The ideologue’s fairy tale

posted at 3:31 pm on May 6, 2012 by Karl

After rounding up blogger opinion on the campaign season’s “dumb distraction derby,” Jim Geraghty draws upon a “fairy tale liberals tell themselves” he first recounted in 2010:

The fairy tale is that Americans, deep down, really agree with liberals on all of these issues and would heartily embrace their agenda if only these side issues, scandals, and manufactured distractions would just get out of the way.

Geraghty noted that Dems were playing the politics of distraction in 2010. The midterm elections did not end well for them. Pres. Obama seems bent on trying it in a nationwide campaign for 2012. The good news is that independents tend to base their vote more on the economy than partisans do. The bad news is that voters often care less about issues than they do about a candidate’s character, broadly defined. This is why Team Obama is fueling media coverage of the supposed likeability gap between Obama and Romney, stories about how the candidates treat (or eat) dogs, and so on. And this is ultimately why it’s probably a good thing if some on the right fight those battles, while Romney and the GOP focus on the economy. The right does not want to buy into the inverse of the liberal fairy tale.

On the other hand, the fact that the 7%-10% of voters who end up deciding elections are almost by definition not swayed by ideology does not lessen the importance of making the case for smaller government, economic freedom and personal responsibility. As Jonah Goldberg points out in The Tyranny of Cliches, one of the fundamental cliches of the progressive left is pragmatism, i.e., that they are simply doing “what works.” It is also one of the progressive left’s fundamental falsehoods.

The past century has been one in which progressives have put forth the idea that Soviet communism is what works, that Eurofascism is what works, that Maoism is what works, and that Eurosocialism is what works. The actual history of the past century is one in which Eurofascism was defeated in WWII, Soviet communism was defeated in the Cold War, Maoism has degenerated into a fascism and crony capitalism that only Tom Friedman finds attractive, and Eurosocialism is taking its own road to the dustbin of history. To be sure, voters in the UK and France are resisting, the Germans less so. But fiscal realities will continue to intrude, regardless of which governments they elect. They will eventually figure out what the OECD and IMF already have about the solution to their problems: spending less is the answer.

Voters in America — even the non-ideological, low-information voters — will end up absorbing these lessons as they move through life. The right should not adopt pragmatism as its own cliche, but the decay of 20th century progressivism will continue to push the electoral mainstream rightward.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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That finger!

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Should be the middle finger!

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Burma Shave!

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Distract the dummies!

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM

The media will help!

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Sit on it, Obama!

Electrongod on May 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM

My economy sucks!

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Sorry Koolaid2

No whole page for you.

:)

Electrongod on May 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

…’low-information voters’…well…thast’s over 50%!

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Electrongod on May 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

…came in from cutting the lawn…and saw it had been on for 3 minutes…were you taking a nap?

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I see a theme for a web banner ad (or tv) campaign: Radicals at the Helm!

Banner ads, with great visual impact but costing just fractions of a fraction of a cent (or some super low amount), would be extremely effective. In ’07 a Banner Ad with McCain & Ted Kennedy noting their immigration plan, helped torpedo McCain (before he was forgotten about, and then rerose unfortunately).
Run with the Radicals at the Helm banner ad campaign, someone. Several ads to rotate. John Holdren the Science Czar shaking hands with O want to de-develop the U.S., the Energy Secretary Chu wants gas at $8 a gallon. Holder won’t prosecute Black Panthers, but… Or, Van Jones the admitted Marxist who spawned the Occupiers who want to end capitalism and “eat the rich.” What’s her name who said “Mao is my most inspirational leader (paraphrase).” The militantly gay Secretary of Education assistant (?) who was a NAMBLA member, and drug dealer or something. Insane. There’s more where that came from
Other banner ads could be: CIA prosecutions, the New Morality with gif of Obama dancing, War on Energy, Obamacare outrages (several banners), on and on I’m sure. This ad campaign could make the difference! Someone step up to the plate.
Put up a thousand bucks. On the banner, in small print, say that ‘donations go a long long way.’ Donations could fuel expansion of the campaign to saturation levels. By the way, just have the banner ads when clicked go to a collection a links, and a solicitation for a donation. So it’s easy.

anotherJoe on May 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Obama only needs 4 week-long distractions in October 2012 to win the election.

