Publicado: 11-08-2010 06:18 PM
Un paso atrás para el progresismo George Will
¿Está el poder político sustituyendo y asfixiando la creatividad del orden espontáneo de una sociedad de mercado? El martes, una mayoría racional y alarmada de estadounidenses dijo que "sí".
Reacios a dejar para mañana los errores que puedas cometer hoy, los demócratas ya están empleando 2010 para empezar a perder en 2012.
Tratando de restar preventivamente a las elecciones su peligroso (para los demócratas) significado, todos los demócratas que concurrían en los comicios describían al electorado como víctima de un infarto cerebral, una apoplejía de terror, indignación, paranoia, codicia... de algo. Cualquier explicación bastaba mientras tildara lo que los votantes estaban a punto de decir quizá de despreciable y ciertamente de demasiado trivial para ser tomado en serio por los que sí son serios.
Es sorprendente la ingenuidad con la que los demócratas se dedican a elaborar explicaciones del comportamiento de los electores donde se eliminan las preocupaciones los votantes y –este año más que nunca– las ideas. Estas elecciones fueron una reacción a nivel nacional a la idea de Estado ilimitado de Barack Obama.
Cuanto más despreciaba nuestro presidente a los republicanos como el partido del "No", mejor les iba a los republicanos. Sus críticas permitieron a la gente apoyar a los republicanos simplemente por haberse convertido en obstáculos a su presidencia.
Obama ya se había convertido en un llorica de primera antes incluso de que Rahm Emanuel, un adulador de primera, afirmara que el primero había abordado magistralmente "los momentos más difíciles a los que se ha enfrentado nunca ningún presidente"; todo un logro, considerando que antes de que fuera investido el primer presidente de Illinois, siete de los 34 estados de aquel entonces se habían secesionado.
El actual presidente de Illinois, político en campaña crónica y crítico incontinente que no se siente inhibido por las consideraciones de la dignidad presidencial, ha achacado sus dificultades a: George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, la Fox News, el Tribunal Supremo, un congresista de Cincinnati (John Boehner), Karl Rove, el colectivo Americans for Prosperity, "misteriosos grupos independientes", la Cámara de Comercio de los Estados Unidos y, finalmente, el pueblo estadounidense. Ellos le tienen profundamente decepcionado por ser impermeables a "los hechos y la ciencia y la razón".
En realidad, como esencia destilada del progresismo, debería sentirse ratificado a través del rechazo sufrido el martes. La idea del progresismo es que la gente tiene que progresar desde su atraso. No puede hacerlo a menos que sea arrastrada hacia la luz por un Gobierno compuesto de ilustrados, expertos fríamente consagrados a los hechos y la ciencia.
La agenda progresista se ve legitimada realmente por la incomprensión y la indignación que suscita: si la gente no se ofende y se resiste a lo que se hace en su nombre, es que lo que se está haciendo no es bastante ambicioso. Si resulta comprensible para sus beneficiarios más directos, es que es obra de pensadores insuficientemente avanzados.
Por supuesto el vulgo no comprende que el único defecto del estímulo fue su frugalidad, y que la miríada de medidas de coacción del Obamacare son comparables a la benevolente disciplina de un padre. Si el vulgo comprendiera lo que entienden los progresistas, ¿representarían los progresistas una vanguardia real del progreso?
Por supuesto la agenda progresista tiene que ser infinitamente elástica a los límites impuestos por los arquitectos de la Constitución. Avanzar con respecto a ella –con respecto a los Padres Fundadores y sus anacrónicos principios– es la definición del progreso.
Hace poco, Jonathan Alter, de Newsweek, decidía, igual que ha decidido el presidente, que lo que les hace falta a los izquierdistas no son mejores ideas, sino un mejor marketing de las ideas que tienen: "Es un indicador de lo mal que se venden los izquierdistas y sus ideas que la palabra 'progresista' siga siendo una falta de respeto a pesar de la elección del presidente más genuinamente progresista que la cultura política de este país tolere".
¿"A pesar de"? En el año 2008, los demócratas se presentaron como lo opuesto a George Bush. En 2010, los demócratas se presentaron como demócratas y, por tanto, como progresistas, o al menos como fieles a líderes progresistas. De ahí las dificultades de los demócratas.
