Monday, June 21, 2010

Democrats and Malaise

RealClearPolitics - Malaise is Haunting the Democratic Party

This is a worthy column to read in that it does a good job of laying out what Democrats believe about what is going on, and shows their general cluelessness of what it even might mean to be a "Traditional American" ( believe in people before government, freedom, personal responsibility, smaller government, etc).
Democrats should feel a lot better than they do. They enacted a health care bill that had been their dream for more than 60 years. They pulled the country out of a terrifying economic spiral. They are on the verge of passing the biggest reform of Wall Street since the New Deal. The public has identified enemies that are typically seen as Republican allies: oil companies and big bankers. And given the Republicans' past policies, the Gulf oil spill is at least as much their problem as Obama's.
So the health care bill was "their dream for 60 years". Why should that make them feel good about being re-elected? That is a completely separate topic. If some guy dreamed about having a relationship with a 16 year old girl for 60 years and finally did (he would be at least 70 assuming he started dreaming of "older women" at 10), should he "feel good about it"? Democrats may think a government takeover of health care is just peachy, but essentially, given their operation in the Senate after Scott Brown, they would be like the underage girl dreamer that only accomplished his task by forceable rape rather than just statutory. One clearly has to be a Democrat to understand why that ought to make you feel good!

"Biggest reform since the New Deal" -- exactly! FDR elected in '32, his own Treasury Sectretary,  Morgenthau, talking of how their policies had failed in '39. While the Democrats and the liberal elite have cannonized the New Deal, the sad fact is that it didn't work. WWII did. More and more Americans are realizing that a lot of what is wrong is the hangover from the New Deal -- unfunded Social Security entitlement, a huge government that is already too big to afford, and no Democrat answer beyond "more, more, more".

Just what WOULD be "enough government" to a Democrat? Something a bit below 20% of GDP with at least 1/4 of that for National Defense is a good "conservative guideline". What would that number be for a Democrat? It seens to have no upper limit. I suspect that they would site "no pollution, everyone healthy, everyone happy, etc" as their objectives.

People that live in the real world know of "The Pareto Principle", better known as the 80/20 rule. We already have well over 80% of Americans covered by health insurance -- the the whole discussion we just had was about the less than 20%. It is VERY typical that 20% of your effort it spent on getting 80% of what you want, and getting the other 20% depends on spending the other 80% of that effort (or money, or time, or energy, etc) ... and not linearly. Each tortuous step toward 100% takes an ever larger piece of resources. What is more, the set of things that you decide "must be solved" take scarce resources away from OTHER "80/20s" ... maybe 80% of people today can afford a 2-week vacation. Get 90% covered by health insurance, and you might drop that number (or some other like it) to 50%.

Democrats tend to not believe in 80/20, especially for whatever they cherish. What is more, they are certain that they are smart enough to make better decisions for the general populace on where they ought to be spending their 80/20s than the foolish general public. The 20% of people that describe themselves as "liberal", and generally manage to run the country since many of them are in academia, media, professions and of course government, are ALSO completely sure they are smarter than the other 80% of the population.
Obama is often criticized for being too professorial. The irony is that Republicans who have little to say about how to solve the nation's major problems are dominating the country's underlying philosophical narrative.
There we have it in a nutshell. A Democrat simply can't conceive of the fact that it is GOVERNMENT that OUGHT to have "little to say about how we solve the nations major problems". It is THE PEOPLE that ought to have A LOT to say! EJ is precisely right that the difference is in the "philosophical narrative". The idea that solutions come top down is European, the idea that they come bottom up is American!

When I say that Democrats tend to be un-American, that is what I mean. The CORE of the "American difference" ... the "American exceptionalism" if you will, is exactly that. When BO says "America is as exceptional as a German thinks Germany is", he is explaining exactly why he is un-American. He doesn't believe in the core of what makes America exceptional -- the solutions flowing up rather than down. Freedom!!!!

Why does malaise always happen to Democrats? Well, because being European isn't as fun as being American. They may not believe in 80/20, but it is a fact of reality. In general, they tend to not believe in reality, and that is always a prescription for malaise.

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