Republicans Win War on Women: Women Barred from Sex! American Men Stranded! Also: African-Americans Forbidden to Vote!

We got off easy! The strongest, broadest attempt to extent the scope and intrusiveness of government since Pres. F. D. Roosevelt was let by Barack Obama. The initially very popular reactionary (no, not a mistake) leader has proven weak, indecisive, fragile and, above all, incompetent. Also, he has a pushy wife. And no, this is not a sexist comment. I can easily see, even in the near future, unhappily, a female president with a pushy husband. (Know what I mean?)

It’s difficult to resist the temptation of seeing the big Republican victory in the 2014 midterm elections as a referendum on Big Government. Certainly, a large number of Americans did not shake themselves to go and vote against Democratic candidates because they loved the alternative Republican agenda. There really wasn’t any. Or, you had to look hard for it which few voters ever do, I believe. The most parsimonious explanation for the Republican wave is not Republican virtue but Democrat vices, faith in more and bigger government chief among those.

I am not venturing to say that many of the votes cast in favor of Republican candidates at all levels were conscious expressions of opinion against the expansion of government in society in general. I suspect very few were the kind of moral votes I wish for (“Government is inherently repressive. We resist repression.”) Rather, in addition to those who systematically oppose more government for fiscal reasons, there were many voters who expressed rejection of the consequences of attempts to regulate more from above.

These consequences include at once of the actual performance of active government programs such as Obamacare, and economic failures associated with Big Government such as the inability to raise the incomes of most working people (and especially, in this country, the incomes of the always-deluded black minority). Other consequences of government over-reach are the absurd replacement of market choice by flimsy political decision as in the dramatic case of blocking of the Keystone pipeline. Finally, in the past very few years, big, growing and ambitious federal government was confronted by predictable crises such as the rise of terrorist ISIS and by others that were not, such as the Ebola big fright. Big Government proponents were tested and they were found wanting and everybody knows it. They failed precisely where they promised the most.

Incidentally I do not include moral scandals in the description of the debacle of Obamite government expansion, such as the coverup of the Benghazi affair and the cynical use of the IRS to intimidate citizens. A good case could be made that the bigger and the most expansive the government, the more likely such departures from ordinary civil morality. But another explanation may be just as valid this time around: The scandals are the results of a long tradition of corruption in the Democratic Party (another, different “Chicago School”) that is not especially linked to programs of Big Government.

Americans tried a heavy dose of Big Government and enough of them disliked it enough to turn the tide in a big way.

I find most remarkable in this election cycle the widespread inability among its proponents to promote squarely what they wish for.

Many Democrat candidates let themselves become trapped by their own fantasies. Several campaigned, as they had two year earlier, against the imagined program of their largely imagined adversaries. The “War on Women” is a case in point. Yes, it’s true that many Republicans want to reduce the incidence of abortion. But about half of Americans who express an opinion on the subject are opposed to abortion to different degrees. It’s been like this for many years. Several democratic candidates even suggested that Republicans in power means limited access to contraception. No national-level Republican candidate proposes any such thing, I think. The War on Women theme lost traction because it was simply not believable. You can fool many people for a while, not for a long time. Yet, Democrats clung to this fairy tale in reverse. The same could be said of the ” cry wolf” alleged disenfranchising of minority voters simply because many of us wish to restrict fraud through conventional, well-tried means. (Note to overseas readers: In most American states, one can vote without proving who one is or even if one  actually exists. In some areas of this beautiful country, the dead vote for twenty years or more. Conservatives propose voters’ identity cards. For this, they are vilified!)

By contrast with the fantasy fixations, inattention to what most preoccupies voters, the economy, was widespread in Democratic ranks. Few candidates even bothered to brag about economic achievements that presidents traditionally give themselves credit for. Under the Obama administration, for example, national unemployment went down to under 6%; in the quarter preceding the election, the economy grew by a more than respectable 3.5%. This failure to brag is bizarre. I am tempted to read into it discouragement about Big Government even in the ranks of its habitual proponents.

In the end, they go bitch-slapped for what they did and also for what they did not do.

I am not sure of what the near-future holds. The victors of this 2014 midterm election may yet squander their victory. The Republican Party may find it difficult or impossible to switch from years of blanket opposition to positive acts of government, beginning with massive tax reform. Or, it may do it incoherently. Democrats may regain much of the lost political ground in 2016. Yet, I think the lesson of the 2014 midterm elections will stick, at the margin:

Big Government is not what it is cracked up to be. It’s even worse than its critics alleged. We tried it; it did not work. Its victories (the imposition of Obamacare on a reluctant citizenry) are even worse than its defeats (the failure to contain ISIS).

But make no mistake; things would have turned out differently if the latest attempt to expand government had been led by a more competent leader and, especially, by a more forceful leader. Think about this: Six and a half years after promising it formally to his followers, Pres. Obama has still not closed the Guantanamo Bay detention center. He could have done at any time through a single, undebatably constitutional order as Commander-in Chief. This time around they did not have a Commander-in-Chief, fortunately.


About Jacques Delacroix

I write short stories, current events comments, and sociopolitical essays, mostly in English, some in French. There are other people with the same first name and same last name on the Internet. I am the one who put up on Amazon in 2014: "I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography" and also: "Les pumas de grande-banlieue." To my knowledge, I am the only Jacques Delacroix with American and English scholarly publications. In a previous life, I was a teacher and a scholar in Organizational Theory and in the Sociology of Economic Development. (Go ahead, Google me!) I live in the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz, California.
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11 Responses to Republicans Win War on Women: Women Barred from Sex! American Men Stranded! Also: African-Americans Forbidden to Vote!