En respuesta a Alter, el economista de la George Mason University Don Boudreaux escribía: "Estas ideas tratan casi exclusivamente de la forma en que los demás deben llevar sus vidas. Son ideas acerca de la forma en que un grupo de personas (los políticamente exitosos) deben trazar los contactos, las relaciones sociales, las dietas, las costumbres y hasta las opiniones morales de todos los demás".
Las ideas del progresismo tratan de "reemplazar una multitud inimaginablemente grande de ideas diversas y rivales... por un conjunto relativamente insignificante de 'Grandes Ideas' que son elegidas políticamente, impuestas centralmente, e implantadas por el Gobierno, no por el toma y daca natural y el compromiso de la interacción cotidiana entre millones de personas".
Esto era un grave motivo de preocupación que transpiraba por debajo de las elecciones: ¿está el poder político sustituyendo y asfixiando la creatividad del orden espontáneo de una sociedad de mercado? El martes, una mayoría racional y alarmada de estadounidenses dijo que "sí".
Publicado: 11-11-2010 11:27 AM
LA DEBACLE FUE MUCHO MAS CATASTROFICA PARA EL PARTIDO DEL KKK QUE LO QUE PARECE.
Worse Than It Seems
How the 2010 Census works against the Democrats
Since the U.S. population continues to flow South and West, reapportionment will probably add House seats in red states and subtract them in blue states. Thus, the Census looks like a setback for Democratic chances to win the 270 electoral votes necessary to become president.
Texas, which has voted Republican in 9 of the last 10 elections will gain 4 electoral votes, according to projections from preliminary Census data by Polidata.com. The other gainers—one vote each—include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah. All of these states have voted for the GOP candidate in at least 7 of the last 10 elections....
Meanwhile, eight states that usually go blue in presidential elections—Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Minnesota—are projected to lose one electoral vote each. Or in other words,
Take the 22 states that voted for John McCain as the GOP base in the 2012 presidential election. That base is about to grow from 173 electoral votes to 180. And if Republicans hold it, they could get to 271 by carrying just six more states—Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia and Nevada—each of which has voted GOP in a majority of the last ten elections.
As it happens, all six of these states, except for North Carolina, will have Republican governors next year, and all six, except for Nevada, will have Republican state legislatures.
It's like a trap has been set. From here, you will witness the final destruction of the Alliance and the end of your insignificant rebellion!
Time for Some Democrats to Become Republicans
Pajamas Media ^ | November 10, 2010 | Ron Radosh
No one, I think, captured the illusions about Barack Obama better than Walter Russell Mead. Writing at the website of The American Interest, Mead proclaims that
A significant chunk of the American liberal intelligentsia completely lost its head over Barack Obama. They mistook hopes and fantasies for reality. Worse, the disease spread to at least members of the White House team. An administration elected with a mandate to stabilize the country misread the political situation and came to the belief that the country wanted the kinds of serious and deep changes that liberals have wanted for decades. It was 1933, and President Obama was the new FDR.That illusion explains perfectly the great shock-wave felt by liberals and the media over the results of last week’s unprecedented election. As Mead puts it, “They were fundamentally misreading the mood of the country.” Their great arrogance, however, prevents them from comprehending this reality. As Mead writes:
They did not perceive just how wrong they were; nor did they understand how the error undermined the logical case they wanted to make in favor of a bigger role for government guided by smart, well-credentialed liberal wonks. Give us more power because we understand the world better than you do, was the message. We are so smart, so well-credentialed, so careful to read all the best papers by all the certified experts that the recommendations we make and the regulations we write, however outlandish and burdensome they look to all you non-experts out there, are certain to work. Trust us because we are always right, and only fools and charlatans would be so stupid as to disagree.
A good warning to them from a top-notch liberal intellectual, albeit one who gets it. How come there are so few of these rare liberal intellectuals like Mead and William Galston? These men stand alone as among the small number who so easily comprehend what the public at large knows from their own experience — that you cannot trust our future to those in power who believe they alone have the right and the duty to orchestrate the American economy because of what they think is their superior wisdom. Just yesterday I sat at dinner with a man in a big city government office who is likely to be the next mayor of this major American center. I listened as he told us how Paul Krugman is right, and that we need a major new government stimulus because the one that failed simply wasn’t large enough. I felt like thrusting Mead’s comments in his hand.
