Free Markets, Free People

The liberal left just doesn’t get it

I guess today is "stupidity day", for lack of a better phrase. In an piece at the New Republic, Jonathan Cohn laments "The stupidity of liberal apathy".


This seems totally nuts, purely on the merits. Obama and the Democrats passed a major stimulus that cut taxes for the middle class and invested heavily in public works. They saved the auto industry, created a new regulatory framework for the financial industry, and enacted comprehensive health care reform. Compromises watered down each of these initiatives, to say nothing of the ideas (climate change!) that aren’t going to pass. And still this was the most productive liberal presidency in a generation or maybe two.

He, of course, is focused on the “liberal” agenda and what has been accomplished, such that it is.  And he’s somewhat amazed that liberals in general aren’t incredibly impressed and energized by what has gone on these past 18 months.

But, as he admits, much of it has been watered down through compromise and, of course, it is that he sees as the problem that has deflated liberals around the country.

What he doesn’t seem to understand is only he and the liberal community consider what he lists in that paragraph as “accomplishments”.  It’s a matter of perspective and, if the polls are correct, most don’t see the “stimulus” as an investment, but instead a product of pure pork.  They consider it spending money we don’t have in places the government doesn’t need to be spending money. 

And then there’s the car industry.  A majority doesn’t see what was done as “saving” anything.  Again, they see what was done as government in places it doesn’t belong throwing their good money after bad.  They’re also sophisticated enough to understand why it was done – and the word “union” finds its way into those conversations.

Other majorities see the health care bill as a costly abomination unlikely to deliver on its promise of better health care at a lower cost and they also recognize the “financial regulation bill” as just another in a long line of governmental power grabs.

Most are surely sighing in relief that cap-and-trade, aka climate change legislation, failed to find its way into law.

So perhaps the liberals aren’t just in the dumps about the compromises that watered down what was passed.  Perhaps they realize the lie they’ve been telling themselves for years, decades even, that they knew what America wanted badly.  Here is “the most productive liberal presidency in a generation” and over half the country is up in arms about what has been passed into law during his watch.  And as a result, an energized electorate which isn’t friendly toward liberals or those who represent their ideas is gearing up for a November electoral bloodbath for Democrats.

Heck Mr. Cohn – that would depress even the most rabid of liberals.  To finally understand that your views are a minority view and not popular has to be devastating.  And understanding that what you now have is all you’re going to get is equally as devastating.  The stupidity in all of this is to be found in the pretense that if liberals shook of the apathy it would matter.

It won’t.  November is not going to be a month you like.  Apathetic or energized, the liberal day is setting and there aren’t enough of that type to make a difference in the mid-terms.  Independents, finally scared away from the liberal extremists, will make sure of that.



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27 Responses to The liberal left just doesn’t get it

  • Part of the reason the Collective is blue is they know they have been rejected.
    Washington is a war with the people.
    The people are going to fight back.

    • They fought back against Bush — that’s how the Democrats got the majority and how an unlikely first term black Senator Barack Hussein Obama became President.   We’ll see in 2010 and 2012 what Americans are going to fight for next.

  • I wonder if these are his own thoughts, or if he’s echoing the party line from some listserv *cough journolist cough*

  • What the man doesn’t ask is “Why were they watered down at all since the Democrats held over-powering majorities in both houses?”

  • I do wish I had your optimism that the liberal day is setting, but, I don’t.  The trend over the past 100 years speaks otherwise.  The Ruling Class, and their willing patrons, have entrenched themselves so deep that a single election cannot even stem the tide, never mind reverse it.  Sure, the republicans will probably win a lot of seats in November, but, going on past history, they will do nothing substantial.  Too many of them are part of the Ruling Class.
    Of course I will do my part and vote for least of the evils and try ad convince anyone I can to vote for freedom versus servitude, but I am not kidding myself about the eventual outcome.  I have had 40+ years of watching my hopes dashed.  Based on this first hand experience and the demographics, I see no reason to think otherwise.  The republicans have proven themselves worthless.

