Are the Dems doomed?

posted at 5:16 pm on June 23, 2012 by Karl

That is the question Jonah Goldberg asks after reading Jay Cost’s recent essay for National Affairs titled “The Politics of Loss.” It is an insightful essay; you should read it all because even this extended excerpt does not fully do it justice:

For generations after World War II, both parties agreed implicitly upon a great American share-out: The fantastic growth of the American economy gave politicians in both parties the enviable task of deciding how the annual surplus would be divided, meaning that everybody could be a winner. Republicans could cut taxes and dabble in generous social-welfare benefits; Democrats could distribute generous social-welfare benefits and dabble in tax cuts; both parties could push for an overpowering military; and all the while the annual budget deficit stayed more or less within a tolerable range. It was a true win-win, with political disagreements largely fought over which side would win more.

***

In our time, however, this balance has been upset not only by the severity of the most recent recession, but also by the weakness of the recoveries that have followed the downturns of the past decade. Evidence would suggest that the great American growth machine is sputtering, with forecasts auguring middling growth next year (around 2%), essentially continuing the unimpressive trend of the past decade. And this economic torpor strikes at the worst possible moment: The Baby Boomers — an outsized generation that came about because of the post-war era’s unparalleled prosperity — are now starting to collect on the generous promises that politicians made when they were just children.

The days when lawmakers could give to some Americans without shortchanging others are over; the politics of deciding who loses what, and when and how, is upon us. Neither party yet fully understands the implications of this shift, which means both parties risk being caught unprepared when the economic slowdown forces profound changes in American politics. The great American share-out is coming to an end — and, with it, the rules and norms of our politics that several generations have taken for granted.

Jonah sees the politics of loss as more of a threat to the Democrats:

[T]here’s a key difference between the parties. The Democrats tend to be more traditionally coalitional: If everyone sticks together, everyone gets paid. In the age of austerity, however, zero-sum politics become more of the norm. When one constituency’s victory is another’s loss, the payoff for solidarity diminishes.

However, Jay’s essay presents a more pessimistic outlook:

Popular support for a right-leaning economic agenda depends upon the belief that the free market generates broad prosperity in the long term. In other words, when the average person believes that he is better off in an unfettered market, he will support conservatives — even if a few of his fellow citizens are enjoying unequal shares of the national surplus.

***

When prosperity is lacking, however, liberal Democrats have the upper hand.

Thus, Jay urges “a relentless, unapologetic growth agenda, promoted on the campaign trail and adopted in Washington should Republicans win in 2012.”

Although I have previously addressed the politics of loss, I have yet to be persuaded of either perspective. Although I agree with Jonah that a true fiscal crisis will split the client groups of the Democratic party, the author of The Tyranny of Clichés certainly knows the direction of history is not inevitable. A fiscal crisis would also pose problems for the GOP. For example, Medicare is one of our largest unfunded liabilities and seniors are currently a GOP-leaning demographic. If the GOP cannot achieve entitlement reform before the moment of crisis, the party would be faced with the sort of hard choices that usually cause politicians of any party to make bad policy. Moreover, the current politics of the Eurozone suggest that if the left can fool people into believing the so-called “balanced approach” to debt is actually cutting spending, we could become trapped in the economic quicksand Jay fears.

What surprises me most about Jay’s essay is that in looking for solutions, he did not link the themes of his essay to those of his terrific new book, Spoiled Rotten. In his book, Jay details the history of the Democratic Party, concluding that it has become so captured by its client groups that it is no longer capable of governing in the general public interest. In 1992, Jonathan Rauch coined a term for this: “demosclerosis.” Riffing on Mancur Olson’s The Rise and Decline of Nations, Rauch argued:

Economically speaking, entrenched interest groups slow the adoption of new technology and ideas by clinging to the status quo. They distort the economy, and so reduce its efficiency, by locking out competition and locking in subsidies. As they grow, they suck more of society’s top talent into the redistribution industry. All in all, the economic costs can be very large. ***

The other kind of effect is on government. The accretion of interest groups, and the rise of bickering over scarce resources, Olson feared, can “make societies ungovernable.”

Now the theory’s darker implications come into view. “The logic of the argument implies that countries that have had democratic freedom of organization without upheaval or invasion the longest will suffer the most from growth-repressing organizations and combinations,” Olson wrote. If he is right, then the piling up of entrenched interest groups, each clinging to some favorable deal or subsidy, is an inevitable process as democracies age.

However, occasionally some cataclysmic event — war, perhaps, or revolution — may sweep away an existing government and, with it, the countless cozy arrangements that are protected by interest groups.

Is America headed toward a cataclysm? At the New Criterion, James Piereson considers the possibility:

What, then, is likely to happen? The United States will lurch forward for a few years yet, borrowing still more money to finance our public programs and putting off, for a time, any serious measures to address the problems of spending and debt until some event intervenes to force our hand. The United States has placed itself in a position in which it is vulnerable to any number of unforeseen and uncontrollable events. The bond markets could revolt against increasing levels of debt. Interest rates could rise to ruinous levels. A major bank or two might fail, precipitating a new financial crisis. A war or revolution in the Middle East could cause a spike in oil prices. Terrorists might strike again. We could face a new recession before we have fully recovered from the last one. Europe could go into recession as a result of its own debt crisis, thereby curbing the demand for American exports. Because the United States is already skating on thin ice with little room to maneuver, any or all of these events would bring the current system to a point of crisis where Congress would have to slash spending and renegotiate promises it has made. At this point the United States would enter uncharted political territory.