Perhaps the problem is that, as Stanley Kurtz suggests in his new book, Barack Obama is ideologically a socialist. One liberal who evidently thinks this might be the case is none other than the former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch. Writing on his blog the other day, Koch asks the following question:
Will the Democratic Party learn from the drubbing and loss of one house? Probably not, but hope springs eternal. Maybe Democrats will take a hint and begin moving to a moderate left pposition pulling back from their heretofore more radical left pposition which they prefer to call “progressive.”
Koch has been around for a long time, and he remembers when that term was the euphemism used by Communist fellow-travelers to define themselves. Thus he explains that to him, it means “several degrees to the left of liberal.” He calls himself a “liberal with sanity,” a term he created to try and put himself apart from those other far leftists who pretended to be old fashioned liberals. Referring to the late Congresswoman Bella Abzug, a person who single-handedly defined what a fellow-traveler or a secret CP member was, Koch calls her a “person who came from a radical left background” and dubbed herself a “progressive” to try and make her politics both seem reasonable and to “convey that they were the cutting edge.”Then, Koch writes a most striking paragraph, which I find most revealing. He writes the following, soon after the passage in which he brings up Abzug as a Democrat whom he believes personifies the worst elements in his own political home:
Above all else, the president should make clear to the public that he sees the Democratic Party not as a vehicle for socialism(my emphasis), but as a vehicle to implement fairness and justice in the mold of social democrats who believe in our capitalist economic system, with rigorous but not onerous regulations to protect the public in all spheres of public intercourse and commerce, allowing people to rise in our society according to their abilities and at the same time provide a safety net for those who need a helping hand.
To that I give a hearty amen, with one proviso: This is the pposition of a moderate centrist Republican, and not that of any Democrat who is active in today’s world. It is quite akin to that of the senator-elect from West Virginia, outgoing governor of that state, Joe Manchin. A man who ran opposing ObamaCare, cap and trade, and virtually the entire Obama agenda, he, like Koch, is actually closer to what most Republicans favor than most Democrats today. Manchin is thus reportedly being urged by his Republican colleagues in the Senate to consider switching parties after he is inaugurated as senator next week, a rumor that Manchin fervently denies.According to Roll Call, some Republicans “speculated that Manchin could be floating this rumor to send a message to the Senate Democratic leadership that he will not be able to vote with the Conference on key issues, as well as to attempt to scare off any potential top-tier Republican challengers.”
Whatever his reasons, everyone in his state knows that the only reason he won is that Manchin moved away from past Democratic positions he once held, such as support for Obama’s health care agenda, and echoed mainstream Republican criticisms of it. He and Ed Koch can persist in calling themselves the real Democrats, liberals with sanity, but even they must realize how isolated they are, and how far removed they remain from their brethren.
Koch acknowledges that the majority of our country today is “moderate conservative,” with “moderate liberal” a close second — both categories highly different than the stance of most Democrats and the current administration. Koch even proposes amendments to the health care bill he urges Obama to adopt — but if one reads them, it is apparent that these are Republican proposals that Koch must know Obama will never support. Or does he really think that the president will back “letting all insurance carriers offer their policies in all 50 states to increase competition, regulate premium increases, and allow Medicare to seek volume prescription drug discounts — barred under current law — which could save hundreds of billions of dollars over a 10-year period.”
The first part of Koch’s proposal was supported during the campaign by many Republicans. And the second part calling for volume drug discounts never had a chance since the administration cut a deal with the drug companies in exchange for their not opposing the ObamaCare proposals.
As for foreign policy, Koch argues that Obama
…should announce that we are prepared to wage a 50-year war against the Islamist terrorists now seeking to destroy Western civilization and that we will not compromise with the jihadists under any circumstances, and will call them by their rightful name — Islamic terrorists — not simply militants and will ask the media to do the same.
Again, I give that proposal a hearty amen! But Koch’s words come just as Obama is in Indonesia where he is continuing his ill-advised outreach to the Muslim world and downplaying any talk about there being any real threat of terrorism coming from radical Islam. And while in Indonesia, the president sought to use his bully pulpit not to condemn radical Islam, but instead to join the chorus of the anti-Israel clique by condemning Israel for proposing so-called “settlements” in east Jerusalem, when, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained so curtly, “Jerusalem is not a settlement; Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.”
Most conservatives I know understand fully the need for a realistic safety net for the working poor, and do not want to return America to the era before such a safety net existed. What they oppose, and what Koch opposes also, is precisely what the Democratic Party stands for today — the espousal of a stealth socialist strategy meant to advance our nation towards a statist socialism that the public opposes.