  1. Brandon Christensen says:

    Here is an editorial confession: Jacques actually wrote this essay in 2012, when he had hoped Obama would lose to Romney and the Senate would join the House in being controlled by the GOP.

    What a pathetic display of feigned ignorance, Dr J, even by your low standards!

    The midterms were not a rejection of Big Government. It’s a normal cycle in any healthy democracy.

    The Republican Party is not the party of small government. It is the party empire abroad and Baby Boomers at home (just like the Democratic Party).

    I am embarrassed for you, Dr J. My cheeks are flushed!

  2. Dear readers: Brandon Christensen is an otherwise gifted young man who has become obsessed with me. I do not answer his comments in order to avoid encouraging his unhealthy fixation. I dislike censorship too much to do anything else about him.

    • Brandon Christensen says:

      Now, now. That’s no way to treat your readers.

      The uncomfortable fact of the matter is that I offer a dissident point of view that is still friendly to yours. Nobody wants to hang out in an echo chamber, right?

      Are my points not correct? Am I wrong?

      I don’t see any reason whatsoever to cheer for the midterm slaughter of Democrats. It was entirely predictable. The real rebuke was voters’ rejection of Romney as the future of the GOP. His foreign policy hawkishness, and his inability to connect with millennials, threw away an election that the GOP should have easily won.

      Why not continue to focus on immigration reform and combating protectionist sentiments?

  3. Bruce says:

    I figured Brandon had graduated and found a job somewhere commensurate with the third tier joint he attended. Brandon, do you have a new photo of yourself or did you land one of those jobs where hippy hair is just fine?
    Bottom line, the voters gave the GOP the wheel, what remains to be seen is if the RINOS will act like they’ve got a pair. Also, the Hildabeast is finished for good.

    • Brandon Christensen says:

      Dear Brave Bruce, Don Delacroix’s noble ass:

      If voters gave the GOP the wheel, why is there a Democrat running the executive branch?

      Don’t think about it too hard, BB, I wouldn’t want you to have a stroke or something. Government spending will not drop while the GOP controls the purse. There are too many voting welfare queens – veterans, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid recipients – to bother trying. At least, that’s what my paycheck is telling me (when I am lucky enough to get one, of course).

      Stay classy!

  4. Reminder: I don’t want to do anything to ease Brandon’s growing pains.

  5. McHenry says:

    Speaking of class, when I believe I am trouncing my opponents I like to do it with collected calm. I could be a dick about it, but I personally think a composed image lends far more to a current and all future debates.

    Anyway. There is much to celebrate in the defeat of the Dems. As you say Brandon, the GOP blew it with Romney, I would add McCain as well, and they have been continuously dropping the ball while Democrats all but place it lovingly in their hands.
    That’s a troubling trend, one I complain about regularly and can’t understand. Many cycles gone now should have been effortless wins.
    It is reassuring to see the party get its crap together and use what’s been sitting there all along. I was worried all the good ideas were buried in a political reality show.
    Maybe not an outright rejection of big government, but an important course correction for our republic.

    • Brandon Christensen says:

      Your point about class (not class) is duly noted McHenry, though I feel I should remind you that one reaps what one sows. It is not a coincidence that the threads on this blog have so much name-calling and moral posturing in them.

      The threads at Notes On Liberty, where Dr J sometimes graces us with His Presence, tend to be respectful even when there is disagreement until Dr J shows up.

      This might have to do with the fact that there is less of a focus on events there, and more of a focus on ideas.

      It also has to do with strategy. There has been a centuries-long split within libertarianism about the best way to further libertarian ideas in society. One faction thinks that aligning with a political party is the best way to do this, and the other argues that changing mindsets is the better route to go.

      Dr J thinks schilling for the GOP is a good idea because he believes it is roughly the Party of Liberty. He is not alone in this thinking. Should it matter, though, if decriminalizing drug use (for example) is done by a Republican regime or Democratic one?

  6. McHenry says:

    Right. I wouldn’t care who legalized it so long as it gone done. It needs to be legal plain and simple.
    I suppose I would agree with changing minds, I am not pleased with either party currently. I am glad to see republicans finally using what is given by democrats to win elections but the facts that it took them at least 2 presidential run offs and several midterms to do so is troubling. What I think is always missing from any rational stance they take is the explanation of the rationale.
    What’s never hard to find is why democrats think taking such a stance makes you old, grumpy, mean, and rich/out of touch. America seems happy to vote against those words even when the republican stance makes sense.
    And then of course is their choice of candidate. How am I supposed to get behind a Romney? A McCain/Palin? Crispy? “Are these serious choices?” I keep asking myself. Really?
    I can’t do it.

  7. In a mature democracy, or in a democracy for mature people, there is no comfortable political posture for those who want their vote, or their voice, to count. I would not be comfortable with either major party. I am a little less uncomfortable with the Republican Party than I would be with the Democratic Party. Two reasons. First, I think that discourse matters for the simple reason that people and organizations often become prisoners of their own discourse. If you keep arguing that vanilla is the best flavor, you are more likely to end up eating vanilla ice-cream than if you assert it’s the worst. The Republican Party ha retains the immense merit of keeping alive the ideal of small government.

    Second, the worst outcome of a political process is not the kind of impotence that the Republican Party – for example- is exhibiting now. The worst outcome is the destruction of the process itself – as in various kinds of fascism. There are several factors that make the Democratic Party the bearer of incipient American fascism, not the Republican Party. I was thinking this before Pres. Obama, the spineless Peron, gave us a demonstration incidentally.

    Speaking of demonstration, the Libertarian Party daily gives us a lesson on how not to engage in electoral politics. It could employ itself more usefully providing an analysis about why the self-defeating, fact-resistant War on Drugs has committed, mindless partisans more or less equally in both parties.

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