A Blue Jackass Is Not a Pale Horse

 

I’ve seen expressed recently among some Republicans a fear of Democratic victory in the upcoming midterm elections. Indeed, I was chastised for my nonchalance about what is so clear a threat to the very existence of America. And I was told “If the Democrats get in control again, I don’t think we’ll have a country anymore for much longer.”

I’m sorry, but that simply isn’t the case. This existential terror about the future of the country if Democrats win the midterms is misplaced.

First, before I am accused of it (although I’m sure I will be anyway), I’m not a Democrat and the Democratic Party is not my first choice. I would prefer that everyone vote for LP candidates where possible. The Democrats, for me, are a far distant second. However, in many places, the laws are written to preserve the duopoly and prevent third-party candidates from being on the ballot, so voting for the LP is not an option.

With regards to the existential threat, call me cynical, but I hear this every election. And it cannot possibly be true that every election is “the most important election of our lifetimes.” I realize it’s what politicians and partisans say, but it’s just nonsense. If every election is a Flight 93 election, then none of them are.

The truth is that there’ll be another one in two years, and still another two years after that. If things are so precarious that electing one team of hacks to Congress this year instead of the other will destroy the country, then things are already too far gone, and the best choice would be to pack up your belongings, pets, and loved ones, and move to Hudson Bay.

I just don’t share the sense of urgency because it just doesn’t match reality. In 2009, when the Democrats had control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, it didn’t destroy the country. The fact of the matter is that when Democrats are in power, they can’t seem to find their ass with both hands.

The case of 2009-2010 is actually a good one. When the Democrats had control of the presidency and both houses of Congress in 2009, did they enact a workers’ paradise? Did we get single payer? Did Barack Obama, the Kenyan socialist, remake America?

No. They couldn’t have passed single payer because even on the best of days. At the apex of their power, the only thing they could pass was a scheme cooked up by Republicans in the 1990s. And that was when they controlled everything!

This is why the talk of socialism is overwrought. When the blue team was in charge, they didn’t institute single payer. Instead they passed a nation-wide version of RomneyCare, and it cost them their congressional majority in the process.

Now, I’ve seen it pointed out that it ain’t 2009 anymore. That the Democratic Party has tilted left. That there used to be Blue Dog Democrats way back then and they’re all extinct now. That the Democratic Party in 2018 is dominated by socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is the new face of the party.

Sorry, but that’s a bunch of hogwash. First, I was told in 2009, back when they were passing nation-wide RomneyCare, that Democratic moderates were an extinct breed. That talking point is a nice way to scare people into voting, but it doesn’t match reality. The number of Democrats who have a favorable view of socialism is up only about four points from where it was eight years ago.

I’ll concede that Democrats in Congress probably tilt further left than they did in 2009, but that’s because most of their moderates have been boiled away. There is about to be a massive influx of moderate members, elected from purple and red districts, who will be jealous and their new status and want to be reelected.

The case of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is highly specific. She’s not the harbinger of some new embrace of socialism. She won her primary because her opponent got lazy and took his seat for granted. America has always generally resisted socialism, so it would need to be sold to the public. Ocasio-Cortez ain’t the one to do it. Every time she’s given an opportunity to explain any details, she promptly makes an ass of herself. But she gets pointed to by Republicans to scare people go voting.

The fact of the matter is that a Democratic majority probably wouldn’t be able to pass much if anything. They might be able to get bills through the House, but there’s a limit to the amount of damage they could do. And when they overreach, and they will because they always do, they’ll be punished for it.

What a Democratic majority will do, the thing that I actually want them to do, is provide a check to the President. That’s something they can do with just a House majority, and it desperately needs to be done, because it is something the Republican majority refuses to do.

But no, it certainly won’t be the end of the country. Indeed, divided government tends to be a good thing. The greater danger is when presidential actions go unchecked.

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There are 78 comments.

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  1. Thatcher

    Fred Cole: I’m sorry, but that simply isn’t the case. This existential terror about the future of the country if Democrats win the midterms is misplaced.

    I’m sorry Fred, but I must disagree.

