Democrats are Keen on One War

moneybagsIn his weekly address Saturday, President Obama reminded Americans that last November we “went to the polls in historic numbers and demanded change.” We “sought a change in our politics: a politics that too often has … fostered division.” 

Oddly enough, he said this mere seconds after claiming that America’s health insurance industry is “deceptive and dishonest,” “mislead[ing] the American people” with “smoke and mirrors” and “bogus” reports about the likely impact of the Democratic Party’s health reform proposals on insurance premiums.

The industry’s sin, of course, is that it spoke an obvious truth: If you force insurance companies to cover all people regardless of pre-existing condition, don’t allow flexibility in pricing, and let people opt out of buying insurance until they get sick, costs will go up.

This isn’t even controversial. It’s basic 2+2=4 math. Yet in President Obama’s view, it amounts to “bend[ing] the truth – or break[ing] it,” something the president “will not abide.”

On Sunday, the White House further advanced its effort to change “a politics that too often has fostered division” by amplifying its attacks on Fox News.

In what has to be the most ill-considered media strategy to emerge from a White House since the Fillmore Administration, the Obama team is determined to let people know that Fox News is “not really a news station” (David Axelrod) and “not a news organization so much as it has a perspective” (Rahm Emanuel).

Let’s leave aside the absurd idea that other news organizations do not have “a perspective” – MSNBC and the New York Times come to mind – and focus on the idiocy of using White House time and resources to advance a proposition that everyone has already made up their mind about. If you love President Obama, you probably don’t love Fox News; and if Fox News is your main source of information, you’re probably quite comfortable with its “perspective.”

While the Administration stamps its feet and pulls its hair, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes watch their ratings soar – and the Fox News audience wears the Obama Administration’s vilification like a badge of honor.

Aside from demonstrating that President Obama’s idea of political accommodation has a certain “fine for thee, but not for me” quality, these examples underscore a trend in the Democratic Party’s rhetoric over the past few years: namely, that the party is waging a verbal and legislative war on profit and success.

The Democratic enemies list is a stat sheet of profitable business interests – insurance companies, Fox News, petroleum energy firms, the pharmaceutical industry (until it cut its deal with the White House – a deal that has Congressional liberals spluttering with anger), pretty much any firm that employs workers abroad. And now the White House is trying to pry individual companies away from the Chamber of Commerce because the Chamber isn’t sufficiently obeisant to the green agenda.

The only good companies, meanwhile, are those that are addicted to government subsidies, mainly the domestic auto industry and alternative energy.

Others, such as technology companies, are liked if they’re roguish and cool (Google), but not if they’re old and dominant (Microsoft).

This is a bad road for Democrats to travel. They spent decades in the wilderness because in the 1970s they became the party of malaise, mediocrity, and the mega-state. Bill Clinton rescued them in 1992 by putting Democrats on the side of America’s strivers. But now, in the full flush of their 2008 sweep, Democrats are veering hard-left, threatening to spoil the good work of their centrist colleagues.

Some people will always find the idea of socialist drift appealing, just as some will always be drawn to unfettered market capitalism. But the 50 to 60 percent of Americans who are less doctrinaire tend to be attracted to leaders who express confidence, optimism, and a belief in self-improvement. In times of economic uncertainty (1992, 2008), the balance may shift a bit, but it quickly snaps back (1994, 2010?).

As Rahm Emanuel once said, never let a crisis go to waste. Liberal Democrats are using the current economic downturn to fan popular resentment of profitable companies. They may achieve some success.

But dependency doesn’t create jobs, windfall taxes don’t make anyone richer, and bitterness – even when directed toward known villains – begins to sound desperate.

If Democrats want to enjoy their time in the sun, they’ll have to accept that it’s OK for companies to make money. It’s OK for people and businesses to be successful of their own accord rather than through a government subsidy.

Some people even like to celebrate these things, rather than “fostering division” between achievers and strivers.

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  • emp4151

    We never expect any war in here but for this we need to practice idle democracy. I think we need to use more history and technology to make us well prepare for this.