American Elephants

What Has Transformed the Democratic Party? by The Elephant's Child


What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism¹, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate Democrats left,” and lately the rantings of Cory Booker, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez confirm that diagnosis.”  ¹(crazy raving)

That was how Victor Davis Hanson began his column “The Origins of Progressive Agony” on October 16 – a question we’re all asking. Obama won the Presidency in 2008 and 2012, and somehow in the process managed to lose control of state legislatures, governorships, the House, the Senate and finally the presidency itself. He managed to cripple the economy, make racial and cultural differences worse, raise taxes and make a mess of foreign policy. It was a divisive presidency. Democrats have never taken a failure at the ballot box well, but this time they went all out in rage and grief.

“The coordinated effort to destroy Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court required the systematic refutation of the entire notion of Western jurisprudence by senators and much of the American legal establishment. And there was no hesitation in doing just that on the part of Senate Democrats, the #MeToo movement, and the press.” That, Victor Davis Hanson wrote on September 30th.

Probably most of you have seen and enjoyed the You Tube composites of prominent Democrats laughingly saying that “Donald Trump is Not going to be president!” I’m not sure of all the presidents between Lincoln and Wilson, but I cannot remember any other election where the losing party behaved so badly. Americans have certainly not uniformly liked the president that they opposed, but this seems to be something new and different. A lot of us thought that some of the excess of Obama worship went way too far, but we didn’t start issuing death threats to his supporters, nor attack them in restaurants.

A president is someone we hire for four years to manage the federal bureaucracy and our relations with the rest of the world. It’s a tough job, and much depends on the people he hires to help him carry out the job. If a president succeeds in keeping the economy moving in the right direction, and manages to keep our relations with the rest of the world on an even keel, he (or she) deserves a lot of credit.

You don’t have to fall in love with him (or her), nor even like him personally. Democrats fell in love with Barack Obama. Electing the first black president gave them enormous credit, and made them feel good about themselves. So they hardly noticed when the economy turned sour, when the much hearlded ObamaCare has been an expensive mess, when he turned the Iraq success sour by pulling the troops out too soon.  His economists told him that economic growth was stuck, and would probably never rise over 2 percent. Obama was loved and admired, but unfortunately his policies were just wrong.

Yes. President Trump tweets. He calls people names. He has orange hair, and his neckties are too long. Many people don’t like the way he talks. Dan Bongino, who is also from Queens, says President Trump talks like someone from Queens who is in the construction business. Trump’s father put him to work with construction crews early on. Neither the accent nor the orange hair, nor even the tweets are what matters. We need to keep our priorities straight.

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