Someone wrote in to Glenn Reynolds with a point I’d been thinking about yesterday, and planning to write about today. Speaking of the Obama administration, he wrote:
These people are so steeped in Saul Alinsky that they fail to realize that they were written for people trying to topple the system and mau-mau the flakcatchers. But now THEY ARE the flack-catchers and they obviously never really understood the problems of governing.
Yeah, Alinsky’s a set of rules for annoying The Man. Not much help once you are The Man.
I don’t know whether I’d go so far as to say that Obama & Co. ‘never really understood the problems of governing’, but the rest of this rings true. The Left, and the Democrats in the US in particular, have become something like a dog chasing a car. The dog is just acting instinctively and chasing after anything that moves; he doesn’t really have a plan for what’s going to happen should he actually catch the car.
The Democrats, from 2000 to 2008, blamed all of their problems — hell, all problems full stop — on George Bush. Couldn’t get their policies enacted? It was all the fault of George Bush (spit) and those corporations (spit) and talk radio (spit)!!!11 It’s all just lies and fear that are fooling the people into a false sense of complacency!!!1 so that Halliburton (spit) can get richer (spit)!!1
And so on. Before George Bush, it was just corporations and talk radio and the vast right-wing conspiracy etc.
Some lefties actually seem to understand that their real problem is that the majority of the people don’t like their policies. Once in a while, this slips out, as in these examples from just after the election in 2004, but in general you have to keep this kind of contempt for the electorate under wraps if you want to have a snowball’s chance in hell of actually winning elections.
By spitting at the straw-man enemies of George Bush and Fox News, though, the left was able to forget about, or at least to paper over, its differences; this is how you have a ‘coalition’ that include both billionaire capitalist George Soros and the Berkeley Marxist League. What did they stand for? Well, a lot of things, many of them directly contradictory. But more than anything, they stood for opposition to Bush, hatred of Fox News, etc., etc.; many of the Democrats’ troubles now are the direct result of their confusing this emotion-based unity with genuine agreement.
The left now controls the universities, TV, movies, nearly all major newspapers, NPR, PRI, all TV news except for Fox, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House, and yet you have Valerie Jarrett saying
I think that what the administration has said very clearly is that we’re going to speak truth to power.
Their ideology has become so wrapped up in ‘struggle’ and ‘organizing’ against some more powerful force that you wind up with a person with an office in the White House who reports directly to the President of the United States talking about how she and her colleagues are going to speak truth to power. It’s like a tic.