    The Dems now know they squandered their opportunity in 2009-2010 to work their magic and pass their socialist wish list. They now know people like Hillary are unelectable, and that white blue collar workers and their wives (not discounting blue collar white women here) are doing much better under Republican governance. Heck, maybe even black blue collar workers too.

    Dems and the left are whacko, but they aren’t completely stupid. They will not let another opportunity pass them by. Since the Obama era, they have dropped all pretense of having no animosity of the things which made this country great. They have gone public with who they are, and this is what has polarized our nation.

    We can’t eat where we want, buy what brand of shoes we want, or watch a sporting event we want without having it be a political statement. I firmly believe there are enough Democrat voters who are tired of this, and are terrified what will happen if members of their own party regain the levers of power.

    I think the terror is real . . .

    • #1
    • October 11, 2018 at 2:53 pm
    • 3 likes
  2. Coolidge

    What exactly does the President need checked policy wise? This is the most ridiculous of the “We need to burn the village to save it” angles

    We need higher taxes? Cuts in military spending? What?

    This is why the talk of socialism is overwrought. When the blue team was in charge, they didn’t institute single payer. Instead they passed a nation-wide version of RomneyCare, and it cost them their congressional majority in the process.

    No, they tried to Trojan Horse it in because single payer was so toxic. It cost them a majority and they’re running on single payer, and you want people to vote for that as a “check”

    Why? So the Senate can not bring it to a vote so Democrats can run on that? That would really be a good check.

    Your denial that the AOC’s of the Democrat party are an issue is also short sighted. Do you not think the establishment types wanting Medicare for All aren’t going to glom onto the celebrity energy? Do you think so called “moderate Democrats” who say things to get elected are really going to vote principle or cave and vote party. 

    Nobody says you have to be Team Trump. But you have to be smart enough to know that Democrats getting electing means policies and governance we have to scratch and claw to repeal.

     

     

    • #2
    • October 11, 2018 at 2:55 pm
    • 12 likes
  3. Member

    While not containing enough straw for a full fledged hayride, there’s about a bale of it in the O/P. A few rather overwrought quotes from others do not IMO make a basis for an argument. It’s true that the Democrat Party at the beginning of Obama’s term did not remake America in two years, pending the drubbing of 2010. But I’m not worried about political Armageddon in the short run. I’m worried about a slow, continuous march to the left in our political institutions that, before 2016, seemed inexorable. Today’s “check” on Trump can rather quickly become tomorrow’s dominant Democratic control of every branch of government. And the march continues.

    • #3
    • October 11, 2018 at 3:04 pm
    • 14 likes
  4. Coolidge

    I will be voting a straight GOPe ticket in three and one half weeks. I don’t agree with the argument made by George Will that we should vote for Democrats in order to present a check against President Trump.

    I think Republican members of Congress are capable of being a check against Trump. A Democrat Congress wouldn’t so much be a check against Trump; A Democrat Congress would be an antagonist, a saboteur.

    I do agree that it isn’t the end of the world when the Democrats win elections. I have lived through 4 years of President Carter, 8 years of President Clinton and 8 years of President Obama.

    So, yes, it isn’t the end of the world if the Democrats win. It’s just that it is preferable if the GOPe wins.

    • #4
    • October 11, 2018 at 3:16 pm
    • 6 likes
  5. Member

    The Left, including much of the Democratic establishment, has greatly ramped up its willingness to use slander and outright violence against its opponents…as well as its improper use of whatever administrative authority its members possess in government, in universities, and in corporations.

    With more political power given to the Democrats, the assault on free speech would quite possibly become impossible to roll back.

     

    • #5
    • October 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm
    • 3 likes
  6. Thatcher

    Let me add one point of clarification. Fred is not entirely incorrect. Why did the Democrats not pass all of their socialist legislation the first two years of the Obama administration?

    I think the answer is obvious. The Dems did not know they were going to get skunked in the 2010 elections. Notice this is when Obama started to act unilaterally regardless of Congress, leading up to his famous “I have a pen, and I have a phone” quote.

    So again, the Democrats are not totally stupid. I believe they know most of the American people are against them now, and if they ever get back in power, they will go all out.