This would be the ultimate challenge for a political regime organized around public spending and debt. It would immediately lead to a highly charged political situation in which incumbents are voted out of office, interest groups battle to protect their pieces of the budget, and the political parties struggle to keep their electoral coalitions intact. As this process unfolds, Americans may then witness the kinds of events not seen in this country since the 1930s or, even, the 1850s and 1860s: protesters invading the U.S. Capitol, politicians refusing to leave office after they have lost elections, defiance of the Supreme Court, the emergence of new leaders, and, possibly, the formation of new political parties. All of this can be expected from a process in which an entrenched system of politics withers and dies and a new one is gradually organized to take its place.

This level of political turmoil ought to be avoidable. As Jay suggests, a relentless focus on economic growth is crucial. However, conservatives and libertarians need to be more creative in how they think and argue about promoting economic growth. It’s not all about tax cuts. Debt overhang can depress economic growth for decades. Fighting demosclerosis promotes economic growth. The reform and restriction of public-sector unionism (a key factor of demosclerosis) promotes economic growth. The exposure and elimination of crony capitalism promotes economic growth. The right needs to present a unified theory based on the link between economic growth and small-r republicanism.

Jay is also correct in insisting that the emphasis on growth be part of Republican campaigns, although I differ slightly with his reasoning. Jay argues it is important to make a growth agenda part of campaigns so that the GOP has a “mandate” to enact it once in government. In an era of increasing political polarization, it is less clear to me that any party or president will be able to claim a “mandate” to do particular things. Barack Obama campaigned on healthcare, but he ended up with a plan more like Hillary Clinton’s — and even then only because a financial crisis helped sweep sufficient numbers of Democrats into Congress, not because there was any public mandate to enact Obamacare. Nevertheless, campaigns tend to be the most teachable moments in politics, the moments when those who pay little attention to politics pay attention. Moreover, campaign coverage is ultimately driven mostly by the candidates; outside elections, the political environment rests more within the control of cultural, journalistic, and educational institutions controlled by the left. Campaigns at least present the opportunity for the right to make its case with less of a filter than usual.

Are the Dems doomed? To be sure, the politics of loss would present more immediate challenges to the client coalition driving the Democratic Party. Nevertheless, the left retains institutional advantages that would allow them to spin the failure of their “balanced approach” to the debt as a failure of basic principles of fiscal responsibility. The Dems will only lose if the right consistently makes the case that what Walter Russell Mead calls the Blue Social Model is failing not only because it is running out of money, but also because it is a major reason we are running out of money.

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For the good of the American people, I hope so.

tom daschle concerned on June 23, 2012 at 5:18 PM

For the sake of the world, I certainly HOPE the DIM-crats are doomed…

Turn out the lights… the party’s over…

Khun Joe on June 23, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Desperate shameless criminals do desperate shameless things. That’s the only thing I worry about.

RBMN on June 23, 2012 at 5:22 PM

As long as there are welfare checks and food stamps, there will be Democrats.

timberline on June 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM

For 60 years the democrat party has championed the poor, the oppressed, and minorities.

They had both chambers of the Congress and the Presidency for decades.

How are their victim groups doing today? Are they better off? Are they more free? Are they more prosperous? Do they enjoy greater liberty?

tom daschle concerned on June 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM

OT: Holy Sh*t! An article on Brian Terry just came thru my AOL news slide show thingie! I’m amazed. The promo didn’t sound to good for the DOJ!

JAM on June 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Yeah! Well done! Reinforce Victory Disease!

Limerick on June 23, 2012 at 5:27 PM

even if a few of his fellow citizens are enjoying unequal shares of the national surplus.

Since when did we start measuring prosperity by how evenly the wealth is distributed? That’s just nuts.

The Rogue Tomato on June 23, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Are the Dems doomed?

It’s either them or America, so let’s hope so.

squint on June 23, 2012 at 5:29 PM

OT: Holy Sh*t! An article on Brian Terry just came thru my AOL news slide show thingie! I’m amazed. The promo didn’t sound to good for the DOJ!

JAM on June 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Share it with us or it didn’t happen.

timberline on June 23, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Never forget the other name for the RNC, Punxsutawney Phil.

Limerick on June 23, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Are the Dems doomed?

Hopefully. In the words of Roy Orbison.

GrannyDee on June 23, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Obama’s White Support Is Too Low to Win

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/06/obamas-white-support-is-too-low-to-win.html

M2RB: Foreigner, live Dortmund, Germany
.
.
Obama’s Very Bad, Terrible, Atrocious, Not-So-Great June

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/06/obamas-very-bad-terrible-atrocious-not.html

M2RB: Death In June

Resist We Much on June 23, 2012 at 5:34 PM

OT: Holy Sh*t! An article on Brian Terry just came thru my AOL news slide show thingie! I’m amazed. The promo didn’t sound to good for the DOJ!

JAM on June 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM

AOL still exists? Huh…

squint on June 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM

The Baby Boomers — an outsized generation

It’s all our fault.

We should do the right thing and take The Pill™.

davidk on June 23, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Popular support for a right-leaning economic agenda depends upon the belief that the free market generates broad prosperity in the long term.

i.e. Individual liberty, which is what the free market is an expression of.

Well … when America decides that it no longer likes individual liberty (for which private property rights are an absolute necessity) then it’s just no longer America. We’re barely America, now … only still so because there’s a chance this ship can be righted – slim as it may be.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 23, 2012 at 5:37 PM

I pray to goodness the dems/progressives ARE doomed! They have tried for decades and decades to take over our nation and bho/team/d’s are doing their evil best to see it happens? I think the d’s under estimate the citizens of the US! We have not been under such as europe or other nations here. The closest we ever came was with fdr putting Asians in camps during WW11. That is one of the reasons we have got to keep the 2nd to stop krap like this!

