Beyond Brown the second round
By Dr. Robert Owens
In the recent Massachusetts election Republican Scott Brown confounded the purveyors of conventional wisdom and caused a magnitude 10 earthquake in the political world by liberating the Kennedy Senate Fiefdom from the grip of the Democrat machine. To the 24 hour talking-heads this changes everything since the Democrats can no longer cut-off debate in the Senate though they can still stifle debate in the House and hold the Executive Department in their iron fist. But did the Party of Power really experience anything besides a bump in the road?
In President Obama's estimation, "we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people." In reality Mr. Obama has made 52 addresses or statements specifically on his health care proposals, holding 42 news conferences, participating in 158 interviews, hosting 23 town hall meetings, making 46 out-of-town trips to 58 cities and towns in 30 states. If he hasn't been speaking directly to the American people what has he been doing? He's on TV more than Vinny from Sham Wow. Considering that after the seismic electoral event in Massachusetts Mr. Obama's political Svengali David Axelrod said, "We'll have to think through this next year from the standpoint of tactics but in substance the mission can't change." It isn't that the President hasn't talked enough the problem is he isn't listening. Communication is a two-way exchange and what we have here is a failure to communicate.
The day after the Massachusetts megaphone shouted loud and clear, "We don't want your big government pork-barrel ways!!!" The party of power signaled their shopping spree wasn't over yet when they proposed raising the debt limit farther and faster than ever before. Raising the debt limit is nothing new. What's new is that in our RE-Made America instead of billions now it's trillions. The Democrat Senate proposed raising the limit by $1.9 trillion in one fell swoop. This is a record increase which raises the official national debt to reach $14.3 trillion.
Although this level of debt is wildly unpopular the legislation is needed to prevent the default of the United States. Maybe if we charge the Visa on the MasterCard and the MasterCard on Discover and Discover on American Express and American Express on the Visa it will all work out? We can't spend our way back to prosperity and we can't borrow our way to solvency. The fiscal insanity in Washington is one of the things the American people are protesting against in Tea Parties, town halls and elections.
In the 1890s a movement grew out International Socialism. It manifested itself in many ways in the United States. In religion it became the Social Gospel, in education the Dewey Method and in politics Progressivism. In the first half of the 20th century America had three Progressive Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and FDR controlling both major parties. These three leaders and the movement they represented attempted to change America from a country of limited government to a country of massive government. Once people realized that progressivism meant government intrusion into the smallest parts of their life and the redistribution of wealth through oppressive taxation they repudiated them and sought other leaders.
As people rejected Progressivism the Big Government cadre in both parties perverted an old label and became Liberals. As people realized modern Liberalism is nothing more than a scheme to redistribute wealth and buy votes with entitlements they morphed back into Modern Progressives. As people begin to realize that modern Progressivism is nothing more than a scheme to redistribute wealth and buy votes with entitlements watch as the shape-shifters turn into Populists. It should be interesting to watch as the captured media transform a Harvard lawyer who rails against people clinging to guns and Bibles and makes fun of people driving pick-up trucks into a man of the people. Running out of the besieged Tower of Doom shouting "Down with the Banks!" pretending to lead the crowd marching on his agenda isn't going to fool anyone.
The defeat of Democrats in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts will cause pragmatists to split off from Progressives. Those who're merely professional politicians especially those in competitive districts will scramble to the middle trying to keep their jobs while those entrenched in gerrymandered districts and the committed Progressives will try to push through their collectivist agenda by any means possible. They'll get something they can call Medical Insurance Reform through Congress that will metastasize into one-size fits all universal coverage. If they can't pass Cap-N-Trade the EPA will impose it through regulations. If they can't pass Import-a-Voter Immigration Reform they'll continue to tear down what's left of the Southern Border while winking at the lack of enforcement everywhere else and if they can't pass Universal Registration extending the vote to every name on a government form they've always got ACORN. If they can't pass Regulatory Reform the Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein will impose it.
Everyone else may see the Massachusetts vote as breaking new ground all the Administration heard was the bell for the second round.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. © 2010 Robert R. Owens email@example.com