I’m using another diary as a jumping-off point for this. I hope the author doesn’t mind.
From this diary:
It is open line Friday on the Rush Limbaugh show and a caller makes the case that there is no hope to defeat Obama. So Rush asks him, “do you think that the administration will continue to deficit spend and that the debt will continue to grow?” to which the caller replies yes! Rush follow up with a second question asking “do you think that the administration tax policies and spending policies will continue to cause the private sector to shrink?, and again the caller agrees.
Rush can not understand why when a majority of people think the country is getting worse why anyone would believe that Obama could get elected to three terms.
I can explain this for Rush (and for Red State) because I happen to believe, as the caller apparently did, that we are, um… screwed. As Ricky Ricardo might say, “Let me ‘splain it to you, Loosey.”
Mitt Romney was wrong. It’s not 47% that will never vote against the government, it’s more like 53%. Obama won the 2012 election. No question. This is a “duh” kind of statement, but it’s a good starting point. More people now believe in the Obama style of government than the Romney style of government. Dinesh D’Souza boiled this down to a pithy statement during a recent interview: “Any government that robs Peter to pay Paul can fully count on Paul’s support.” There are now more Pauls being paid by the government, or who hope to be paid by the government, than there are Peters who want to make their own money.
The attractiveness of the “Obama Model” is unsurprising, really. If I were starting a company today, would my role model be Gibson Guitar or Solyndra? Gibson Guitar was raided, twice, by SWAT teams carrying machine guns. They wound up paying $350,000 in what was essentially “protection money” to the Justice Department just to stay in business. Solyndra got $500 million of government money, made its executives rich(er), and went bankrupt. Which business model would I choose today? Gee, let me think.
Obama and the Left (capital “L”) are protected by what might be called an “iron triangle” of powerful allies: Big Government, Big Hollywood, and Big Journalism. (Hmm, those sound familiar.)
Big Government: Look at a list of the largest employers in any city, county or state in the country. Listed at or near the top of that list will be “City of X” or “Public Schools of X.” Often, governmental or quasi-governmental agencies will be the top three or four employers. Washington DC and surroundings, of course, are 100% government employees. Upton Sinclair said “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” These people, well-meaning and decent as they may be (and sometimes they are), will always support government. They are a huge, growing and implacable mass of voters who will always support Obama and more government, because that is how they feed their children.
Big Journalism and Big Hollywood: Information and entertainment are merging, in fact are often indistinguishable. (Is “E! Hollywood News” information or entertainment? How can you tell?) Populated by incredibly high-salaried people who decry “the One Percent” even as they embody it, they love Obama and are not too crazy about the rest of us. They consider themselves “citizens of the world” and have no patience for things like patriotism, capitalism, family and religion. They form a near-impenetrable shield around Obama and Washington DC. Anyone who parrots the Left/Obama line can count on their support, anyone who stands against that line will be savagely attacked, smeared and destroyed (ask Sarah Palin.) It was virtually impossible for Mitt Romney to get his message across to people during the 2012 campaign, not because Obama was so powerful, but because the media hated Romney so much. (“Mr. Romney, what about all your GAFFES?“)
The combination of these things leads me to believe that we are in big, big trouble. And when I say “we” I don’t mean just Republicans, I mean America. I’m not saying all is lost. I’m saying this battle is lost. Time to look forward to the next one, whatever that is. Maybe it’s the states, and Tenth Amendment Federalism. Maybe it’s a tax revolt of some kind. (Hey, it worked in 1776.) But clearly, standing on a soapbox, yelling that big government and deficit spending are bad, is not working. People know that heroin, cigarettes and alcohol are bad. Yet all three industries have many, many customers.
In 2011, Michael Lewis wrote an article in Vanity Fair called “California and Bust,” about the insanity of our deficit spending. In that article he pointed out that the most hopeful option for the USA was that we would “hit bottom,” like a drunk waking up in the gutter:
The other possible outcome was only slightly more hopeful: to hit bottom. To realize what has happened to us—because we have no other choice. “If we refuse to regulate ourselves, the only regulators are our environment,” says [UCLA neuroscientist] Whybrow, “and the way that environment deprives us.” For meaningful change to occur, in other words, we need the environment to administer the necessary level of pain.
Maybe Republicans need to stop focusing on the next election and start planning for the first election after we hit that bottom.