I don’t care how much the d’s/progressives want our Republic, I pray enough of us stops them?
L

letget on June 23, 2012 at 5:40 PM

They’re doing a great job of destroying themselves lately, and I hope they succeed at that before they destroy the country.

At the rate they dhimmis are going, they should implode soon.

Philly on June 23, 2012 at 5:44 PM

If this essay is anywhere near the truth, then we really have been screwed for over half a century by both parties.

bgibbs1000 on June 23, 2012 at 5:50 PM

I am thinking 2 decades from now we will reflect and conclude Obama was the best thing that ever happened to America—the 4 yr period that awakened the patriots realizing they would never take her liberty for granted again.

hillsoftx on June 23, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Barry and the Dems had been in the attack mode in the last week after the immigration pandering bone Barry threw out. You can hear how the single issue Latinos were eating it up in Miami. The last couple of days also see coordinated attacks by WaPo and NYT on Bain and outsourcing. If and when the Supremes ruled against Barry,he will attack the Court to motivate the base .

Those tactics may work. Romney is tied with Barry not because he is a weak candidate, but because Barry can always count on his base of union thugs, dependence class, single issue voters, moonbats and low information sheeples.

bayview on June 23, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Are the Dems doomed?

In their current incarnation, perhaps. America’s current fiscal path is unsustainable.

But I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: as long as there are people who want something for nothing, and as long as there are cynical community organizers politicians willing to promise those people something for nothing in exchange for power*, the left will endure in some form.

Yes, those people seeking “something for nothing” are in fact giving something up if they pledge their loyalty to some benevolent leader, government, or “social movement” in return for “free” stuff, but this is something too many people will never understand.

MidniteRambler on June 23, 2012 at 5:53 PM

More wishful thinking for the GOP. You can have opinion pieces, we’ll take all the swing state polls where O is ahead. Thanks.

inthemiddle on June 23, 2012 at 5:56 PM

If we can’t get kick the jackasses out of government this cycle, the country is doomed. We can all pretend like it’s salvageable, but it won’t be.

The only thing we can look forward to is a hopefully peaceful revlotuion in which the liberty loving red states withdraw and form their own union. Let’s face it: half the people we share this country with now have more in common with your average Canadian than us.

The new constitution can be based exactly on the old, with added amendments prohibiting any kind of federal retirement or healthcare plans, repeal of the 16th Amendment and replace it with a balanced budget amendment. We can codify CO2 as a non-pollutant, and the Fed will once again tie our currency to gold or some other commodity. We can call her the “Federalist States of America” under the banner of some hybrid USA/Gadsden flag.

Meanwhile, the blue states can have the authoritarian centralized government they’ve always dreamed about. Then, we can watch them cann!balize themselves from afar….and laugh.

The Count on June 23, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Are the Dems doomed?

I certainly am praying that they are.

SWalker on June 23, 2012 at 6:01 PM

There is still a chance, unfortunately. 1 In today’s ‘American Idol’ “rock star” mentality, a drab Romney picking an equally drab (anybody OTHER than Rubio or Jindal) running mate will hurt. 2. A dumbed down American electorate who, among other things, still blames Bush for a bad economy. and 3. A mainstream media nearly 100% in Obama’s corner-so much so that much of the public is still unaware of Fast & Furious!!!

MaiDee on June 23, 2012 at 6:02 PM

The Count on June 23, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Sadly, that is the best outcome we can hope for if the current administration is re-elected and Dingy Harry maintains his majority.

The worst thing would be for the red states to try to “save the marriage” and allow themselves and their citizens to continue to be abused by the statists.

AZfederalist on June 23, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Are the Dems doomed?

I’d say, at this moment in time, probably not. Consider the fact that, if any current politician, republican, democrat, or independent, were to say that they wanted to end social security altogether, it would be absolute political suicide.

theoddmanout on June 23, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Even if the Donks die you need to remember that both parties are dominated by progressives. Romney is simply the latest incarnation on the presidential candidate level. Both Bushes and Ford were progs and did an immense amount of harm to the country.

Quartermaster on June 23, 2012 at 6:03 PM

As long as there are welfare checks and food stamps, there will be Democrats.

timberline on June 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Not if a condition for receiving welfare checks and food stamps for more than two years is to remove your voter registration, and to pay twice the value received back if you vote within a year of terminating these benefits.

Of course, we need to take thumb prints with each vote so nobody getting wlefare checks or food stamps is penalized for a fraudulent vote.

The Senate can pass it under reconciliation, since payback is unpleasant.

WhatNot on June 23, 2012 at 6:03 PM

The days when lawmakers could give to some Americans without shortchanging others are over; the politics of deciding who loses what, and when and how, is upon us. Neither party yet fully understands the implications of this shift, which means both parties risk being caught unprepared when the economic slowdown forces profound changes in American politics.

I see where this is going but also don’t believe it has to be that way. We have a large generation that is coming out of the workforce and onto benefits and the generation replacing them is A: smaller and B: unemployed so they aren’t paying into the system. We need tax cuts, particular capital gains a dividend cuts that spur business investment and reward but that is against the Democrats’ religion as it might benefit the 1%. But getting those kids employed and paying in to social security is key. The second thing we need is to get immigrants above board and paying into the system. Immigration can make up the difference between a large generation leaving the workforce and a smaller generation coming it. But that goes against the Republicans’ religion because making anything easy for immigrants who have already arrived here outside the existing system causes them to sneeze. So we have two political ideologies at odds and each one of them has a fundamental objection to at least one of the things that needs to be done.

