Free Markets, Free People

“In a wave election, … you feel powerless. Everything I feel I know how to do, that I’m trained to do, I can’t do.”

The title comes from a quote by a pollster for the Democrats in this article. Most of the article is about the resignation that the GOP will take the House, with some Democratic strategists predicting as many as 70 Republican pickups.

I highlighted that quote because I think it indicates what is different about this election and what is wrong with most elections.

Democratic consultants, pollsters, and strategists have a tried-and-true playbook. It includes some of the following:

  • Raise a whole lot of money from people who have a vested interest in more government, and promise them to exert the power of government on their behalf.
  • Don’t make concrete promises on the campaign trail. Talk about generic “hope” and “change” and similar ideas, so that you can carry out your special interest policies in office without anyone overtly accusing you of lying.
  • Rely on various groups to get out the vote from reliably Democratic special interests. Depend on those proxies to push the rules to the edge, and maybe break them, but expect that any fallout will take place after the election and so far ahead of the next election that it will have faded from the news.
  • Demonize the GOP opposition. If they utter a single word about cutting government spending, accuse them of wanting old people to eat cat food, or whatever. Talk in a generic sense about how you are in favor of responsible government and you want to cut “fat” and “waste”. This reassures clueless moderates, and your leftist base has long since grown to understand that these are code words for cutting stuff leftists don’t like, such as the military, or doing nothing at all.
  • Depend on most of the media to help you demonize the opposition, carry water for your campaign, and studiously ignore anything that makes you look bad.
  • Have your special interest groups, especially unions, round up a bunch of relatively uninterested people to come to your rallies, frame them as making it look like you’re enormously popular, and depend on the media to use that to make you look so popular that you can’t be beaten.
  • This anonymous Democratic pollster is right. None of that is working. Thank goodness, because it’s time and past time for such tactics to fail.

    To be sure, Republicans sometimes dabble in the same tactics. They can’t depend on the media to carry water unless they are pretty lickspittle to the press and talk trash about other Republicans, but some of them do that. And generic promises and backroom special interest deals are a staple among professional politicians of all stripes. The interesting thing about this election to me is that some of those Republicans faced the same difficulties as the Democrats (an “adverse political climate“) and some are already gone from the field.

    This election is different because there is a contingent of voters that simply does not give the benefit of the doubt to either professional politicians or the media any longer. In fact, it’s worse than that. They assume what they’re hearing from those entities is distorted or dishonest. They assume the media has chosen sides. They assume that the professional politician cares more about his power and perqs than about governing responsibly.

    They have every reason to assume all of this, because it’s all true.

    I see two things that have made the difference this time around. First, the media trashed any remaining credibility they had in relentlessly pimping for Obama. They covered up every potentially damaging fact that came up about him, never challenged him on specific policies, and basically acted as though they would be happy to bear his child (even the men) if that could be made to happen. This level of obsequiousness was detectable even in people who don’t pay much attention to politics.

    Second, the failure of leftism, and the arrogance of leftism even in the face of its own failure, is more obvious than ever. Obama and his cronies have made no attempt to hide their contempt for the foundational principles of the country. They believe they know better than the common citizens what is best for the common citizens.

    That arrogance has been around for a while. There are Democrats who have been trying to nationalize healthcare since Medicare passed in the sixties.

    The difference is that now it’s on open display. Barney Frank can now be caught saying outright that he wants single payer, but it can’t pass right now, so Obamacare is the best progress they can make this time around. Multiply this by thousands as the words Democrats are used to telling the faithful (and expecting to be hidden from wider view by a complicit media) now get played on YouTube to millions of pi$$ed off voters.

    We have a generation of political consultants and strategists who have basically looked at voters as a large group of marks and suckers. With good reason, since tactics based on that attitude have worked to put odious, nasty leftists like Frank, Henry Waxman, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Pat Leahy, and many others in office for decades.

    My biggest hope based on this election is that our incompetent and corrupt ruling class has at last awoken a critical mass of voters who refuse to be marks and suckers. Who work relentlessly to expose the true arrogance and ineptitude of pro politicians, and the feckless bias of the media.

    We’ll have to wait until 2012 to see if that’s the case. But then, I’ve waited all my life to see that critical mass awaken, and I’d almost given up even trying to talk to people about the dangers we face from unbridled government. I can wait a while longer to see if I’ll be disappointed again.

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    9 Responses to “In a wave election, … you feel powerless. Everything I feel I know how to do, that I’m trained to do, I can’t do.”

    • I think that regardless of “wave” size, there’s a to-do list that will disappoint us greatly if we don’t get most of it including:

      – Dumping Reid
      – Dumping Nancy as speaker
      – Dumping Bawney Fwank
      – Anyone other than Murkowski wins ins AK (yes, I’d rather the Dem win if Miller can’t)
      – A Rubio blowout

      Between Angle, Rubio and Paul, the tea party would have had quite the excellent night. O’Donnell is the impossible dream…

    • The fall of the MSM and the rise of new media are very, very hopeful signs.
      The fact that a horrendous economy did not push us even further left is a tribute to education. I am not sure how that lesson filtered through the left-wing academia and school system, but it did.
      The next stage is to hold the fire to the feet of the new Congress and to cultivate leaders who could carry the small government torch forward.

      • I caught a couple of minutes of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann last night.
        His worry … that some Republican was going to extort Obama to make his birth certificate public.
        Now there are a lot of problems in this world, but, frankly, this sits near the bottom. There is no death involved .. at least not by the electorate. There is no money involved .. especially not the taxpayers money.
        If the worst that can happen as a result of Republicans taking over DC on Tuesday, is the revelation of Barack Obama’s “long form” birth certificate, then there is no better reason to go out and vote for Republicans

    • I put my emphasis on two points that defined this election .. both directly involve Nancy Pelosi.
      1)  When Nancy Pelosi told the President, after the election of Scott Brown in the “bluest” of states had destroyed the “super majority” in the Senate, to go ahead with reconciliation to pass ObamaCare.
      2) When Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats blew off the “Tea Party” movement as “astroturf”
      In both cases, these were the equivalent of “putting your finder in the eye” of the electorate.  The “Will of the People” was to be ignored for … you pick the reason, it really doesn’t matter anymore.

    • I am not as optimistic that this is any sort of sea change. However, that may still come as the economy gets worse, as I predict that it will. At any rate you are correct that the presence of new media, the internet, and the ubiquitious cell phone camera have changed things in a way that will forever put a damper on at least some of the more odious tactics of the past.

      • I agree.  The hard part starts after the election: holding the new Congress’ feet to the fire to see that they follow through with getting the budget under control.

        As for the new media, etc.: I wonder if we won’t see MORE calls for a return of the Fairness Doctrine and internet regulation as the libs cast about for a reason to explain why they got spanked.  “It’s those b*stards on Fox News, talk radio, and all those wingnut liars on their blogs!  We gotta stop them for the good of the country!  The First Amendment doesn’t protect hate speech or lies!!!!” I also wouldn’t be surprised to see some (ahem) bipartisan support for a law about photographing / recording public figures.  After all, there will be Republicans who get caught doing something stupid / embarrassing on somebody’s camera phone, and they’ll want that suppressed just as much as the dems.

        For the good of the country, of course.

      • I predict that if we don’t fix social security, medicare, and now obamacare, we will end up like Greece, except no one will be able or willing to bail us out.

    • Truman attempted socialized healthcare, and at one point a socialized helthcare plan was going to be part of social security. The Democrats have been pushing the idea seriously since the 30s.