Our political institutions work. They restrain extremism of all kinds. I was hoping for a blood bath and some pundits had allowed me to expect one. Instead, statism received a serious but not deadly wound. It’s hemorrhaging but not to death. I will not be drinking wine from the skull of that old whore Harry Reid, as I fervently hoped. He squeaked by though he browned his pants. Incidentally, I don’t call “whores” people whose political goals I merely abhor. I have concrete reasons in Reid’s case. I have him on video repeatedly affirming that the federal income tax is “voluntary.” I wonder, if the Democrats will keep him a majority leader of the Senate after he almost got his ass kicked by a lackluster local politician out of nowhere. I hope they do.
What next, you ask. Well, yes, Democrats still enjoy a majority in the Senate but a slim one. It’s not out of the question that some Democrat Senators will decide, on occasion, to vote closer to the will of the people than they did during the OTP (“Obama Trance Period”). The President will not change whatever the conciliatory speech he made today. Actually, he gave a fairly gracious if rambling post-defeat speech. Then he used the first four questions addressed to him by journalists to demonstrate that he did not understand what had just happened. He also seized the opportunity to demonstrate again his sophomoric understanding of international economics. Aided by a chorus of liberal media, he has already begun re-writing the story. Here is a striking example. There was a straightforward question about whether the election was a rebuff to his policies. The President replied that the election was instead an expression of disappointment about the fact that the measures he had taken in response to the crisis had not been more successful. This means, among other things, that the entirely voluntary Obamacare endeavor crammed down the face of the electorate was a response to the economic crisis. If this absurdity came from any other politician, I would say he was simply lying. I don’t think so in this case.
As I have been telling you all along, he is a limited, even a mediocre man. The firmness of his ideological convictions is a consequence of his narrowness. He is ill-informed. He said matter-of-factly during this speech that there is no American who thinks our current energy policy is fine. (Yes, there are. I think it’s fine. The only problem is that I regret that there is a federal energy policy at all. I think it’s unlawful.) The President is not limber enough to understand the message he has just been sent. He is not intelligent enough to understand the nature of conservative positions. He is not at heart a believer in democracy. The leftist elite is elitist to a man. (“Leninist” is the technical term.)
With a large Republican, tea party-mandated majority in the House, a large Republican minority in the Senate, and a rigidly left Democrat in the White House, federal gridlock is a likely prospect.
It’s not a bad goal to shoot for. Paralyzing the federal government’s ability to do more damage would be a great progress compared to what has gone on for the past two years. Much spending is on automatic anyway, including the entitlement programs. If there should be arm-wrestling on military appropriations between the House of Representative and the White House, that would be good toe. Let the President eat the political consequences of his obduracy.
The other option, is by-partisan compromise, obviously. God, I hope not! The national vote was a restraining order (not my formula, I cribbed it from the Weekly Standard) against a certain way of implementing government. The evidence is in the governors races across the nation , except California, of course. Many good, popular governors bit the dust because they did not pipe up loudly enough against Obama encroachment. It would be immoral to compromise in this case. Fortunately, at this juncture I am counting on the President’s own rigidity to save us from the calamity of bipartisanship. The only common ground I see is in the prosecution of the anti-terrorist struggle in Afghanistan.
On NPR’s “Health of the Nation” today, the day after, commentators are feverishly denying that the election is a tea party victory. That means a victory for the party of limited government and restrained spending. If you also doubt it , think of this most exemplary of wins yesterday:
Senator Russ Feingold, the principled, intelligent, articulate left-liberal from Wisconsin lost to a —-? Exactly, the only thing you probably know about political neophyte Johnson, easy victor over Feingold, is that he was endorsed by tea party luminaries. Couldn’t be more cut and dry!
There is a subtext to the story of this election, as my post-modern ex-colleagues would say. I am too tired to talk about it today and you are too tired to read about it today. I’s a cultural sub-text. Large swatches of the electorate are sick of being treated with intellectual condescension by a liberal media that, they suspect, is only half educated at best.
The California election is a full disaster. I can’t find the silver lining. I can only repeat what I said before the election: The California Democratic establishment has been betting that the state is too big to fail. They think they will be bailed out financially by the federal government no matter how unconscionably they act. They did not know there was going a new port captain in town. For only the second time in my adult life, I catch myself considering other places to live.
OK, I was messing with your minds. The President did not request political asylum in India. He is going there to get away from it all. A perspicacious Indian-born reader opines rather that he is going there for a Hindu purification ritual. That would involve large amounts of fresh cow dung. I heard, and I don’t guarantee that it’s true, and I hope it’s not, that the White House had rented the whole luxurious Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai for $200 million a day. Again, I hope it’s a mistake. That would be an obscene one billion dollars for five days. Michele’s recent vacation in Spain was not half as expensive.