We’re going to need a government that goes against BOTH ideologies to some extent if we are going to fix this problem.

crosspatch on June 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

The are doomed only until Republicans screw it all up and hand it back to them. I suspect Romney will be handing it back to a Dem in 2016.

rickv404 on June 23, 2012 at 6:06 PM

A mainstream media nearly 100% in Obama’s corner-so much so that …

MaiDee on June 23, 2012 at 6:02 PM

If Obama keeps pushing this “unfettered PAC’s” meme, some enterprising Republican group ought to start formal inquiries with the FEC as to whether the mainstream media support for Obama constitutes an “in-kind” donation.

AZfederalist on June 23, 2012 at 6:10 PM

More wishful thinking for the GOP. You can have opinion pieces, we’ll take all the swing state polls where O is ahead. Thanks.

inthemiddle on June 23, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I’m far from certain that the American people won’t double-down on stupid, but swing state polling trends seem to indicate that your bluster is just that.

The Count on June 23, 2012 at 6:11 PM

http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/state/president-obama-trips-at-a-campaign-appearance-in-tampa

heh!! Faceplant!!!!

ted c on June 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

But he did not go all the way down.

bayview on June 23, 2012 at 6:11 PM

They are not “doomed”, just a set back for them…They’ll regroup, rebuild and re-emerge. As noted many times, as long as there are people that don’t want to work and will exchange their votes for more free sh*t, there will be democrats….

It’s almost like it’s in their DNA….

Tim Zank on June 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

However, occasionally some cataclysmic event — war, perhaps, or revolution — may sweep away an existing government and, with it, the countless cozy arrangements that are protected by interest groups.

While these people sit around debating the finer points of this topic the actual American people are voting democrats out of office every chance they get. Democrats have become more illogical, more irrational, and more stupid every day. As I said in another thread, there is no working with them, there is just defeating them. If they want a socialist utopia, they are going to need to move to France.

Night Owl on June 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

If this essay is anywhere near the truth, then we really have been screwed for over half a century by both parties.

bgibbs1000 on June 23, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Welcome back Rip Van Winkle

Rio Linda Refugee on June 23, 2012 at 6:16 PM

There will be a referendum for Democrats this November.

Oh Yes, there will be.

FlatFoot on June 23, 2012 at 6:18 PM

AOL still exists? Huh…

squint on June 23, 2012 at 5:35 PM

I was razzing my sister last week because she still has he AOL e-mail account.

Rio Linda Refugee on June 23, 2012 at 6:18 PM

http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/state/president-obama-trips-at-a-campaign-appearance-in-tampa

heh!! Faceplant!!!!

ted c on June 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

You know, if you pair that with his umbrella moment and a couple other mis-steps, the MSM could gen up a Gerald Ford clumsy president theme. Of course the sycophants in the press won’t do that, but it certainly is as applicable.

AZfederalist on June 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM

heh!! Faceplant!!!!

ted c on June 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Faceplant? I dunno about that — We’ve seen him bow deeper to Kings, Emperors, and foreign Presidents.

FlatFoot on June 23, 2012 at 6:20 PM

More wishful thinking for the GOP. You can have opinion pieces, we’ll take all the swing state polls where O is ahead. Thanks.

inthemiddle on June 23, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Talk about wishful thinking!

Night Owl on June 23, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Jack Webb Schools Obama on Democracy

davidk on June 23, 2012 at 6:23 PM

The best thing that could happen to the Democratic Party is if Obama lost: it would give them 4 years to rebrand their party.

aryeung on June 23, 2012 at 6:25 PM

These people are not Democrats. They are Statists, Socialists and Communists.

The sooner those still in the “party” realize this and distance themselves, the better off we will all be. I’d be ashamed to have the scarlet “D” after my name right now, after this spectacular failure called Obama.

Key West Reader on June 23, 2012 at 6:29 PM

OT: Holy Sh*t! An article on Brian Terry just came thru my AOL news slide show thingie! I’m amazed. The promo didn’t sound to good for the DOJ!

JAM on June 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Share it with us or it didn’t happen.

timberline on June 23, 2012 at 5:32 PM

It really does exist, it is however a redirect to a Huff and Puff article. That article attempts to pant “Fast and Furious” as just a weapons interdiction program that went wrong.

Read the comments though, seems that a significant percentage of the usual suspects over at Huff and Puff are not buying the assertion that it was a botched operation, nor are they buying the notion that “Fast and Furious” is a political witch-hunt.

SWalker on June 23, 2012 at 6:29 PM

For 60 years the democrat party has championed the poor, the oppressed, and minorities.

They had both chambers of the Congress and the Presidency for decades.

How are their victim groups doing today? Are they better off? Are they more free? Are they more prosperous? Do they enjoy greater liberty?

tom daschle concerned on June 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM

The democratics decided to become the party of minorities only 45 years ago. Remember LBJ’s famous ’200 years’ quote.

slickwillie2001 on June 23, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Are the Dems doomed?

Yes.

dddave on June 23, 2012 at 6:31 PM

They may look dead, but they could be playing ‘possum. Sure, they’re curled up and still, now; but when you bend down to pick up the body, they jump up, bare their fangs, and hiss at you!

Don’t believe they’re doomed, until you see the buzzards, picking their carcasses.

(I learned this lesson in my grandma’s chicken yard. It especially applies to politicians and TV evangelists.)

TheClearRiver on June 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Are they doomed?

It would seem logical. I pray every day that they will soon be.

Cody1991 on June 23, 2012 at 6:34 PM

They may look dead, but they could be playing ‘possum. Sure, they’re curled up and still, now; but when you bend down to pick up the body, they jump up, bare their fangs, and hiss at you!

Don’t believe they’re doomed, until you see the buzzards, picking their carcasses.

(I learned this lesson in my grandma’s chicken yard. It especially applies to politicians and TV evangelists.)

