The confirmation hearings for Samuel Alito to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court may have proven that liberalism has lost its fighting edge. And the reason is that it is no longer politically viable to try and tar and feather conservatives with the appellation of “racist” or “sexist” simply because someone disagrees with the public policy prescriptions of liberal interest groups like the NAACP or NOW….
This has been one of the more revealing confirmation hearings in memory not for what the nominee has said but for highlighting how the tactics of the left in opposing conservatives have failed utterly. It remains to be seen whether or not Democrats will pay a price at the polls for their underhanded tactics. I tend to think not as few beyond the beltway were watching these hearings. But if the failure of their tactics means anything, it is further proof that the tired, wretched line of attack that liberals have engaged in for more than a quarter of a century against conservatives may finally have outlived its political usefulness.
Sweaty palms at DNC headquarters… “You mean we have to do more than ritually mouth the words racist and sexist? We have to, like, think about deep stuff? Form intelligent arguments? Pass the Rolaids…”
The end of liberals attacking character instead of ideas cannot come soon enough. I don’t think dinosaurs like Kennedy can change, but maybe the younger ones like Obama will. It’s doubtful. There’s a cliché that says generals fight the last war. In 1939 the French were prepared to refight WWI; the German Blitzkrieg blew them away. The Democrats have been fighting the same war for over 30 years.
The Democrats’ fundamental problem is the same one that devastated them in the 1972 election: they have become a New Leftist party. The American people are still not as far left as the Democrat base, although there has been some shift. California used to be a more Republican state, but recently it has been reliably blue.
The Democrats learned that their electoral survival depends on concealing their agenda. The only two Democrats to be elected President since the ’72 landslide are southern governors who campaigned as moderates. In the ‘80s the word “liberal” became such a liability that even Senator Kennedy dances around it.
Instead of arguing issues honestly, the Democrats have relied on vilifying their opponents. Their opposition research focuses on any variations from political correctness they can use to cry racism, sexism, insensitive, and so on. When researchers found the Concerned Alumni of Princeton connection to Alito, they were overjoyed. They were like Linus after he gets back his security blanket.
The Democrats are waiting for that genius to arrive who can repackage statism so that it sells. Since giving up the welfare state is inconceivable, this is their best hope for finding a new tactic. Their other hope is that the American people become more like the Democrat base. Here the left relies on public education.
The Democrats dominate the education establishment. From kindergarten through college, students are fed a constant diet of New Leftist propaganda; environmentalism, identity politics, welfare, the UN -- issues such as these are held up as unquestioned ideals. After 12 years of this statist propaganda and four years of even more intense doctrination at college, including sensitivity and sexual harassment training, it is a wonder that any educated American can think independently at all.
So far the only thing that has kept a majority of American voters from agreeing with the Democrat base is the American sense of life, the last glow of our Enlightenment heritage. The Enlightenment was a long time ago. After two centuries of anti-Enlightenment, irrational philosophy, the character of the American common man is not much of a guarantee against the encroaching state.
It is becoming clear to the generals that the old war cannot be refought. New tactics are needed. But the shape of the new war is still unclear. Will the left find a way to bring the American people over to their side? I tremble at the prospect of the Democrats finding their Napoleon.