    And this is truly terrifying …

    • #6
    • October 11, 2018 at 3:21 pm
    • 5 likes
  7. Member

    Fred Cole: The case of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is highly specific. She’s not the harbinger of some new embrace of socialism

    Nope nothing to worry about at all. Just nearly 50% of Democrats with a “favorable view of socialism”, and a party that’s moved what appears to be about 2 standard deviations to the Left since the mid 90’s.

     

    • #7
    • October 11, 2018 at 3:37 pm
    • 9 likes
  8. Thatcher

    This existential terror about the future of the country if there isn’t a check placed upon President Trump is misplaced.

    In 2016, when the Republicans had control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, it didn’t destroy the country.

    Fred Cole: The greater danger is when presidential actions go unchecked.

    Hogwash.

     

    • #8
    • October 11, 2018 at 3:42 pm
    • 12 likes
  9. Member

    Kanye makes more sense than you, Fred.

    • #9
    • October 11, 2018 at 4:13 pm
    • 5 likes
  10. Thatcher

    Fred Cole: The Democrats, for me, are a far distant second (to the Libertarian Party) – added for clarity by instugator

    Ah, the breath of fresh air. 

    So, Fred, how far behind the Democrat Party are the Republicans in your preferences?

    • #10
    • October 11, 2018 at 4:31 pm
    • 6 likes
  11. Member

    • #11
    • October 11, 2018 at 5:21 pm
    • 4 likes
  12. Member
    RPD

    While I’m not particularly a fan of Trump, I’m sure what policy wise needs more checking than is already happening. A Dem congress will just ramp up the tweeting, I don’t see them doing much to restrain spending I just don’t see an upside.

    • #12
    • October 11, 2018 at 5:32 pm
    • 3 likes
  13. Member

    Fred, nobody is going to believe that Trump and Trumpism is worse than the democrats. Your best hope was the primaries — to select independent minded libertarian Republicans in the primaries as a positive alternative to the MAGA people. Most center – right people think Alex Jones is less crazy than the Democrats. The alternative to the MAGA. people is better republicans, not democrats. Voting for Democrats is putting a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger to cure your stuffy nose.

    • #13
    • October 11, 2018 at 6:19 pm
    • 3 likes
  14. Coolidge

    Fred Cole: At the apex of their power,

    The apex of Democratic power was under Woodrow Wilson. 1913-1921 gave us:

    • World War 1
    • KKK
    • 16th Amendment (IRS is the gift that keeps on taking)
    • 17th Amendment (mob rule)
    • eugenics
    • “Birth of a Nation”
    • The Sedition Act
    • support for communism
    • Federal reserve (caused Great Depression and Great Recession)
    • daylight savings time
    • racist hiring by US govt.

    So yes, today’s Democrat party, which seems to have the spirit of Woodrow Wilson in them, can do tremendous damage. They have been working on the destruction of the Constitution for 3 years.

    • #14
    • October 11, 2018 at 6:34 pm
    • 7 likes
  15. Thatcher

    If Democrats win, it obviously won’t be the end of the country or the world. It will just be rewarding people right after they did obviously evil things.

    The Democrats can have some power back when they can at least pretend they will be less evil than Republicans.

    • #15
    • October 11, 2018 at 6:50 pm
    • 3 likes
  16. Coolidge
    TBA

    Instugator (View Comment):

    This existential terror about the future of the country if there isn’t a check placed upon President Trump is misplaced.

    In 2016, when the Republicans had control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, it didn’t destroy the country.

    Fred Cole: The greater danger is when presidential actions go unchecked.

    Hogwash.

    I would not let my parrot anywhere near an NYT cage liner, nor would I sully my hog with Fred’s statement. 

    • #16
    • October 11, 2018 at 7:32 pm
    • 3 likes
  17. Member

    Hacks all over, but at least they are not Libertarian Party idiots, who seem to believe that the existence of a Defense Department and any restrictions on drugs are the worst case circumstances for the world.

