Thursday, April 4, 2013

Democrats: End of the Big Push

You remember World War I.  The Brits developed a term they called the Big Push.  The Battle of the Somme was a Big Push.  The great offensive in Flanders in 1917, featuring the Battle of Paschendaele, was a Big Push.

The point about Big Pushes is that, after a while, they peter out.  It doesn't matter how many millions of soldiers, or millions of shells, or thousands of tanks you have.  In the end, the whole thing peters out: people are exhausted.

Now in my view we have just seen a ten year Big Push from the Democrats.  It was one last effort to unite the party and defeat the wascally Wepublicans and put them in a permanent minority.

Maybe it started in the rage of 2000 when the "stupid" George W. Bush beat the Democrats by a hair.  Maybe it started after the humiliation of 2004 when Karl Rove pulled out an astonishing increase in the Republican vote to win the election over a slightly less astonishing increase in the Democratic vote.

It was certainly going at full blast in the 2006 midterms when Democrats achieved astonishing message discipline to damn the Republicans as extreme and corrupt, and the Democratic rank-and-file advanced over the political battlefield under cover of a 1,000 gun artillery barrage from the mainstream media.

The roar of battle continued with the 1,000 barrel gun-line firing non-stop through the 2008 election and 60 million Democratic hearts beating as one for America's first black president. With the solid seven  point victory of 2008 it seemed natural to keep on rolling ahead, demolishing all resistance and push stimulus, Obamacare, and Dodd-Frank right down out-of-touch Republican throats.

In 2010 there was a pushback, as Americans elected a Republican House in the biggest pickup in seats since 1938.  But the Democratic army didn't flinch, and kept fighting shoulder to shoulder right through a four point reelection victory for President Obama in 2012.

But now the Big Push is over.  You can feel it.  It is not just the sequester, it is not that the Dem troops are exhausted.  It's just that the whole Democratic coalition just wants some leave and some rest and relaxation.  They are just tired of the constant coordination of messaging.  They just want to enjoy life again.

The Obama campaign team, of course, is breaking up, now that reelection is over.  And Obama himself, no longer disciplined by the goal of reelection, will unwind his intensity.

The Democrats and their willing accomplices in the mainstream media did a bang-up job of selling the American people on the notion that Bush was a fool, the Iraq War was a disaster, and the Crash of 2008 was Bush's fault.  After all, Bush was not a great communicator, the Iraq War was a mess as all wars are, and the Crash happened on Bush's watch.

And then they did a bang-up job selling the American people on the idea that Mitt Romney was an unfeeling rich guy that didn't care about people like them.  You gotta give them credit for putting that one over, given that Mitt Romney is in fact a man who has given his life to serving others, as a man must do in the Mormon church.

But now all that is history.  The Big Push is over, Obama is reelected, the economy is limping along, and Obamacare is hanging like a black cloud over the nation.

Remember this: Social Security and Medicare worked because everyone got a piece of the action.  It's called Kristol's Law.  If you want to help the poor you must deal in the middle class.

But Obamacare just helps the supposed 30 million without health insurance.  People that already have health insurance are going to get a haircut.  And the 30 million without health insurance don't go without health care.  They just don't have insurance, probably because they don't have assets that need to be protected from health care costs.  If you don't have assets, then you don't need health insurance.  So there's a real chance that almost everyone will be really pissed of at Obamacare by 2016.

Nobody knows whether the political current has changed, or whether it has merely paused.  All we know is that the Big Democratic Push of 2002 to 2012 is over.  We are entering a new era.

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