  • So, then, given the circumstances of the costs for these agenda items – Liberals don’t care what things cost, and they are willing to lie to get them.
    Good.  Great system to base your beliefs on.

  • Obama has done a lot — he has accomplished major aspects of his agenda through pragmatic deal making.  You may not think that’s an accomplishment because you disagree with what he’s achieved, but that’s like a fan of the Yankees dismissing a homerun by the Red Sox as not being an accomplishment because it hurts their team.
    Also, the idea that half the country “is up in arms” is silly, even ridiculous.  Most don’t pay attention and Obama’s job approval is near 50%, with the negatives being a mix of true conservatives “up in arms” (probably about 30% — only half of those tea party extremists), people feeling down about the economy (another 10%) and liberals who think Obama too far left (about 10-15%).    This reminds me very much of the early Reagan Administration, when his approval was down at 38%, with the left saying it was a negative judgment on how much Reagan passed early in his administration.    Obama is succeeding because he’s not letting polls or conventional wisdom guide his action — like Reagan, he has certain principles he’s putting into effect.   And, just as the left made a huge error in writing off Reagan two years into his term, the right would be making a similar mistake to think they’re going to come out on top when the dust settles.

    • Ka-Ching!!!  Once again Erb sucks up to his Messiah for his daily 30 pieces of silver.

      It is truly unfortunate that I work for a living or else I would take the time to take this POS comment of yours apart one word at a time – complete with Citations which you do not bother yourself with.  I will leave it to others to take you down this time.

      Note:  Were you even out of diapers during the Reagan years?

      • At least he’s getting paid in a precious metal and not a fiat currency.

        • no, it’s “good little doggy” head pats.  You can tell if you own a pet.
          “Obama is succeeding” – yes, that’s what we call it when unemployment is 9.5% – we call it success.  When legislation and spending driving the deficit somewhere into orbit just below the distance to the Le Grange points, yes, we call that ‘success’.  When the world respects us less, we call that ‘success’.  When our allies are pissed at us, again, ‘success’.

          • It will be telling that in order to bring back strong growth, some of Obama’s “accomplishments” will have to be deleted.

    • Obama has mad a mess of everything he’s laid his hands on. The medical reform bill is utter crap concocted by insane thieves. The financial reform bill is more madness built around power grabs and more malignant bureaucracy.

      But the grand signature was the rush to pass the Stimulus bill the first couple of weeks in. That set the theme. It was an urban looting on a scale unseen in the history of the world. The most destructive pile of crap ever concocted in the demented minds of elected crooks.

      Simple justice, if it were available, would see all of the people who did these things hanged.

      Obama is an unbridled catastrophe, not merely a bad president, or the worst president, but the nightmare president.

    • Obama is “most productive” by what measure ?
      By number of pages in legislation that nobody read …  he’s got that one.
      By backroom deals by shear number or dollar value …  he’s got that one, too.
      By number of pages in legislation that nobody wanted … he’s got that one, by a mile.

      He put in his thumb,
      And pulled out a plum,
      And said ‘What a good boy am I!

      Obama ranks up there with Jack .. or maybe he just ranks.

    • …he has accomplished major aspects of his agenda through pragmatic deal making.

      Or, as its known among honest people “organized crime”.  It is a very dubious “accomplishment” to pass pure crap with overwhelming majorities in Congress over the clear will of the people.  As to your sports analogy, it is more like he’s made a brilliant open-field dash to the opposing end-zone.
      Here’s a cite. Tipping point in 3…2…

    • Obama has done a lot — he has accomplished major aspects of his agenda through pragmatic deal making

      >>> You’re such a halfwit.  If you had stopped after the word “agenda” you’d have been 100% correct.

      Then you go and throw it all away by being a water-carrying simp.

      “Pragmatic deal making”??


      Everything he’s passed has been passed through naked political railroading.