    I do agree that Dem control of the House would not bring on the apocalypse, it would just stall efforts at administrative state reform, something that true libertarians would care about more than drugs or foreign policy heads-in-the-sand.

    Good grief.

    • #17
    • October 11, 2018 at 8:07 pm
    • 6 likes
  18. Member

    If the GOP doesn’t retain power and get creative about turning around the inexorable march to single payer, we are all screwed.

    Massive amounts of people getting subsidies. Massive amounts of people getting killed on premiums, deductibles, and narrowed networks. The Cadillac tax, I’m told very reliably, is going to wipeout employer based insurance with nothing there to replace it.

    100% of the Democrat rhetoric is either “the ACA needs to be tweaked or improved”–they constantly lie about it–or they want single-payer. You never hear the Democratic Party, ever, talk about a different, more intelligently designed multi-payer system that gets everyone covered with transparent subsidies and minimized political central planning. No, they want the (colloquialism) NHS. The NHS holds the whole British political system hostage. That’s what they want, because they get to be the mandarins.

    Minnesota Democrats want to start single payer even though it failed in Vermont. This is very instructive.

    Dr John Spry with his most passionate, alarming segment ever. John informs us of the unconstitutional plan to create a Minnesota health board with no oversight from voters or elected officials and uncontrolled power to tax and spend.

    They want us all to tap out like in a wrestling match and they are getting there.

    Cloward and Piven, and it’s working.

    • #18
    • October 12, 2018 at 3:31 am
    • 3 likes
  19. Member

    Fred Cole: The case of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is highly specific. She’s not the harbinger of some new embrace of socialism. She won her primary because her opponent got lazy and took his seat for granted

    She is not the only “democratic socialist” who has displaced a relative-to-the-socialists moderate Democratic encumbant. Mike Capuano was not lazy at all during his re-election campaign, and it didn’t save him from Ayanna Presley.

    • #19
    • October 12, 2018 at 4:25 am
    • 1 like
  20. Member

    If anything, the Libertarian Party is worse than the Democrats.

    • #20
    • October 12, 2018 at 4:25 am
    • 2 likes
  21. Member

    Hang On (View Comment):

    If anything, the Libertarian Party is worse than the Democrats.

    If they were just concentrate on national marketing and local candidates, a million things would take care of themselves. Let the Republican Liberty Caucus do everything else.

    • #21
    • October 12, 2018 at 4:29 am
    • Like
  22. Member

    Joe P (View Comment):

    Fred Cole: The case of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is highly specific. She’s not the harbinger of some new embrace of socialism. She won her primary because her opponent got lazy and took his seat for granted

    She is not the only “democratic socialist” who has displaced a relative-to-the-socialists moderate Democratic encumbant. Mike Capuano was not lazy at all during his re-election campaign, and it didn’t save him from Ayanna Presley.

    And Ilhan Omar is an exact political match for Keith Ellison, who she is replacing. She’s way dumber than Ocasio-Cortez, too. Their recent interview with Van Jones was something to behold.

    • #22
    • October 12, 2018 at 4:33 am
    • Like
  23. Member

    Fred Cole: What a Democratic majority will do, the thing that I actually want them to do, is provide a check to the President. That’s something they can do with just a House majority, and it desperately needs to be done, because it is something the Republican majority refuses to do.

    I understand this argument, and it would be legitimate if there was some assurance that the check on the President would be performed in some way that was consistent with how things ought to be done.

    I mean, one of the problems you have with Trump is that he’s bad in an abnormal way, right? Like, that we could be looking at violations of norms, some authoritarian excesses, or unusually bad illegal behavior if he’s not subject to checks from Congress. I don’t mean to put this argument in your mouth; feel free to correct me if it is wrong.

    Given that, how can you propose the Democrats as the people who can provide these checks, when their own recent behavior clearly indicates that they are perfectly happy to violate any norm and ignore any authoritarian excess when it comes from their team? I mean, the most flattering take on the Kavanaugh debacle is that the Democrats sat on a sexual assault accusation for 2 months, bypassing every step that could have been used to investigate it, so they could use it for their own selfish partisan advantage. And while doing so, they were more than willing to jettison very basic principles like the presumption of innocence and the requirement that claims must meet burdens of proof.

