January 27, 2010. By Christopher Chantrill, from 'The American Thinker' Blog
Isn't it great to have a Republican senator from Massachusetts? It's also good to have the First Amendment reaffirmed by the United States Supreme Court -- even if our liberal friends are shocked and appalled at the notion of corporations sticking up for themselves. As delicious as last week's good news was for conservatives, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet. We do not mean that every week will bring new conservative successes. Not at all. It is just that every month will bring fresh anguish for President Obama and his supporters.
There's the sinking spell in the equity markets last week. It might be from worrying about the president's anti-banker populism. Or more likely, it is telling us that we are not out of the woods yet on the economy. I suspect disappointing news on fourth-quarter GDP on January 29. Indeed, it's pretty clear after 2009, the year the locusts ate, that President Obama and his liberal supporters are facing an annus horribilis. And they know it. Here's Jon Jeter of The Root telling his readers to be afraid, very afraid. He sees "a perfect, gathering storm of economics, politics and tribalism[.]"
Trilbalism? I'm afraid so. Racism is rearing its ugly head again. Jeter quotes Andrea Mitchell, who sees anger out there -- the worst since the days of George Wallace. And guess who will be taking the part of George Wallace this time around: Sarah Palin. Palin is the latest in a long line of demagogues -from post-Reconstruction governors in the Deep South to Father Coughlin in the '30s, from Reagan to Lou Dobbs-who've emerged to redeem, or reclaim, the land from Northern carpetbaggers and uppity Negroes.
It still takes me by surprise when the liberals reaches for the racist redneck line. Yet it makes complete sense. If you are writing the narrative of a progressive vanguard leading the world into a highly evolved future, then your story needs an antagonist. The redneck, racist truck-driver with a rifle in the back window fits the part to a T.
Presumably President Obama is trying to preempt the right-wing racists by getting the first dagger into the backs of the bankers. After all, it was the bankers who sent the Okies to California.
Here's my prediction. The president's banker gambit will fall as flat as his stimulus plan, his cap-and-trade bill, and his ObamaCare fiasco. But that will be the least of his problems. There will be continuing high unemployment right through 2010, which I predicted a couple of weeks ago. There's the housing market that still hasn't turned. There's the huge monetary stimulus that must be unwound. There's the budget crisis in the states. There is the tax increase coming in 2011 when the Bush tax cuts expire. Oh, and did I mention the budget deficit and runaway federal spending, or everyone's favorite, Fannie and Freddie?
It is becoming more and more clear that neither Obama nor Axelrod nor Emanuel really understands ordinary, suburban, private-sector, Joe the Plumber America. Urban America they know. But not suburban Massachusetts.
Scott Brown's victory last week, writes Bill Kristol, demonstrated the potential of an "enlightened, good-natured, constructive populism." Notice also how the new Brownian motion slices through the "enlightened progressives vs. benighted reactionaries" narrative of liberal Jon Jeter.
Jeter's liberal way is the pre-modern way, a hierarchical moral order, with the educated elite guiding the unevolved peasants. The conservative way is the Modern Moral Order, as Charles Taylor describes it in A Secular Age:
The basic normative principle is, indeed, that the members of society serve each other's needs, help each other, in short, behave like the rational and sociable creatures that they are ... In other words, the basic point of the new normative order [is] the mutual respect and mutual service of the individuals who make up society.
This all comes straight from John Locke. So a president who wants health care organized in a single administrative bureaucratic program is missing the basic Lockean point. He is proposing a new version of the old medieval hierarchical structure, where kings ruled by divine right. Only now, liberals want to rule by educated right.
The president has a problem, as Mark Steyn points out: "[Obama ran for president] as something he's not, and never has been: a post-partisan, centrist, transformative healer[.]" After a year of the president reverting to type as a partisan, left-liberal wheeler-dealer, the American people have declared in three elections so far that they didn't vote for that. They wanted someone who would stop the bickering and grow the economy.
So what does Obama do now? The way he's going, there may not be a Democratic Party by the end of his term in 2013.
As I said, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his roadtothemiddleclass.com and usgovernmentspending.com. His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.