbing the author and violently pinning him up against a wall.

When Mattera protested that he was a member of the media, the henchman replied “I don’t care if you’re press or not.”

Sadly, this sort of thuggish, third world behavior shouldn’t surprise us.  After all Barack Obama’s Justice Department didn’t care that Fox News reporter James Rosen was a reporter when it decided to spy on him — just like it spied on reporters and editors at three Associated Press bureaus in an effort to identify the outlet’s sources.  Far from representing a living, breathing set of principles that government is sworn to uphold, the First Amendment has become an obstacle to surmount.  Not just a relic, a nuisance.

Just ask U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, who in the aftermath of the 2011 shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remarked that America needed to “rethink parameters on free speech.”

The left never lets a crisis go to waste — especially if that crisis involves guns.  In Connecticut, for example, Gov. Daniel Malloy wants to require parents who homeschool their children to periodically present them before government panels so their “social and emotional learning needs” can be assessed.  The stated excuse for such an invasive policy?  The perpetrator of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was briefly homeschooled by his parents.

That’s not really what Malloy’s intrusion is about, though.  Homeschooling — like other flourishes of the free market — constitutes a clear and present danger to the rising totalitarian state.  To them, it’s an expression of defiance, an explicit rejection of the indoctrination of government-run education.  So naturally the left views anyone who chooses such a path as subversive — and in need of being monitored.

Which leads us to the National Security Agency (NSA) — and the $2 billion data storage facility center it recently constructed in rural Utah.  The purpose of this facility is classified — but former NSA executive Thomas Drake says it is being used to rife through our phone records, emails, text messages, web histories and online purchase records.

“Technology now affords the ability of a state-sponsored surveillance regime,” the executive said.  “They have an obsessive compulsive hoarding complex.  They can never get enough.”

Where is all of this leading? Let’s ask environmental radical Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. — who recently argued that those of us who believe global warming “does not exist” should be found guilty of “a criminal offense … and ought to be serving time for it.”

Interesting.  So does Kennedy believe the researchers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) — whose data has revealed a nearly two-decade “pause” in global warming — should also be thrown in jail?  Or what about the scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center — who recently found a record 7.7 million square miles of sea ice extent in Antarctica?

Here’s the thing though: Government doesn’t need to challenge facts such as these.  Not when contrary thoughts — or data disputing the myths it uses to repress, regulate and rob the American people — can simply be criminalized (with offending thinkers thrown in jail).

We are entering a truly dangerous time in the United States right now.   So either be careful what you think — or be prepared to suffer the consequences of your free thought.


Why Do Democrats Look Down on Voters?

By Clive Crook

I support many Democratic policy positions and want to see them succeed. The Affordable Care Act, in particular, is a worthy endeavor: Despite the botched rollout and a great deal of unfinished business, I want to see it prevail. Sometimes, though, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the incompetence Democrats bring to the task of selling their best ideas. The party, without a doubt, is its own worst enemy.

This is the heading under which I file Grubergate. In the protracted discussion of Jonathan Gruber's comments about Obamacare and the stupidity of the U.S. electorate, his critics and apologists have missed the main point. This isn't about the rights and wrongs of the health-care reform, or the mendacity or good faith of the Barack Obama administration; it's about the Democrats' worldview, and the party's tireless capacity for offending potential supporters.

People have argued endlessly about whether the comments prove Obamacare was a deliberate deception of U.S. voters, or even about whether Gruber was or was not an architect of the reform -- pointless semantic questions. It depends what you mean by "deception" and "architect." Neither issue really matters.

Of course Gruber was deeply involved in the conception and design of the reform. And yes, in a certain sense, Obamacare's advocates did deceive people about the law, by presenting it in what they judged to be the best possible light. How shocking of politicians and their advisers to do that.

Politics is about selling. In between brutal honesty about the full consequences of any particular policy and bald-faced lies about what's intended is a wide zone of permissible salesmanship. As it happens, I think it would be good practice -- and good tactics as well -- for politicians to be more forthright than they usually are about the costs and drawbacks of what they're proposing. But the fact remains, all politicians accentuate the positive in what they're advocating and distract attention from the disadvantages.

Here's what counts about Gruber's comments: His views on the stupidity of the American electorate express the party's reflexive disdain for the very people it hopes (in all sincerity, by the way) to serve.

All salesmen sell -- but some respect their customers, whereas others look down on them. Too many Democrats fall into the second camp, and too few of those are any good at disguising it. In this respect, Gruber, who calls himself a "card-carrying Democrat," is typical of many in the party -- and Democrats are different from Republicans. In their own way, to be sure, many Republicans also take a dim view of the citizenry. (Recall Romney's 47 percent.) But the Democrats' brand of disapproval has a particular quality that puts their party and its good ideas at a perpetual electoral disadvantage.

This syndrome of Democratic disdain, I think, has two main parts. First, liberals have an exaggerated respect for intellectual authority and technical expertise. Second, they have an unduly narrow conception of the values that are implicated in political choices. These things come together in the conviction that if you disagree with Democrats on universal health insurance or almost anything else, it can only be because you're stupid.

Voters recognize this as insufferable arrogance and, oddly enough, they resent it. Democrats who might be asking where they went wrong in the mid-term elections -- not that many of them are -- ought to give this some thought. The conviction that voters are stupid, however, isn't just bad tactics. It's also substantively wrong.

It's good to have policy makers with brains who know what they're talking about. I've even argued that technocrats ought to have a bigger role in shaping policy. But expertise of the kind many Democrats venerate isn't enough. It's no guarantee of wisdom -- nor of honesty.

Democrats despair, for instance, over the public's reluctance to accept without reservation the supposedly settled science of climate change. They call disagreement on this topic a denial of science -- that is, an expression of the purest ignorance. This is wrong. Action on climate change is necessary, yet the electorate's skepticism is understandable. Contrary to what they're told, the science isn't settled: Enough is known to justify action, but that isn't how the case is put. Advocates admit of no doubt, which is false; and they recoil at dissent, which is unscientific. Claiming certainty where there isn't any does not inspire public confidence.

Voters understand that the smartest experts get things wrong. They also understand the concept of unintended consequences. A certain guardedness in the face of fast-talking experts brimming with confidence isn't stupid; it's sensible.

On almost any given policy question, even if all the relevant facts were beyond dispute, choices would still involve complex value judgments. This, for many Democrats, is another blind spot.

As the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has shown, liberals tend to give priority to the principles of equity (or fairness) and the avoidance of harm; most conservatives recognize those values but also give roughly equal weight to liberty, loyalty, order and sanctity (as in the sanctity of life, or the sanctity of marriage).

It isn't obvious that either worldview is more worthy of respect than the other. Perhaps it's morally wrong to attach great weight to loyalty, say, or sanctity. A person who doesn't share your moral intuitions, or who attaches different weights to different values, may be a better or worse person than you are. But having conservative values doesn't make you stupid, any more than having liberal values makes you smart.

Voters make mistakes, but I see no compelling evidence that the U.S. electorate is stupid, or lacking in collective wisdom. I see plenty of evidence to the contrary. It really shouldn't be so hard for Democrats to muster some respect for the people whose votes they want. And if that is beyond them, they should for heaven's sake learn to fake it.


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. 

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