TheClearRiver on June 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM

While they are laying on their side curled up and being still, we need to pop 8 or 9 rounds into their noggin and a dozen more into their “Center Mass” ( because, their might not be anything in their noggins but bone)

SWalker on June 23, 2012 at 6:35 PM

. It especially applies to politicians and TV evangelists.)

TheClearRiver on June 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM

And divorce attorneys

Rio Linda Refugee on June 23, 2012 at 6:35 PM

I have to admit… I’m beginning to think more and more that the Dems are flailing about and sinking. I’ve been rather optimistic lately (even though Romney wasn’t my first pick).

I hope I have enough popcorn to last! I’m enjoying the show…

dominigan on June 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM

The happy Prog doom song

Boogeyman on June 23, 2012 at 6:38 PM

The second thing we need is to get immigrants above board and paying into the system. Immigration can make up the difference between a large generation leaving the workforce and a smaller generation coming it.

crosspatch on June 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

The tax base we’ve lost is from relatively high paying manufacturing jobs, but you think we’re going to replace that with low skilled illegal immigrants doing service and agricultural jobs? That’s just on the tax base they produce, but now lets look at the other government services they consume.

They are low skill and low education laborers who will draw more in service than they provide in taxes. You don’t even realize that we are on the cusp of a automation revolution that is going to be on the scale of the industrial revolution. Then when we have no low skill jobs for our low skill labor what will we do with them?

We need to send them all home and end birth right citizenship, then we can institute a rotating guest worker program. It will be rotating to ease their transition back to their home country. This should tide us over on our labor needs till the automation revolution comes.

DFCtomm on June 23, 2012 at 6:39 PM

inthemiddle on June 23, 2012 at 5:56 PM

You are without a doubt the stupidest and most insipid troll we have ever had…

OmahaConservative on June 23, 2012 at 6:41 PM

They are not “doomed”, just a set back for them…They’ll regroup, rebuild and re-emerge. As noted many times, as long as there are people that don’t want to work and will exchange their votes for more free sh*t, there will be democrats….

It’s almost like it’s in their DNA….

Tim Zank on June 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

They are the “Dark Lord Sauron” of politics. They grab for that ring of power, are defeated, and slink back into the shadows, only to return in some new form that fools the usual gang of idiots. And the Wheel of Politics turns anew.

squint on June 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

The GOP will try and clean up the mess…like Reagan….but never get around to make the big changes…to timid…they the Rats get in and go full out like Obama..the only way to fix this is big changes and Mittens will not do it…you need a women to save the country..think the Iron Lady… we had one but the GOP put her in front of the bus..

Hojczyk on June 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Tell me that this listing of federal entitlement programs stuffed to the brim with federal employees working desperately to justify a paycheck is needed. Try reading the list aloud without laughing and I’ll bet there are some listed here you never heard about. I have yet to do it all the way to the end.
http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml

mixplix on June 23, 2012 at 6:44 PM

The GOP will try and clean up the mess…like Reagan….but never get around to make the big changes…to timid…they the Rats get in and go full out like Obama..the only way to fix this is big changes and Mittens will not do it…you need a women to save the country..think the Iron Lady… we had one but the GOP put her in front of the bus..

Hojczyk on June 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

the Tea Party didn’t exist when Reagan was in office. They will be a very strong force now and into the future.

Viva Le Tea!

Key West Reader on June 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM

the only missing part of the analysis: the math of a 5th grader. once that is introduced, and an EDUCATION program is actually employed (as newt said in his famous right wong social engineering comment), then the dems ARE doomed. they cant pretend 2+2=8. they cant. and neither can the french. all this vgaving is kind of sickening. “gosh, well, yes, telling people all they have to do is tax the rich [and correct 8% of the problem] sure might work, yeah, they could really be successful in that in a low or no grwoth sceanrio”. bullcrap. only if you think most of your voters are idiots. thats exactly why is does work in france; and wont work here.

t8stlikchkn on June 23, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Yeah, let’s be optimistic and start calling them the Doomed now.

stukinIL4now on June 23, 2012 at 6:49 PM

We need to send them all home and end birth right citizenship, then we can institute a rotating guest worker program. It will be rotating to ease their transition back to their home country. This should tide us over on our labor needs till the automation revolution comes.

DFCtomm on June 23, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Sounds nice but that is a total overhead cost we can not afford right now. It’s a rather knuckleheaded idea anyway. You can’t round up 2 million people and ship them across the border let alone 10 million and stay within the law. Each one of those people is entitled to an immigration hearing. According to our laws you are not an “illegal” immigrant until you have been ordered to leave and didn’t or were deported and returned. Simply entering the US or overstaying a visa is not a criminal offense. If you are caught the first time, you are entitled to an immigration hearing and the judge can let you stay, order you to leave, or deport you forcibly. But until you have that hearing, you are not an “illegal” according to US law.

crosspatch on June 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Because the United States is already skating on thin ice with little room to maneuver, any or all of these events would bring the current system to a point of crisis where Congress would have to slash spending and renegotiate promises it has made. At this point the United States would enter uncharted political territory.

I agree with that..

But I’m of the broad majority rank and file republican. I’ve always been in the working poor, never made more than 30,000 a year ever. Married it wasn’t much better. But I,.. we were hard working and happy to live within our means.

Now.. I’m disabled and on SSD…. my wife still works, and the kids are still in school. I expect we all have to kick in.. do our share. So I understand there won’t be any increases in the disablity I recieve, and probably some shrinkage.I don’t collect all that much.. but I guess this is where we all have to do what’s right,..

if it helps my children.. it’s not so much to ask.

mark81150 on June 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM

The GOP will try and clean up the mess…like Reagan….but never get around to make the big changes…to timid…they the Rats get in and go full out like Obama..
Hojczyk on June 23, 2012 at 6:43 PM

That’s because we see power as responsibility…they see power as opportunity.

squint on June 23, 2012 at 6:53 PM

And, DFCtomm, that attitude illustrates very well why neither the far right nor the far left can solve our problems. They both have aspects to their ideology that are self-defeating.

crosspatch on June 23, 2012 at 6:53 PM

inthemiddle on June 23, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Lucky Pierre lives!!!!

