If you want to understand why President Obama is pushing immigration and punishing Arizona for trying to enforce the immigration laws, look no further than 2012, writes Michael Medved in The Wall Street Journal.
The politics is aimed directly at the Hispanic vote. That and the black vote is what will put President Obama over the finish line in 2012, according to Medved.
Maybe it will, especially as Hispanic voters are going to swell a lot in the next few years. And if you assume that blacks will still turn out big-time for the first African-American president.
But look on the bright side. Young people. After the soul-destroying years of 10 percent unemployment that falls most heavily on the youth, they won't be voting 67 oercent for the president, if they show up at all. Snobby social-liberal/economically-conservative types. They didn't like the religious right in the 2000s, but they will be voting their economic interests this time around. And then there's the ordinary white middle-class voter. Can you spell "T-E-A-P-A-R-T-Y?"
The thing to remember about Obama is that his Keynesian Obamanomics has screwed everyone except unionized auto workers and government employees, and there just aren't all that many of them. So the 2012 election is shaping up as Hispanics, blacks, auto workers and government employees against everyone else.
Let's not forget the really big factor that is working against Democrats. Matt Welch calls it "The Death of Neo-liberalism." You can call it the death of the New Democrats, or the Third Way, or Clintonism, if you like.
The fact is that the Clinton lurch to the center was a necessary tactical move for elected Democrats in the aftermath of the Reagan era. Reagan proved to most Americans that the old menu of big business, big labor, and big government wasn't working, and he introduced them to a hopeful agenda of entrepreneurism and start-up capitalism. Democrats like Clinton realized that they couldn't get elected on the old agenda.
The left hated Clintonism, and by 2006 they were the articulate base of the Democratic Party. So they swept into power in 2008 on the strength of Republican exhaustion (and the banking crisis caused in large part by New Democratic housing policy!). Now, they thought, we can effect real change with health care, green energy, and more money for progressive programs.
Anyone paying attention could see, starting right away in 2009, that these lefties were wrong. First of all, even in the fall of 2008, Americans hated the bank bailouts. Then in early 2009 a new movement of rejection, the Tea Party, popped up on the radar, taking everyone by surprise. Then, by the summer of 2009, Americans hated the auto bailouts, hated the stimulus, and hated ObamaCare.
Now, in the summer of 2010, we see the recovery faltering. So whatever Obama did, things are going wrong on his watch and Obama is to blame. Actually, according to non-Keynesian economics, what he did was economic stupidity, and he really is to blame.
Let's fast forward to the summer of 2012. Yes, the economy will be in better shape then, but there will still be big-time unemployment. Probably inflation will be starting to look nasty. And, probably, ObamaCare will be causing major anger out there in the heartland as ordinary Americans find that their health care arrangements are being ripped up by new ObamaCare regulations.
My prediction is that we'll see an 80 seat Republican pickup in the House, and you ain't seen nothing yet. That's because the liberals have been lucky, and their luck has run out.
The Democratic Party has always been the party of people trying to get on their feet in the capitalist economy. That was true with Andrew Jackson in 1828, true with the Irish in the big cities in the 19th century, true with the Jews and Italians in the early 20th century, and true with the New Deal coalition in mid-century. Now it's true with Hispanics and blacks.
But once people get on their feet and they discover that capitalism is not a monstrous thing they change their minds about politics. They find that a person with moderate skills and a will to work can always find a decent job and a moderate prosperity in America. They find that just about the only thing government does well is screw things up. They start to believe in themselves as rugged individualists and they start to read about the Constitution and individual freedom. They stop being hyphenated Americans and they become true-blue, rock-ribbed Americans. They stop voting for Democrats.
Bill Clinton, with his stunning political skills, was able to square the circle for a while. But I knew Bill Clinton, and let me tell you, President Obama is no Bill Clinton.
In 2012, President Obama will play the immigration card. He will play the race card. He will play every card in the deck of Democratic identity politics.
But the American people won't care. They will say: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." And they will vote for a Mitch Daniels, a Bobby Jindal, or a Sarah Palin for president.
And here's a long-term prospect. President Obama is going to end up breaking the hearts of African Americans, because they will find that electing a black president doesn't solve their problems. Politics, they will discover, is a false god. We won't see much happen in 2012, but by 2016 we will see a significant minority of blacks detaching from the Democratic Party. No more 90 percent voting for the Democrats. Try 75 percent, 65 percent within ten years. We already know what they look like. They look like those Tea Party black conservatives that keep popping up on the radar.
Yep, things may look gloomy right now, but America is going through a necessary transition, learning by experience that the big-government top-down society of the liberals just doesn't work for them and their families.
After it is all over we will all realize that the pain was worth it. No pain, no gain.