Steven Hayward posts at PowerLine. He’s recapping the month of March, and this was a source of great enjoyment to me.
First came the Sandra Fluke controversy. What looked like a well-staged triumph for the Left because of a rare overreach by Rush Limbaugh resulted instead in a ferocious blowback against Bill Maher, Louis C.K., and HBO, while Rush’s ratings have spiked and advertisers came groveling back after the anti-Rush boycott was revealed to have been trumped up by Media Matters. Meanwhile, while the media elites identify with Fluke as one of their own, it is less clear that ordinary Americans think the government owes free contraception to 30-year old college students.
Second, Obama is in full retreat and panic mode over gasoline prices, and energy generally….Byron York flatly predicts that Obama will be forced to approve the Keystone pipeline before the election. Obama’s embrace of the GOP slogan of “all-of-the-above” energy means that environmentalists are being largely thrown under the bus.
Then came the Trayvon Martin incident. But what looked like a by-the-numbers drill for the racial grievance industry has started to collapse beneath certain inconvenient facts that don’t fit the narrative such as Zimmerman’s ethnicity and political party registration (Democratic), eyewitness testimony that Martin was assaulting Zimmerman, and Spike Lee advocating vigilantism against Zimmerman, but tweeting an incorrect home address, endangering an innocent elderly couple.
Then of course we have the Obamacare argument in the Supreme Court this week. Even if the Court ultimately upholds the Affordable Care Act, the course of the argument is extremely damaging to the Left. And if it is struck down, I predict the Left will overreact in ways that will also backfire badly.
Finally, yesterday the House voted down Obama’s proposed budget for next year by a vote of 414 – 0. Not even the most leftist members of Obama’s own party are willing to go on record in support of his unserious and irresponsible budget. Political stunt by the GOP? Sure, but so what?
None of this should be taken as a sign of a decisive “turning point,” or that our side has won, or even that we’re winning…But it’s been a lousy last month for the Left.
I like the last paragraph the best. After all, it isn’t clear that anything has actually changed here, at all. Odds of the democrats hanging on to the White House and Senate, and taking the House of Representatives — they’re about at the same level now as they were on the last day of February, I think. Obviously that’s always debatable, but that seems to be the case. And yet something did happen.
I think it’s a case not so much of something being altered in form or shape, or in the direction it’s traveling, but rather one of something being revealed. I see a trend permeating through four of the above five events, all of them apart from the budget thing. Fluke, gas and energy, Trayvon, SCOTUS…most especially with the last one. Do you see what I see?
The democrats have a bad habit going on, which they show no signs of arresting or even slowing down, wherein they write the future. That is to say, they start to invent some fiction about what is going to happen. It’s as if they lack the humility needed to acknowledge that we live in a universe filled with unpredictable things. Now in theory, that isn’t really true, because if there is any object in the universe capable of impacting another, then that object must possess sufficient significance for its state to be known and measurable, and if it is in a process of change, then that change must be known and measurable as well…but let’s not drift too far off topic into exploring chaos theory & all that, for it’s all a red herring. To effectively use such a vast repository of knowledge about object states, object metamorphoses, object bearings & vectors of travel, et al, is well outside of the capability of knowledgeable humans. Yoda pegged it: Always in motion, the future is, difficult to see.
But none of this has to do with what democrats do when they boast, with all their fanfare and all their insolent superiority, how they will prevail in this-or-that. They’re great ones for putting on airs and going through the motions like they reached their decisions as the culmination of some rational, scientific, methodical process full of weighing and measuring. Most of the time, though, it’s all posturing. Really, the mask had already slipped when they took this attitude with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Obamacare, the White House was extra, extra, extra, super-duper sure that they’d prevail. Now really. Think it through with all the logic and rationality they pretend to be using. Why would you say that?
You work for the White House and you’re super-duper sure the SCOTUS will vote your way. That would mean, you’re super-duper sure the “liberal wing” will line up…which isn’t enough…and then, I heard some of the law was written with Justice Scalia in mind, maybe your hopes are pinned on him, or you have a lot of confidence Justice Kennedy will see fit to come down on your side. Neither of those prospects seem, to me, to be cause for optimism in the Obama White House. Maybe the combination of both of them, since it only takes one? Seems doubtful.
There was no reason for them to get all cocky about this. It was all a bunch of fakery.
They got their asses kicked, here, because they have this unfortunate tendency to start to believe their own fakery and posturing. We just saw them self-immolate over it, four times in a row. It really isn’t that complicated…see, part of the reason they can act all confident, even when the odds are stacked heavily against them, is that they have this zero-tolerance policy against any doubts in their own ranks. From what I’ve seen, the zero-tolerance policy persists even when they feel safely ensconced on high ground, among their own trusted peers, behind closed doors. I have no way to verify that, of course, it just looks that way to me…I argue with some of them, I come up with things that would make them doubtful, things with which they should have already been preoccupied, if they’re the cautious thinkers they pretend to be, and it’s like…der? They never heard of such a thing before. Have no idea what I’m talking about. So it seems, to me, to work that way. No doubts are allowed. Supremes will side with us, it’s a done deal.
Yes, they end up talking about the future as if it’s something that’s already happened. Pay attention, you’ll see they do that quite a lot.
If there is any cause for actual optimism, here, it is in that they just can’t stop. It is their chosen methodology for fellowship among their own, and the feeling of camaraderie is a vital ingredient to the fuel that drives them. They can’t do without it. They need everyone on the team, to stay on the team, and so many of the people on the team are only there because they want to be on the winning side.
This is the kind of thing a smart general spots in the enemy, right before a battle in which that smart general’s side emerges victorious even against long odds. The enemy, once afflicted with a weakness, is further injured by an inability to address the weakness — because to address it, the weakness would have to be inspected, and this enemy seems to be unable to even acknowledge such weaknesses exist.
How long was the left asked the question: If the government can require us to buy something we don’t want to buy, what can’t it do? And everyone asking, down to a man, was dismissed as a slobbering, slope-foreheaded, teabagger racist. Go away! You don’t count! Let the big boys figure out how this new perfect wonderful society will work, and then when we can’t make it work without your money, we’ll come after you and tell you what to do.
And what question did the Supreme Court ask them, when the time came to defend it in court.
How well-prepared were they, for the very same question they’d heard for two years solid. Uh…not sure how to answer that, derp derp derp.
Reckless optimism is not warranted here. But cautious optimism certainly is. The democrats can be told, point blank, right to their faces, where their weakest flank is…they can be given multiple years, solid, to fix it, said fix being no more complicated than writing up a message, testing it, and getting it disseminated. Which is something they’re pretty capable of doing when they put their minds to it. And in all that time, they won’t put their minds to it.
It happened four times in a row, in the space of a month. If they were tested, similarly, ninety-six more times, things would come out the same way ninety-six more times. We’ve seen the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. Their defeat is more likely, if the weaknesses receive due attention, and those weaknesses are not complicated or hard to define.
Update: If the other side feels justified in playing some of this hazardous write the future game, just to see what it’s like…there is a likelihood that Peggy Noonan has isolated the next point of failure.