Last week, as everyone knows, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell let it slip in a debate with Glenn Greenwald that he considered himself a socialist. As he put it,
I am not a progressive. I am not a liberal who is so afraid of the word that I had to change my name to progressive. Liberals amuse me. I am a socialist. I live to the extreme left, the extreme left of you mere liberals, okay?
Give the man credit for honesty — the kind of honesty Barack Obama shies away from. In his book, Stanley Kurtz says he would have no problem if Obama had said he was a socialist and tried to explain what that means in terms of the policies he advocates. What Kurtz objects to is Obama’s avoidance of the word socialism and his adoption of a strategy he learned from his colleagues in the Midwest Academy and other groups: that of hiding his true views and instead trying to advance policies that would result in socialism without ever having to publicly advocate what he truly believes.O’Donnell himself went on to say the next day, in response to Glenn Beck, that
…he was a socialist because he supported programs such as Medicare and Social Security — which are, he said, explicitly socialistic at heart. He described Medicare as “a socialist idea whose time had come in a capitalist society.” Moreover, he said, everyone who supports such programs is supporting socialism.
The problem is that most people who support Medicare do not think of themselves as socialists, nor do they believe in the kind of super statist programs that the administration is proposing, which is what exemplifies the kind of “socialism” they support.
I happen to agree with the analysis of the historian Martin J. Sklar, who, as I previously wrote a year ago, has developed the theory of “the mix”; that all modern societies contain within themselves both elements of capitalism and socialism. But Sklar today firmly stands in opposition to the Obama program, considering the real issue not to be, as he writes, whether we move to socialism but whether we can maintain a liberal democracy based on the mix that nurtures “Liberty and Equality and Progressive Development.” This, he writes, is
…something the Bush/Cheney administrations championed, and the reason I, a person of the left, strongly supported them, including the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the (world) war against Islamist imperialism.
Finally, in a personal letter to me, Sklar calls for a unified liberty movement of people who see themselves on the left or liberal side and those who see themselves as conservatives to defeat “the state-command sectarians,” and bring together those on the democratic left and right in an effort to rejuvenate “the prospects of liberal democracy.”As he explains Obama, the president is a Leninist statist who stands athwart the main traditions of liberal democracy, and hence is incapable of changing course midstream as Clinton did after 1995.For such a movement for liberty to emerge, it will take some moderate centrist Democrats, like Ed Koch, Senator-elect Manchin, and others to switch parties and become Republicans. To create a big tent majority party, the Republicans need people like them — not just the Tea Party conservatives. Will they have the courage to make the switch?
Publicado: 11-24-2010 02:00 PM
The Republican Wave Isn’t Quite Finished Yet
November 23, 2010 by Jimmie Bise, Jr
Of all the stories of the great Republican wave election of 2010, one of the stories that didn’t get wide play is just how dominant the GOP was in state elections. Republicans claimed a record 680 state legislative seats around the country, 52 more than the old record, set by Democrats in 1974 and 208 more than they picked up in the 1994 Gingrich Revolution. The right now controls both chambers of 26 state legislatures.
And the hits just keep coming. In the past couple of weeks, at least 11 Democratic state legislators have switched sides — one in South Dakota, one in Maine, , one in Louisiana, two in Georgia, and four in Alabama. In Louisiana, the switch gives Republicans control of one house of the government for the first time since Reconstruction; in Alabama, the Republicans control both houses for the first time since 1874.
The obvious reason these wins are important is that 44 states will start redrawing their Congressional districts next year. Many of the states in the South now controlled by Republicans will pick up House seats and few of them will be inclined to treat Democratic incumbents well. The lines drawn next year could help cement Republican control of the house not only in 2012 but perhaps for the next decade or more.
The less obvious reason this is a big deal is that the national GOP now has a number of allies in the states to help it bring down the various massive programs Democrats have foisted on us over the past two years. There are a lot of ways that the states can wrest power away from Washington and bring it back to the states where it belongs.
The ongoing Obamacare lawsuit is just one example. States can get more aggressive about how its highways are built and maintained, push back against Federal drug laws, demand money siphoned away from them by high income and gasoline taxes, and counter the thousands of new economy-stifling regulations pressed upon their businesses since the Democrats took control of the nation.
If you think one Chris Christie is good, imagine if we had ten Chris Christies or 50 in each of the states Republicans control. That’s a distinct possibility, which makes the GOP dominance of state elections a win that could pay off for America for generations.