Pro­gres­sives? No, lib­er­als are ‘friendly fas­cists’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

The Great De­nial con­tin­ues. The lib­er­als con­tinue to la­bor un­der the as­sump­tion that noth­ing very bad hap­pened in early Novem­ber. They are still supreme. The columnists go on as though noth­ing is amiss. Last week, E.J. Dionne con­sulted with three de­feated con­gress­men whose ad­vice he passed on to Pres­i­dent Obama on how to suc­ceed dur­ing the next two years. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi con­tin­ues as though she is speaker for life, though she prob­a­bly is the last Demo­crat to hold the post for a gen­er­a­tion. Mental ill­ness can be amus­ing.

The fact is the Democrats lost badly in the midterms and they prob­a­bly are go­ing to lose again in 2012.

The Repub­li­cans picked up six seats in the Se­nate and more than 60 in the House.

They won more than 682 state leg­isla­tive seats na­tion­wide and gained six gov­er­nor­ships. That will give them a pow­er­ful say in re­dis­trict­ing. More­over, in 2012, the Democrats have to de­fend 23 seats in the Se­nate, and they prob­a­bly will lose the pres­i­dency un­less the Repub­li­cans run a platy­pus.

In truth, the Democrats have been liv­ing on bor­rowed time for years. Their phi­los­o­phy is lib­eral, and lib­er­al­ism is not very pop­u­lar out­side of the academy, govern­ment-em­ployee la­bor unions and a few en­thu­si­asts wed­ded to iden­tity pol­i­tics. In the last elec­tion, lib­er­als ac­counted for 20 per­cent of the vote. Con­ser­va­tives ac­counted for 42 per­cent of the vote, and in­de­pen­dents, ac­count­ing for 29 per­cent, broke for the con­ser­va­tives’ po­si­tions. These fig­ures have been about the same for nearly three decades.

Most polls show a mar­gin of 40 per­cent for con­ser­va­tives and 20 per­cent for lib­er­als go­ing back to the Rea­gan years.

Even be­fore that, con­ser­va­tives clearly out­num­bered lib­er­als, which is why in the af­ter­math of the last two elec­tions, one had to won­der about the pre­dic­tions of con­ser­vatism’s demise.

Where were 40 per­cent of the elec­torate to go? How could a mi­nor­ity of 20 per­cent gov­ern the coun­try for long?

Ac­tu­ally, the lib­er­als have been hus­tlers for a long time. Re­mem­ber in 2009 when Sam Ta­nen­haus wrote “The Death of Con­ser­vatism”? What did he have in mind? I read the book — it was not very ob­vi­ous. Or James Carville, who wrote the sim­i­larly char­nel “40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Gen­er­a­tion.” I did not read Mr. Carville’s men­da­cious book, but what could he pos­si­bly have said? Did he talk pol­icy? Did ei­ther of these two con men con­sult the num­bers out there among av­er­age Amer­i­cans? Or how about con­sid­er­ing their ideas? Amer­i­cans are alarmed by high deficits and grand po­lit­i­cal schemes. Ac­tu­ally, the whole world is alarmed. Now the bills are com­ing due for the Euro­pean wel­fare states’ en­ti­tle­ments, and there is not the money in Europe to pay for them.

The street demon­stra­tions of Greece are go­ing to be Europe-wide be­fore not too long, and we Amer­i­cans want to avoid them.

That is why we threw out the big-spend­ing lib­er­als in Novem­ber.

Over the past two years, the lib­er­als have shown their true col­ors. Faced with an en­ti­tle­ment cri­sis, they rang up tril­lion-dol­lar deficits.

We now face the afore­men­tioned en­ti­tle­ment cri­sis and gi­gan­tic bud­getary prob­lems — and lib­er­als have no an­swer for them be­yond the pol­icy of tax and spend.

They are go­ing to be out of of­fice for a long time.

They lean to­ward call­ing them­selves not lib­er­als but pro­gres­sives. I have a bet­ter ti­tle for them: friendly fas­cists. The alacrity with which they sprang to sup­port­ing the takeovers of the gi­ant banks and the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try over the past two years sug­gests their pro­gram for the fu­ture: cor­po­ratism.

All they need is a Mus­solini and a bank­rupt Amer­ica.

I think there is enough vi­tal­ity in the land to avoid the lat­ter. As for the for­mer, Amer­i­cans do not like uni­forms very well.

R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and ed­i­torin-chief of the Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor and an ad­junct scholar at the Hud­son In­sti­tute. His new book is “Af­ter the Han­gover: The Con­ser­va­tives’ Road to Re­cov­ery” (Thomas Nel­son, 2010).

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