Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Long Read: As Good As It Gets For Liberals

American Interest curmudgeon Walter Russell Mead makes the case that liberals in the US have no idea how good they had it under Obama, because the near-permanent rightward shift of America is imminent.

Shell-shocked liberals are beginning to grasp some inconvenient truths. No gun massacre is horrible enough to change Americans’ ideas about gun control. No UN Climate Report will get a climate treaty through the U.S. Senate. No combination of anecdotal and statistical evidence will persuade Americans to end their longtime practice of giving police officers extremely wide discretion in the use of force. No “name and shame” report, however graphic, from the Senate Intelligence Committee staff will change the minds of the consistent majority of Americans who tell pollsters that they believe that torture is justifiable under at least some circumstances. No feminist campaign will convince enough voters that the presumption of innocence should not apply to those accused of rape.

These are not the only issues in which, from a left Democratic point of view, the country is overrun with zombies and vampires: policy ideas that Democrats thought had been killed but still restlessly roam the earth. The finale of the George W. Bush presidency was, for many Democrats, conclusive evidence that conservative ideas just don’t work. The post 9/11 Bush foreign policy led to two long and unhappy wars. America had lost the trust of its allies without defeating its enemies. At home, the Bush tax cuts led to an exploding deficit, and the orgy of deregulation (admittedly, much of it dating from the Clinton years) led to the greatest financial crash since World War II and the most serious economic downturn since the Great Depression.

“Could a set of political ideas be more discredited?” liberals ask. The foreign policy failures of the Bush years, they believe, should have killed conservative ideology about America’s role in the world, and the financial crisis, they are certain, should have driven a stake through the heart of conservative economic doctrine. Yet: Here we are, six years into the Age of Obama, and the Tea Party is alive and Occupy is dead. The Republicans swept the midterm elections both nationally and at the state level—and Hillary Clinton appears more interested in conciliating Wall Street than in fighting it, and more interested in building bridges to conservative foreign policy thinkers than in continuing the Obama foreign policy. (And with even Jimmy Carter lambasting Obama’s Middle East policy as too weak, and the President committing to new troop deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s not clear that even President Obama wants to stay the course.)

Mead goes on to say that it's over for the left for good, that the Right will dominate, and if you thought Obama wasn't good enough, Hillary will be worse.

So just jump off a cliff now, libtards, right?

Not so fast.  The problem with the right is that you can always count on them overplaying their position and destroying themselves (and the country) in the process.  So yes, I think we are going to make a major shift to the right, and it's going to wreck the country again.  People have bet on the "permanent Republican majority" before and lost.

Maybe when the smoke clears next time, we'll have learned something.

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