  • Obama is succeeding because he’s not letting polls or conventional wisdom guide his action — like Reagan, he has certain principles he’s putting into effect.   And, just as the left made a huge error in writing off Reagan two years into his term, the right would be making a similar mistake to think they’re going to come out on top when the dust settles.

    Prof. Erb: Well, it comes down to the facts on the ground.
    Just because you can cite some parallels from Obama to Reagan’s first two years doesn’t put Obama on par with Reagan.  The left’s huge error then was that they were wrong, not that they wrote Reagan off.  The left’s huge error (and yours) today IMO is that they refuse to write Obama off. We will just have to see.
    In the meantime I am curious as to whether anything you say today is falsifiable. Under what circusmstances — if any — will you later admit that Obama failed?

    • When the economy starts growing, Obama has to engage in a plan to cut deficits and work towards a balanced budget.   I’m pretty confident that Obama is going to win a second term and probably be remembered as the Democratic Reagan.  Things looked bleak for Reagan at this point in his Presidency too — the left was certain he was failing.  But the politics of the moment can change quickly.

      • When the economy starts growing, Obama has to engage in a plan to cut deficits and work towards a balanced budget.

        Prof. Erb: And if he doesn’t?

        My reading of Obama is that he is much closer to  Charles Rangel than Ronald Reagan. Obama  will keep giving money away to his base in classic machine politics form, as well as classic socialist form. That’s politicians like Obama do. It’s different from Reagan.

        You keep ignoring the substance of what Reagan did. He lowered taxes, moved towards laissez-faire capitalism and took a hard line against our enemies. Mostly it worked. The economy greatly improved and our enemies languished and the Soviet Union succumbed in less than a decade. Remarkable.

        Obama’s policies are the virtually the exact opposite from Reagan’s. If Obama’s policies have the same results, I’ll concede your point that he is the Democratic Reagan.

        If not though, I’ll say that Obama is a failure. If you have intellectual integrity, you’ll concede the same.

        You did not answer my question whether your current claims are falsifiable.

        • [Reagan] … moved towards laissez-faire capitalism…. Mostly it worked.

          No, he didn’t.  Government grew and spent more money over his terms.  He and the Republicans in congress could have taken principled stands against Tip and his buddies, to match the rhetoric of Reagan’s speeches.  But they almost never did, when it really counted.
          Today, we pay for their cowardice and corruption.

          • Given the trendline of accelerating government expenditures, I still say that Reagan moved towards laissez-faire capitalism. I didn’t say he created it.

            If one is assigning blame, I’d say we are paying far more for FDR and LBJ’s excesses than Reagan’s.

        • The substance of what Reagan did was to double government debt (deficit spending during a boom) and preside over the decline of US manufacturing.  The current crisis had its roots in horrid policies done in response to the last recession.  Obama shouldn’t repeat Reagan’s error of massive deficit spending when growth resumes.  If he does, I’ll criticize him.

          • Huxley: government debt in1980 was 30% of GDP, by the end of his term it was 60% of GDP.   Also, the current account went into deficit, and we became even in the private sector a borrow and spend consumer society living on debt rather than production.  The 1980s will be remembered as a very wrong turn in US economic policy.

  • Wow, Cohn packed an awful lot of wrong into one paragraph. There was no “tax cut” there was effectively just a rebate; tax cuts are codified into law changing the rate.

    The “stimulus” package went mostly to leftist schemes, climate change research, and nonsense like dog walks and animal tunnels under highways. Little of it has gone to infrastructure, and the parts that did have been used for high-visibility projects rather than dull maintenance and repairs of things that desperately need it, like bridges.

    The auto industry is no better off now than it was five years ago, except that two of the companies are now partly owned by the government and partly owned by unions.

    I guess from the clueless left point of view, or at least optimistic, this stuff is irrelevant, but to most of us, we see gross overspending putting us TRILLIONS of dollars in debt to fund lefty schemes that were of no value and potentially damaging.