Just 4.

faraway on May 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

“But fiscal realities will continue to intrude, regardless of which governments they elect…”

No one said it better than Col. West…

Seven Percent Solution on May 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

…came in from cutting the lawn…and saw it had been on for 3 minutes…were you taking a nap?

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

No nap…
Came in after watching the wife cutting the lawn :)

Electrongod on May 6, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Jep, Jonah’s book is a must-read, especially the chapters on ideology, pragmatism and dogma. And he is on the last Ricochet podcast, talking about the book and like every R-podcast that features Jonah, its funny as dog-eating!

Valkyriepundit on May 6, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Has anyone asked Julia what she thinks about this?

dirtseller on May 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM

They will eventually figure out what the OECD and IMF already have about the solution to their problems: spending less is the answer.

It’s funny how conveniently you leave the other part of the equation, which is raising revenue. That’s if you are actually quoting the head of IMF.

Salahuddin on May 6, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Caption for that pic:

President Obama teaching dogma…so he won’t be the only one eating it up.

BlaxPac on May 6, 2012 at 3:53 PM

No nap…
Came in after watching the wife cutting the lawn :)

Electrongod on May 6, 2012 at 3:43 PM

…lol…remembered that…
…my wife told me to take a break so she could take a nap!

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Picture caption

“I I I had no sexual relations with that dog”.

Schadenfreude on May 6, 2012 at 4:04 PM

How could the left exist without self deceit? They are more intelligent [because they desire more government?], more tolerant[ but despise dissent] their programs work[ at best,barely at worst, forget it], and the people would support them more if only they would open their eyes,[ right, the same people held in contempt by these loons]. Life is a twisted fantasy, a love affair for of all things, government.

arand on May 6, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Please GOP, tighten the noose. Expose them on their cronyism, vote buying, broken promises,pandering, foreign policy disaster, F&F, Solyndra, Obamacare, etc. There are not enough days nor $$$ in the next 6 mos.to truly show how corrupt this crew is, but can we frigging try. No Mr ‘Nice Guy’ McCain approach.

hillsoftx on May 6, 2012 at 4:16 PM

“Pragmatism.”Fascism.”

VorDaj on May 6, 2012 at 4:21 PM

“Once upon a time there was a wise old elf named Karl Marx and he knew a better way to insure social justice for all…..

DeweyWins on May 6, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Burma Shave!

KOOLAID2 on May 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM

*chortle*

(..who, by the way, was this Bishop guy?)

The War Planner on May 6, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Please GOP, tighten the noose. Expose them on their cronyism, vote buying, broken promises,pandering, foreign policy disaster, F&F, Solyndra, Obamacare, etc. There are not enough days nor $$$ in the next 6 mos.to truly show how corrupt this crew is, but can we frigging try. No Mr ‘Nice Guy’ McCain approach.

hillsoftx on May 6, 2012 at 4:16 PM

This.

We’re in a fight for America’s future. There’s no time for Mr. Nice Guy.

Grace_is_sufficient on May 6, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Has anyone asked Julia what she thinks about this?

dirtseller on May 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Julia is a slut.

Dopenstrange on May 6, 2012 at 4:44 PM

The Democrat Party leadership in this country believes in a Americanized Communism.

It’s just that simple, prove otherwise.

PappyD61 on May 6, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Has anyone asked Julia what she thinks about this?

dirtseller on May 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM

We could ask Winston Smith, but he came down with sudden onset lead poisoning about twenty-eight years ago.

Is truth stranger than fiction, even distopic fiction, or what?

turfmann on May 6, 2012 at 4:58 PM

This is why Team Obama is fueling media coverage of the supposed likeability gap between Obama and Romney

in the meantime …

OBAMA OPENS TO EMPTY SEATS…

Seems appropriate … for an empty suit.