    These people simply aren’t interested in the kind of civic duty you want them to provide. And by “these people”, I don’t mean the socialists you argue are boogeymen, I mean the Democrats in office today.

    • #23
    • October 12, 2018 at 4:47 am
    • 7 likes
  24. Member

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Fred, nobody is going to believe that Trump and Trumpism is worse than the democrats. Your best hope was the primaries — to select independent minded libertarian Republicans in the primaries as a positive alternative to the MAGA people. Most center – right people think Alex Jones is less crazy than the Democrats. The alternative to the MAGA. people is better republicans, not democrats. Voting for Democrats is putting a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger to cure your stuffy nose.

    yeah it’s a pretty odd “libertarian” who choses the Democratic Party, ie the ones all for increasing the power and intrusiveness of the government as his fallback.

    • #24
    • October 12, 2018 at 5:14 am
    • 4 likes
  25. Member

    The Trump era is revealing some really odd political thinking and punditry in some people that were known as libertarian and conservative. Max Boot is on fire right now. LOL

    • #25
    • October 12, 2018 at 5:18 am
    • 1 like
  26. Thatcher

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Fred Cole: The Democrats, for me, are a far distant second (to the Libertarian Party) – added for clarity by instugator

    Ah, the breath of fresh air.

    So, Fred, how far behind the Democrat Party are the Republicans in your preferences?

    If the order of preference for libertarians is:

    1. Libertarian Party
    2. Democrat Pary
    3. Republican Party

    Then you are right, Fred, I don’t understand libertariansim at all!

     

    • #26
    • October 12, 2018 at 5:44 am
    • 2 likes
  27. Contributor
    Fred Cole Post author

    RPD (View Comment):
    While I’m not particularly a fan of Trump, I’m sure what policy wise needs more checking than is already happening.

    TARIFFS for one [expletive] thing!

    Trade policy is one area where a president has enormous leeway. The idea is that if Congress were to negotiate a trade agreement, it would be a mess of 535 competing interests all wanting the widget makers in their individual constituencies to get special carve outs.

    That works unless the president is an economic illiterate imbecile who thinks “trade is bad” and will use any powers available, no matter how obviously specious the rationale to interfere with it.

    Rather than do anything about it, Congress stood by, letting our idiot President do his best to drive our system of international trade, which has created the greatest prosperity in human history, off a damn cliff.

     

    • #27
    • October 12, 2018 at 6:18 am
    • Like
  28. Contributor
    Fred Cole Post author

    Kozak (View Comment):
    yeah it’s a pretty odd “libertarian” who choses the Democratic Party, ie the ones all for increasing the power and intrusiveness of the government as his fallback.

    It would only seem odd if you think the Republican Party weren’t also all for increasing the power and intrusiveness of the government.

    • #28
    • October 12, 2018 at 6:19 am
    • Like
  29. Member

    Fred, I agree with you that a single election is not likely to bring about the death of the country.

    If the country is going to die, it will be a death of a thousand cuts. Each election may be one of those cuts. But you are correct that election results can usually be undone by the next election.

    This is why SCOTUS has been so critical to my thinking. SCOTUS decisions have led the country increasingly to the Left, over 50 years or more, beginning with the radical decisions of the Warren court. Some are well known, others not. The end of school prayer and other decisions hostile to religion, decisions undermining the traditional family (holding, for example, that inheritance laws cannot discriminate against illegitimate children and that adulterous sperm donors have parental rights), abortion (obviously), and now gay marriage. These are one-way ratchets that change the culture in very significant ways and are almost impossible to reverse. They lead to an increasingly Left-wing culture.

     

    • #29
    • October 12, 2018 at 6:30 am
    • 1 like
  30. Thatcher

    Fred Cole (View Comment):
    Rather than do anything about it, Congress stood by, letting our idiot President do his best to drive our system of international trade, which has created the greatest prosperity in human history, off a damn cliff.

    Really – the renegotiated NAFTA is bad?

     

    • #30
    • October 12, 2018 at 6:34 am
    • 7 likes
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