Resist We Much on June 23, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Funny thing about pendulums; the farther you pull one to the left the more force it has to swing back to the right.

MikeA on June 23, 2012 at 6:57 PM

And, DFCtomm, that attitude illustrates very well why neither the far right nor the far left can solve our problems. They both have aspects to their ideology that are self-defeating.

crosspatch on June 23, 2012 at 6:53 PM

No you’re the one whose attitude illustrates whats wrong. Look at what you said here.

Sounds nice but that is a total overhead cost we can not afford right now. It’s a rather knuckleheaded idea anyway. You can’t round up 2 million people and ship them across the border let alone 10 million and stay within the law. Each one of those people is entitled to an immigration hearing. According to our laws you are not an “illegal” immigrant until you have been ordered to leave and didn’t or were deported and returned. Simply entering the US or overstaying a visa is not a criminal offense. If you are caught the first time, you are entitled to an immigration hearing and the judge can let you stay, order you to leave, or deport you forcibly. But until you have that hearing, you are not an “illegal” according to US law.

crosspatch on June 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM

You refuse to acknowledge self deportation as even a possibility. Remove the incentives and many will leave on their own. You also insist it can’t be done because as our system currently is it cannot be done. Our system is designed to change, and change it will, or we’re going to have some horrendous social problems that will be very difficult to deal with. Send the low skill labor back where it came from before we’re stuck paying for it till the day it dies.

DFCtomm on June 23, 2012 at 7:00 PM

As this process unfolds, Americans may then witness the kinds of events not seen in this country since the 1930s or, even, the 1850s and 1860s: protesters invading the U.S. Capitol, politicians refusing to leave office after they have lost elections, defiance of the Supreme Court, the emergence of new leaders, and, possibly, the formation of new political parties. All of this can be expected from a process in which an entrenched system of politics withers and dies and a new one is gradually organized to take its place.

This level of political turmoil ought to be avoidable.

As long as such a catharsis is avoided our political sclerosis will continue. Current politics are not so different from many (and worse) occasions in the past. But the entrenched and governing!! bureaucracy cannot be controlled, much less transformed into anything enabling to the body politic.

I’m not wholly convinced that this level of political turmoil should be avoided.

As Karl later argues:

[O]utside elections, the political environment rests more within the control of cultural, journalistic, and educational institutions controlled by the left.

How better to clear this away than by a compelling, full-face unmasking; a clear and unambiguous display of their defiance.

ss396 on June 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

For 60 years the democrat party has championed the poor, the oppressed, and minorities.

They’ve also championed sex in 28 perverted flavors, destruction of the family, open pagan worshsip of the environment, and corrupting little children in government schools that they may someday grow up and continue the destruction of America.

Don L on June 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Excellent essay as usual Karl.

In his book, Jay details the history of the Democratic Party, concluding that it has become so captured by its client groups that it is no longer capable of governing in the general public interest.

The tribalism is not only a feature of Democrats but it is the feature which empowers Democrats. Modern day divide & conquer. While the peasants fight over table scraps the Democrats “redistribute” the taxpayer money to their friends.

The GOP could do a better job of pointing this out, people would understand while that their lives are worse than 4 years ago, the friends of Obama, Pelosi etc are doing extremely well through government intervention.

batterup on June 23, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Since when did we start measuring prosperity by how evenly the wealth is distributed? That’s just nuts.

The Rogue Tomato on June 23, 2012 at 5:27 PM

-
Yeah I caught that too… and I concur.
-

RalphyBoy on June 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

you are not an “illegal” according to US law.

crosspatch on June 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I guess a rapist is not a rapist until convicted.

davidk on June 23, 2012 at 7:21 PM

no, the Dems are not doomed. Just because the blue social model is failing, doesn’t mean that the dems/left won’t continue it.

i think barry is convinced that demography (per tuxiera) is destiny for the Dem/Left party. And, hispanics are now #2 pop group by a couple of percentage points.

barry, i think is looking for the long future. short term risk (losing, for now) vs. long term profit. And he’s willing to take that risk big time in order to solidify the hispanic/black coalition.

After all…even if he loses, he will be remembered as the visionary to spoke to the future generations of immigrants and dis-enfranchised peoples of the country

r keller on June 23, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Don L on June 23, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Thanks. You explained beautifully Why they’re poor, oppressed, and in the minority.

TheClearRiver on June 23, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Liberalism has been doomed for over 100 years and yet it always manages to raise its ugly head. Mostly because of cultural rot, educational brainwashing, journalistic malfeasance and an opposition party that does not want to boldly and loudly champion the conservative American cause.

Once the latter happens, it’s cake. Until then, we’ll win and maybe if a Reagan comes to power, even reverse course. But then the rot reappears once again for another cycle of pain.

Oh, the humanity. Right now, let’s just concentrate on November.

Rixon on June 23, 2012 at 7:53 PM

inthemiddle on June 23, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Lucky Pierre lives!!!!

Resist We Much on June 23, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Just in case anyone missed inthemiddle’s new nickname.

MidniteRambler on June 23, 2012 at 8:01 PM

“… — are now starting to collect on the generous promises that politicians made when they were just children.”

“You f%cked up…

… You trusted us.”