IrishEyes on May 6, 2012 at 5:19 PM

He.

/

Science peeps will get it.

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Seems appropriate … for an empty suit.

IrishEyes on May 6, 2012 at 5:19 PM

that’s kinda Glenn Beck(ish) propoganda. He did have peeps. With signs. They were all white, but they dutifully held their signs.

I want to know where all the black people are. Somebody needs to start asking.

I’m thinking we’re just being respectful.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 5:24 PM

The past century has been one in which progressives have put forth the idea that Soviet communism is what works, that Eurofascism is what works, that Maoism is what works, and that Eurosocialism is what works.

Being a Progressive means never having to say that you are sorry or admit that you were wrong.

Last Exit to Utopia

Resist We Much on May 6, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Has anyone asked Julia what she thinks about this?

dirtseller on May 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Fluke the Julia.

Key West Reader on May 6, 2012 at 5:40 PM

The past century has been one in which progressives have put forth the idea that Soviet communism is what works, that Eurofascism is what works, that Maoism is what works, and that Eurosocialism is what works.

Being a Progressive means never having to say that you are sorry or admit that you were wrong.

Yes, that’s right, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, given their introduction of progressive policies, were both communists and Maoists!

Too amusing to be taken seriously.

It would be more constructive to see conservatives stop whining and start building high growth companies. Why hasn’t there been a new American automaker or any other new high growth industry born from the self-proclaimed experts on capitalism? If your actions only lived up to your talk, perhaps the trade deficit would be much smaller and the middle class would be better off.

bayam on May 6, 2012 at 6:16 PM

They don’t even know what pragmatism is. It must make the Won sound smart if he’s got it.

Kissmygrits on May 6, 2012 at 6:26 PM

bayam on May 6, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Like I said:

Being a Progressive means never having to say that you are sorry or admit that you were wrong.

“Yes, that’s right, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, given their introduction of progressive policies, were both communists and Maoists!”

Lincoln was slapped down by the Supreme Court in several instances for acting too much like a tyrant. His deprivation of habeas corpus and exile of Congressmen were disgusting. As for Teddy Roosevelt, I can’t stand the MF because he was a Progressive.

It would be more constructive to see conservatives stop whining and start building high growth companies.

I AM NOT A CONSERVATIVE FOR THE GAZILLIONTH TIME, YOU BLOODY MORON

Why hasn’t there been a new American automaker or any other new high growth industry born from the self-proclaimed experts on capitalism?

Why would anyone start a business in the United States? We have the highest corporate tax rate in the entire world and the red tape is a bureaucratic nightmare. The individual income, capital gains, and dividend rates are much lower in growing economies. Hell, In PROGRESSIVE Canada, the top marginal tax rate is 29%, the corporate rate is 15%, the CGR is 10%, and the dividend rate is 19%.

If you need to ask me why capitalists haven’t started new businesses in the United States, then you are bloody ignorant and a fool, as well. NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD START A BUSINESS IN THE UNITED STATES, ESPECIALLY WITH OBAMA AS PRESIDENT.

Why do you think that I have been on my own “strike” since Obama took office?

FUND YOUR UTOPIA WITHOUT ME™

Resist We Much on May 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Forget Julia, she’s on the death panel list. Zak is the one we need to reach out to. He’s gotta be thinkin’ there must be something better in my future.

Kissmygrits on May 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Salahuddin on May 6, 2012 at 3:51 PM,

Of course, if you had read at the link, you would see the OECD and IMF recommend spending cuts and small tax increases, not the “balanced” approach pushed by the left here and abroad. And that the IMF’s “Plan B” is spending cuts + tax cuts.

