How Obaman and the Radical Left are creating a Republican resurgance.
The socialist Left, as opposed to the classical liberal Left, is apoplectic about the criticism concerning Obama’s health care power grab. There are two reasons for this. First, they really, really want to nationalize health care so public opposition to their take-over is upsetting to them. Second, they stupidly assumed Obama’s electoral support was support for the candidate’s more authoritarian measures.
This blog argued that Obama was supported by independent voters for one reason: they were sick and tired of Bush and the Republicans. Any right-thinking person was sick and tired of the fumbling Dubya and his Jesus-drunk Amen chorus in the Republican Party. I prevously wrote that the Democrats were being foolish to interpret disgust with Bush as the same thing as support for Obama’s more extreme policies. Democrats don’t listen so they assumed the world was rallying around Obama, as opposed to rejecting Dubya.
When their first big power grab came up they expected it would be a cakewalk. They imagined that most voters worship the water that Obama walks on. That's just not the case. Polls continue to show that the bulk of the voters are NOT supporters of Obama’s health care legislation—whichever version of it may be current at the time.
So the statist Left has been foaming at the mouth and screaming that opposition to Obama is a “fringe” movement. To them it has to be “fringe” since they remain convinced that Obama was elected to expand state control of health care. Their initial error, in assuming that votes for Obama meant support of Obamacare, is leading to their current error: assuming that only “fringe” nut cases can oppose their regulatory orgy. That is leading to a second error in tactics.
Because the statist Left assumes the opposition is just the fringe, they are insulting the opponents of Obamacare. Instead of grappling with the concerns of the majority of the public the Left is attacking them. But, opposition to Obamacare wouldn’t go anywhere it if were limited to Republicans. The bulk of American voters see themselves as independents and the independents, by the standards of the classical liberal, are pretty decent folk.
When polls investigate the independent voter certain things stand out. They do tend to like low taxes and don’t want big government. They sound pretty conservative. But they also tend to support marriage equality and don’t want to enforce Biblical law, unlike the theopublicans. In other words, the independent voters tend to drift in a libertarian direction, and not toward either the authoritarian Left or the authoritarian Right.
The strategic error the Democrats are committing is that in insulting and attacking these people they are laying the groundwork for a Republican resurgence in next year’s Congressional election. Independent voters are not pleased by either the socialist Democrats or the theocratic Republicans. They aren’t drawn to either party. But they still vote, so they tend to look at which party disgusts them the most, and then vote for the other one. Bushian Republicanism absolutely nauseated them, so they voted Democrat. But now the Democrats are attacking them for not supporting Obamacare. My prediction is that this desperate strategy to save socialized medicine will push the independent voters back to the Republican Party. How long they stay there will depend on whether the Republicans are stupid enough to take that resurgence as support for their campaign to Christianize America.
One of the methods used to demonize opponents of Obamacare has been to not just insult the opponents to this care but to claim that they have been violent. Mary Katharine Ham, at The Weekly Standard, investigated these claims. She notes that there were more than 400 town hall meetings in August. Yes, there was violence in a only handful of these meetings. But most of that came from the statist Left, not from critics of Obama. Ham writes of one incident:
In St. Louis, several video cameras captured an altercation between Kenneth Gladney, who was selling "Don't Tread on Me" flags and buttons outside, and several purple-shirted SEIUGladney, who is black, was addressed by an SEIU member using the "n-word," who then assaulted him. Gladney went to the hospital with minor injuries, and two SEIU members, including the local SEIU public service director Elston McCowan, were among the six people arrested in St. Louis that night. An unidentified female was arrested in connection with the same altercation. A video of the event shows her approach an Obama critic filming the Gladney incident, and then smash the camera into the filmer's face. The female assailant was later cuffed by police at the scene, also on tape. The SEIU later claimed that Gladney was the aggressor, but a video shows a different picture. Gladney is outnumbered and visibly shaken as one SEIU member yells on tape, "He attacked America!" before challenging Gladney's defenders to a fight and hurling profanities at the filmer.
Ham itemized other such incidents. At a Pelosi meeting: “A Denver Post photographer caught one of those sign-bearers, a grim-faced woman in a "HOPE" Obama shirt, ripping a homemade anti-Pelosi sign from Obama critic Kris McLay's hands as she yelled in protest. The Obama supporter declined to be identified for the photo.” In Durham, NC, an Obama opponent was punched in the face for speaking against Obamacare. His attacker was from the local union.
Ham outlined all the documented cases of violence at these town hall meetings:
That's the full list of documented violence from the August meetings. In more than 400 events: one slap, one shove, three punches, two signs grabbed, one self-inflicted vandalism incident by a liberal, one unsolved vandalism incident, and one serious assault. Despite the left's insistence on the essentially barbaric nature of Obamacare critics, the video, photographic, and police report evidence is fairly clear in showing that 7 of the 10 incidents were perpetrated by Obama supporters and union members on Obama critics. If you add a phoned death threat to Democrat representative Brad Miller of N.C., from an Obama-care critic, the tally is 7 of 11.To mischaracterize these few incidents as part of the strategy of Obama critics, and to attack those unhappy with the so-called “reforms” of health care as extremists, only strengthens the Republican Party. The far Left in the Democratic Party is doing what the Far Right in the Republican Party did – drive the great middle of American voters into the arms of the other guy.
One year after Obama’s election, let me quote this blog to remind you of my predictions regarding Obama’s performance in office.
I don’t expect Obama to make any major withdrawal from Iraq. In other words, I don’t expect he will end this illegal and unconstitutional war. Equally disastrous will be the likely “reluctant” support he will give to keeping the authoritarian Patriot Act in place. Do not expect Obama to do much to protect civil liberties, or to reclaim those stolen by the Bush Administration. What you can expect is lots of speeches with the same unspecified, vague rhetorical flourishes that Obama loves. What he won’t do is give any substance to them. George Bush was a bumbling speaker who gave specifics -- although his specifics were almost entirely evil. Obama will be a brilliant speaker who will use his florid style to cover up his lack of substance. I do think Obama will try to implement some policies -- all of them bad. I fully expect him to put bureaucrats and politicians in control of more our medical care than ever before.So far I have no reason to revise advance estimation regarding Mr. Obama and his disastrous term in office. What has changed has been how badly the White House has bungled things. I expected them to be smoother than they have been. The shrill response from the Democrats has been a godsend for the Republicans.
I will reiterate my view that the Republicans, if they want to be a party of government for the long term, will still have to scuttle their links to the Christian lunatic fringe. Of course, the Democrats could do the same thing if they rejected the old tax, spend, regulate policies of their socialist ideologues. Until one of the two major parties wises up, and abandons the ideological albatross around their neck, the independent voters will swing the elections. But that is not necessarily a bad thing since these are people who tend to want sound economics, aren’t interested in Christian moralism, and aren’t too keen to police the world.