Seven Percent Solution on June 23, 2012 at 8:02 PM

The Dems committed suicide when they chose obama and followed Reid and Pelosi. They will be a minority, if even that, for a generation until they rid themselves of the anti-American cancer that has taken over their party.

rjh on June 23, 2012 at 8:04 PM

However, occasionally some cataclysmic event — war, perhaps, or revolution — may sweep away an existing government and, with it, the countless cozy arrangements that are protected by interest groups.

A microcosm of this is the Reagan Tax Reform Act of 1986 which simplified the income tax code, broaden the tax base and eliminate many tax shelters and other preferences. This stripped away the preferences that individual politicians had added to the tax code and required that their “sponsors” to start anew the process of embedded mechamisms for favorable tax treatment into the tax code.

J_Crater on June 23, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Yeah, the Dems have pretty much offed themselves.

minnesoter on June 23, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Are the Dems doomed? To be sure, the politics of loss would present more immediate challenges to the client coalition driving the Democratic Party. Nevertheless, the left retains institutional advantages that would allow them to spin the failure of their “balanced approach” to the debt as a failure of basic principles of fiscal responsibility. The Dems will only lose if the right consistently makes the case that what Walter Russell Mead calls the Blue Social Model is failing not only because it is running out of money, but also because it is a major reason we are running out of money.

The Left has a relatively brittle way of doing things and once they start on a path they stick to it… even when it leads to disaster.

The institutions (unions, education, media) are suffering from something that no one on the Left could have predicted: asymmetrical change. Just as asymmetrical warfare gives a steep advantage to small organizations willing to use leveraging tactics, the institutions are now facing an asymmetrical change being wrought not by other Nations or other institutions, but by the individuals who make up society deciding on a new course to follow that in no way goes with the old institutions. The New Media is more than just media: it is a many-to-many form of communication that the Left cannot grapple with. Consider that the Old Media of film and tv are a one-to-many one-way system of communications and the entire Leftist ideal is to capture those means to put to their ends. Yet in under two decades that entire landscape is now melting away to the many-to-many, multi-way communications structure known as the Internet.

If you continue on that thought then the next thing to look at is what happened in commerce with disintermediation: the middle-man was being removed as many stores served little purpose save as goods outlets. Starting with Amazon and Ebay the era of commercial disintermediation added a new idea into the mix of how government should respond to citizens: without bureaucrats. This is a wholly revolutionary concept on the modern age that now puts institutional accountability slipping out of political hands and moving back to one responsive to citizens. The very institutions that the Progressives on both sides of the aisle have built up are now seen as the problem by a growing number of Americans. That amount is growing as the New Media allows individuals to process information to a conclusion faster than could be done 20 years ago. Thus the Feiler Faster Thesis works to circumvent government unaccountability and shifts how citizens view the utility of government, itself.

The revolution is already happening even as we type and continue discourse. Indeed our very discourse in a many-to-many, multi-way system means that each voice added to those seeking change then puts a factorial of power to each added person. The politics of loss, the politics of subtraction, are now being outpaced by the society that is undergoing geometric expansion of its knowledgebase and feeling the power of citizens in a way that hasn’t been possible since the early Founding generation.

It isn’t that the D or R party will be out of place, lost or otherwise fully marginalized: they will be circumvented completely when they no longer serve the needs of citizens and no longer view themselves as a means to enact the citizen’s agenda. Representatives were once voted out with great frequency in America and the era of that is before the Progressive Era. With Progressivism showing ideological bankruptcy, with its losing adherents day in and day out, with the citizenry looking at the futility of trusting National institutions to solve personal and local problems, the entire power utility system of the very institutions the Left marched into is being taken out from under their very feet. Many of those institutions are seeing financial troubles that are deep and permanent (education is an example) due to new technologies and New Media offering new forms of education that don’t require a brick schoolhouse, a teacher, a PEU, administrators as we know them, or even a set schedule. That is asymmetrical change happening right before our eyes to an institution the Left spent nearly 3 generations taking over.

As the asymmetrical change comes it effects ALL the institutions the Left took over and removes or radically alters the power structure to make the institutions responsive to the public or to dissolve them all together. That day is coming fast and hard to things that were shibboleths of the give-away boom years, and once they are gone those who haven’t bothered to join the modern age will wonder just what happened to their precious institutions that were supposed to lead to a Marxist Wonderland.

Those institutions are now hearing a tune and it is a dirge.

And like a funeral in New Orleans the people right after it have a song in their heart, a smile on their face, and recognize that what is the cycle of life continues and they are happy for the deceased going to the after-life and for the living to feel just how sweet life really is. Change is already here and transforming the institutional landscape even as the Left tries to get a death grip on them. Too bad these institutions will be worthless in a few more years and many of them possibly gone forever.

Hope they can find better work than community organizing as the community is organizing without any help. Against the organizers of old. And if you think not having SSA, the M&M’s, federal ‘help’ in so many areas it is bankrupting us is a shock to you… think of what it means for those who have an ideology banking on the public never, ever wanting to change the way they lived and to always live in the 1960′s. I do not hate the Left. I pity them as they sound more and more archaic with each passing day, raising their fists for a world that is now passing their wretched dreams of power by to get to a better place. Poorer and wiser for the experience, yes, but that comes with such change. I accept that.

Can you?

ajacksonian on June 23, 2012 at 9:17 PM

I guess a rapist is not a rapist until convicted.

davidk on June 23, 2012 at 7:21 PM

certainly not a rapist-rapist, no.

t8stlikchkn on June 23, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Are the Dems doomed?

…they’re choomed!

KOOLAID2 on June 23, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Were the Republicans doomed in ’08?

MelonCollie on June 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Since when did we start measuring prosperity by how evenly the wealth is distributed? That’s just nuts.

The Rogue Tomato on June 23, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Usually that’s just leftist propaganda.