Karl on May 6, 2012 at 6:47 PM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/iowahawk_blog/7143746753/in/photostream/
Slightly off topic. Iowahawk got to Julia. It was difficult to manipulate. I had to sequentially click on the thumbnails to advance, but it was worth it.

talkingpoints on May 6, 2012 at 7:21 PM

ROBERT REICH: THE ANSWER ISN’T SOCIALISM BUT MORE WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION: Er, um, so wouldn’t that actually be more like communism? You can’t make stuff like this up. Apparently the key to economic improvement isn’t harder work, increased efficiency, or self improvement but more aggressive wealth distribution and …… more leisure time? In Reich’s words, “The problem is not that the productivity revolution has caused unemployment or under-employment. The problem is its fruits haven’t been widely shared. Less work isn’t a bad thing. Most people prefer leisure. A productivity revolution such as we are experiencing should enable people to spend less time at work and have more time to do whatever they’d rather do.

this is an instapundit post…but gets to the underlying motives of our leftist trolls. They are not really about arguing things…they just want some chump change. Their utopia is living off of a Trust Fund….but, regrettably, the only trust fund they can hope for it the US Treasury.

Nice people

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/

r keller on May 6, 2012 at 7:33 PM

The idioteologue’s fairy tale

fixed

cableguy615 on May 6, 2012 at 8:26 PM

The Democrats, and their friends in the press, seem to believe this election is going to be close. They seem to believe the Democrats have a chance to take the House back. They seem to believe the Democrats have a chance to retain control in the Senate. What was the election of 2010 about? What have the Democrats done differently since 2010? Do they believe the people who voted in the Republican House are so stupid that they don’t understand the dynamics in Washington D.C.? DO they really believe the President can propose a budget that gets NO VOTES and the people will blame Republicans? Do they really believe the Senate can refuse to pass a budget for 3 years while criticizing the House budget and offer NO ALTERNATIVE and people will blame the Republicans?

It’s possible the Democrats could have swayed some voters if they’d have given them their idea of what the solutions to our problems are. They didn’t and it will cost them.

bflat879 on May 6, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Why would anyone start a business in the United States? We have the highest corporate tax rate in the entire world and the red tape is a bureaucratic nightmare. The individual income, capital gains, and dividend rates are much lower in growing economies. Hell, In PROGRESSIVE Canada, the top marginal tax rate is 29%, the corporate rate is 15%, the CGR is 10%, and the dividend rate is 19%.

If you need to ask me why capitalists haven’t started new businesses in the United States, then you are bloody ignorant and a fool, as well. NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD START A BUSINESS IN THE UNITED STATES, ESPECIALLY WITH OBAMA AS PRESIDENT.

Why do you think that I have been on my own “strike” since Obama took office?

FUND YOUR UTOPIA WITHOUT ME™

Resist We Much on May 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Yep, our resident leftist trolls are willful vomit-brained totalitarian parasites, and proud of it.

ebrown2 on May 6, 2012 at 10:45 PM

spending less is the answer.

SO SPEND MORE! CLOWARD-PIVEN BABY! TEAR IT DOWN!
GOD BLESS DAMN THE MIDDLE CLASS!

Kenosha Kid on May 6, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Their utopia is living off of a Trust Fund….but, regrettably, the only trust fund they can hope for it the US Treasury.

r keller on May 6, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Spot on.

Kenosha Kid on May 6, 2012 at 11:43 PM

None of this would be possible without our having first allowed our culture to become self-gratifying and hedonistic. Even more importantly, we allowed the left to divide our melting pot into angry hating groups to be manipulated by a few words -not the least of which anything PC.
He mentioned the word, character, well morality, virtue, responsibility, and honesty are the glue of any free society -and we no longer seem to seek those things in our “me first, last and always, society-nor do we elect folks that do much other than tell us the lies we wish to hear.

Don L on May 7, 2012 at 3:52 AM

Here is the antidote … http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100127372/in-every-area-of-our-public-life-the-left-is-losing-the-argument/

A vision into our future if Obama wins again – it means that we will have to learn our own lessons, rather than avoiding pain by learning from the mistakes of others. Even so, it gives me hope that in that dark possible future, eventually the tide will turn. ‘The facts of life are Conservative’.

OneFreeMan on May 7, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Eurosocialism seems to muddle on tolerably well in relatively homogenous territories where a good work ethic can be promoted and culturally enforced. Other situations don’t seem to work as well.

krome on May 7, 2012 at 11:42 AM