Monday, February 15, 2010

The Perfectly Rational Party and You

Peter Wehner's WSJ article, "No, America Isn't Ungovernable" (Feb. 12, 2010) helps explain why the ruling Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are behaving the way they are, and draws attention to the premise that underlies liberal-progressive arrogance in general.

The Democrats occupy the White House and have a majority in both houses of Congress. So why have they not been able to do everything they've wanted to do for the last 35 years, but haven't been able to? Three reasons. The people, the other party, and the system itself.

The people are stupid. They must be. If we have the perfect President and if he has proposed the most perfectly rational legislative agenda, then if the people do not support it in sufficient numbers they must be "a nation of dodos" (Time's Joe Klein) as well as childish, ignorant, and incoherent (Slate's Jacon Weisberg).

The Republicans are just nihilists. When you have the perfect President and you are presented with the most perfectly rational legislative agenda, there can be no disagreement except out of simple will to power, "pure nihilism for naked political gain" (Newsweek's Michael Cohen). So that must be what is behind Republican opposition to Democratic health care reform, cap-and-trade carbon emmisions control, card check union organizing rules, etc.

The Senate rules are outdated. If the Senate, where the Democrats barely had a supermajority until the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts broke it, cannot pass a perfectly rational piece of legislation like the House version of health care reform for a perfect President, it must be "ominously dysfunctional" (Paul Krugman) and wholly incompatible with what is necessary for governing modern nation.

It is all premised on the liberal self-understanding (which it never crosses their minds to question): "We liberals are rational and philanthropic; anyone who disagrees with us must therefore be stupid and malicious."

For further insight into the liberal/progressive worldview and the mind of our President, you should also read George Will's recent column, "Progressives and the Growing Dependency Agenda."

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