But be warned: when that measure starts to be valid is when we start dropping from first-world status in a hurry. And don’t think it couldn’t ever happen here.

MelonCollie on June 23, 2012 at 11:16 PM

ajacksonian on June 23, 2012 at 9:17 PM
Thought provoking as usual. So the Information Revolution will be at least as powerful as the Industrial Revolution. Now if only there some principles of government that were as accomodating to change as some found in the late 1700s, America might successfully navigate the turbulent waters. Hmmm, where might those be found?

txmomof6 on June 24, 2012 at 4:36 AM

Thought provoking as usual. So the Information Revolution will be at least as powerful as the Industrial Revolution. Now if only there some principles of government that were as accomodating to change as some found in the late 1700s, America might successfully navigate the turbulent waters. Hmmm, where might those be found?

txmomof6 on June 24, 2012 at 4:36 AM

Amazing how that wheel turns, isn’t it?

Not only will it be of a magnitude similar to the Industrial Revolution, it will be truly global in scope. It is World War IV and it isn’t aimed at Nations (although they will be impacted) it is aimed, instead, at individuals and individual liberty on that scale. Just as the Industrial Revolution opened the door to the creation of large amounts of goods at the lowest possible cost to spread prosperity to places that had never even known of the concept so, too, does the modern interconnected transformation hit everyone who has a cellphone, who has a computer, who has any form of networked communication for direct P2P association. Just having a simple hidden ‘send to all list’ has allowed low level Chinese functionaries to send messages the establishment didn’t want to get out to thousands, tens of thousands, of that functionaries closest friends… the messages then skipped to the wired ‘net, then skipped out of China and went global… all in minutes, seconds…

The transformative industrial sector that will emerge now that it has been opened to private firms is space. The politics of less, the politics of ‘there isn’t enough to go around’, the politics of taking will not stand once a 50 or 100 ton asteroid is pulled into orbit for commercial mining by a private operation… done on a relative shoestring compared to government organized space operations. Yes the Earth has a lot of resources, but they are buried and you must get to them. When the cost of price per pound to orbit is less than the cost of going after nickel, say, or platinum or gold or constructing a solar power station that is on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week… then the world transforms along the Industrial Revolution lines save, because of networked comms, it will be faster and more sweeping than anything that has ever happened before in history.

Time scales compress with networked comms, and that is part and parcel of the FFT. Once the paradigm of cheaply getting to orbit for robotic and then relative manual labor hits home, once the goods start to flow it will not be just one Nation that benefits but all of mankind. Done via the private sector. That is why billionaires looking to the future today are investing in this. You won’t find a control freak like Soros doing that, he cares more about power and destroying civilization than he does in the emancipation of mankind from want. The Christian ethos drives the latter and strongly, and that is anathema to the modern Left.

We are in a time of great opportunity, great change and a World War to STOP THAT is being waged inside your head even as we speak. If you are firmly rooted to morals, to understanding our natural born rights when self-governed to set aside our negative rights and liberties, can be used to reach out to do good by the use of positive liberty, then you are winning that war. The duty is to reach out to others in trouble, with those unsure, with those facing extreme hardship and to combat the siren’s song of tyranny promising so much if only you will enslave yourself to it. I am, as always, a short term pessimist, but a long term optimist… pessimists only get pleasant surprises. To get our way to a brighter future putting one’s courage to the sticking place and just soldiering on and being an example to others is key. If enough of us do that we can bury tyranny because the one place where just smidgen of stupidity, a bit of slacking off, a bit of acting uncivilized will get you killed almost instantly is awaiting us with great promise. You can’t have an OWS in space because Nature will take care of the first forgotten seal, the first forgotten safety system and its maintenance. Ditto to tyrants of every stripe: if the Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Space is her unforgiving sister who offers us the Stars, not just a piece of rock to live on.

We live in times of great promise and great treachery.

The future becomes clear once you see who is truly offering a path of hard work to a better future for all.

And who is offering only theft and tyranny to enslave the human spirit and crush it back to being an animal.

I can see that difference most starkly now.

To get through Hell you march right to its center and then all ways are the way out, just pick one and you will be out of there. Not fun to do, no, but necessary at this point in time.

ajacksonian on June 24, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Nice Article – the Democrats have morphed into a destroyer of nations. They are also getting help from RINO’s. They have used up all of “Someone Elses Money” to the extent there is no more. Time to break off the shackles of imperishment, deregulate and cut the government payroll. And while your at it; Cancel funding for any retirement benefits for politicians who create this situation and return it to the treasury.

triumphus on June 24, 2012 at 7:40 AM

For 60 years the democrat party has championed the poor, the oppressed, and minorities.

They had both chambers of the Congress and the Presidency for decades.

How are their victim groups doing today? Are they better off? Are they more free? Are they more prosperous? Do they enjoy greater liberty?

tom daschle concerned on June 23, 2012 at 5:25 PM

“Poor black people have been voting democrat for 60 years. They’re still poor.”
Charles Barkley

Bevan on June 24, 2012 at 8:33 AM

Unfortunately, the impoverished & knee-jerk Left does not understand money and how it works. I don’t know how you make the “growth argument” to them — because they just bat it back with any number of witless, gainsaying, false Marxist canards.

Edouard on June 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM

More wishful thinking for the GOP. You can have opinion pieces, we’ll take all the swing state polls where O is ahead. Thanks.

inthemiddle on June 23, 2012 at 5:56 PM

See you in November. I’ll save this quote just for you…

Big John on June 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM

When prosperity is lacking, however, liberal Democrats have the upper hand.

So the author is saying that current circumstances favor Democrats? I think not. Americans have always voted with their wallets and they will again in November. Odumbass is toast.

woodNfish on June 25, 2012 at 11:31 AM