The political world looked bleak on April 29, 2009, just after Arlen Specter had announced that he was switching to the Democratic Party. The Democrats, understandably crowing, seemed to be unstoppable. The Democratic agenda to control the most minute aspects of our lives through health care restructuring, cap-and-trade, and other forms of taxation and social engineering, seemed well on its way to fruition.
But I predicted at the time, to some derision and almost complete disbelief, that it would not last:
What history shows us is that a liberal, blame-America-first Democratic President, urged on by a liberal, blame-America-first Democratic Congress, is a prescription for political self-destruction. Leave Democrats to their own devices, and they will screw themselves politically, just when they are at the height of power….
So I’m not depressed about the long-term future of the country, although the next few years will be tough politically. The Democrats will screw up big time, as they did during the Carter years, and the damage they cause will be generational. But the clean-up is worth looking forward to, even if the mess is not.
I was prepared to hunker down for several years before witnessing the Democrats self-destruct. I assumed that the Democratic agenda would sail through Congress and that the disastrous effects of that agenda would pave the way for a political revival.
I seriously “misunderestimated” (note to people who do not understand use of punctuation, this is not a literal term) the capacity of Democrats to self-destruct.
The stimulus package was the beginning of the end, although at the time it appeared to be the end of the beginning. Rather than laying the foundation for the creation of an all-knowing state, the stimulus package revealed the Democratic leadership (and three Republicans) to be know-nothings.
The weekend after the stimulus package passed Congress was the weekend the Obama administration began to fail. Having created hysteria sufficient to cause Congress to pass a trillion-dollar, thousand-page bill without reading or understanding its contents because to delay even a moment further could lead to catastrophic consequences, Obama took the weekend off. And Monday.
So in June and July, when Obama cried that we must pass health care restructuring by the August recess or face catastrophe, the words were recognized by everyone to be just words. A President whose statements are recognized, by friend and foe alike, to be “just words” is a failed President.
The Democratic agenda is failing too because the 2008 election was not about the Democratic agenda. The election was about George Bush and Barack Obama. The failures of the former, and enchantment with the latter. Had Barack Obama run on the current Democratic agenda, John McCain and Sarah Palin would have walked away with the election notwithstanding the October 2008 credit crisis.
The Democrats are not done for, by a long shot. Teaming up with big corporate interest groups (oh, the irony) may get some truncated form of government-based health care restructuring through Congress, but not the types of free market changes that most Americans want. The Democrats haven’t figured out what is becoming more and more obvious with each passing day: Most Americans do not want their lives controlled by government. If the stimulus fiasco was the beginning of the end, the recent attacks by Democratic leaders and support groups on health care protesters may just be the end of Democratic hegemony.
While the Democrats are not done for, they are done. It’s not just sinking poll numbers for Obama, it’s sinking credibility for the Democratic leadership team and agenda.
Credibility once lost, is almost impossible to regain. George Bush’s credibility never recovered from the failure to find WMD in Iraq, notwithstanding all the explanations (e.g., all the intelligence agencies got it wrong, etc.). The Democratic agenda never will recover from the stimulus fiasco, Obama’s long weekend in February, and the Democratic leadership reaction to health care protests.
It’s the credibility stupid. And you’ve lost it.