The damage goes well past the obvious embarrassments. Those include Mayor Bloomberg’s initial insistence that a yuppie marathon in Manhattan proceed—requiring a massive police and sanitation presence, as well as power sources—even as citizens on Staten Island were pleading for disaster relief. The embarrassments surely ought also to include Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign vow that his election would slow the rise of the oceans. …

For all the talk about infrastructure, it never seems to get the repairs or upgrades it needs. For all the talk about public education, it is precisely the people whose interests liberals supposedly protect—racial minorities and the poor—who suffer most from a failing public-school system. And for all the talk about how the GOP wants to deny Granny her federal entitlements, it is the conservative Republican in the national race, Rep. Paul Ryan, who actually has put forward a highly workable plan that would keep Social Security and Medicare alive for coming generations.

Meanwhile, what do we get from blue-state liberalism? In New York we get a mayor who makes war on Big Gulp sodas while proving himself inept at basic government functions such as clearing snow. At the national level, we get a president who vows to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy even though some might not be without power if regulators in Washington and New York hadn’t been making the environment so hostile to new investment.