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April 17, 2013


Carterism revisited, Thatcherism needed

Good stuff from RedState:

Obama’s personal approval ratings remain mysteriously buoyant, even as the public turns away from him on every issue.  Not much in the way of tangible success is expected from this President, because his moral argument against the old, free, energetic America has been accepted.  ”Fairness” is more important than enterprise.  The modern American voter can digest Carter-style malaise, provided it has been spread thin enough.

That’s the trick, really.  The costs of Carterism – the signs of his failure – were too obvious, too annoying.  Obamanomics is more subtle.  Americans are paying far too much for gas these days, but in the Carter years you couldn’t get gas.  Obama’s foreign policy is a shambles, but we’re not tuning in to nightly images of blindfolded diplomats being hauled through screaming crowds by terrorists.  Food inflation 2013-style means the price on the package remains the same, but there’s less food inside.  The tax bite has been successfully hidden from much of the populace – they pay far more in hidden taxes and regulatory costs than they realize.  Job-killing government policies have not been placed at the crime scene, and many of the jobs vanished without leaving corpses behind.  How much of the general public truly understands the scale of the workforce decline we have suffered under Obama?  How many of them realize he’s literally returned us to Jimmy Carter’s workforce?

Leftist policies are all about concentrated benefits and diffuse costs.  The benefits are easy to see, easy to trace back to the benevolent State.  The costs are spread thin, ideally hidden behind layers of indirect taxation and regulation that conscript private-sector corporations as the State’s assistant tax collectors and enforcers.  Obama perfected this art, to the point where he can still claim nothing bad is really his fault, and one more “pivot to job creation” should unleash that “recovery” we’re always “poised” to enjoy.  Wouldn’t Jimmy Carter have loved to be able to blame his failures on his predecessors!

We need a good stiff dose of Thatcherism to penetrate these layers of obfuscation, and challenge the moral legitimacy of an agenda that has already failed by every practical measure.  Today’s Republicans are often nervous about deploying moral and emotional arguments, either because they think it’s beneath them, or they’re afraid it will blow up in their faces.  But such arguments have to be made, because there we find what Sun Tzu would have called the “fatal terrain” of the Left: the ground they cannot afford to lose.  They can survive charges that their plans are not working, especially since they get a lot of help from the media, but they can’t survive the charge that their plans are wrong. Voters respond to passion and moral certainty… and also notice their absence.


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6 comments

During Carter’s presidency, the liberal elite in the press were willing to point out his failures. This is because he was a peanut farmer, a Southerner and not really a part of the North East liberal crowd. Unlike Carter, Obama has the right pedigree and absolves misplaced liberal guilt. All this talk about fairness is really a misdirect and slight of hand. It is not about compassion. It is about power. The liberal power base is now the majority in the elections. Carter could not pin his failures on the American people because another man, Ronald Reagan had the charisma and courage to tell us the truth. Our government was not the solution to the problem. It was the problem. Conservatives need someone like Reagan again.

[1] Posted by Fr. Dale on 4-17-2013 at 08:21 AM · [top]

Conservatives need someone like Reagan again

And what “Reagan-esque” qualities would that someone have to have?

1.  Deep love of country…belief in its founding principles and intrinsic goodness from a Christian perspective

2.  Rock solid belief that the least amount of government is the best amount

3.  Belief in work ethic, personal responsibility

4.  Have the resolve to defend America from all enemies

5.  Be a leader, able to unite people to pursue a common goal

6.  Be willing to make hard decisions, take the blame or credit; the buck stops here

What else?

[2] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 4-17-2013 at 09:57 AM · [top]

Fr. Dale, there was also still a conservative presence in the press in the ‘70s, often at the top desk.

[3] Posted by BlueOntario on 4-17-2013 at 10:01 AM · [top]

Blue Ontario,
The Northeast liberals never liked Carter. Carter worked because the press had so demonized Nixon that middle of the road folks wanted someone who was squeaky Clean like Carter. The press demonized a good man Gerald Ford to look both clumsy and stupid. Neither which was true. Walter Cronkite was always held up as the epitome of the neutral journalist. That is a fantasy. Name those who were a conservative presence at the ‘top desk’.

[4] Posted by Fr. Dale on 4-17-2013 at 01:04 PM · [top]

Capt. Father Warren,
Sad to say that my current favorite Rand Paul is a libertarian. I’m coming to the conclusion that the NRA and the Republicans no longer represent my kind of politics. The Citizens Committee for the right to keep and bear arms seems more representative of my thoughts at this point.

[5] Posted by Fr. Dale on 4-17-2013 at 01:10 PM · [top]

Obamacare “train-wreck” dawns on Democrat and co-legislator:
http://news.yahoo.com/top-dem-sees-train-wreck-obama-health-law-165221411—politics.html

Note the percentage of states implementing/not implementing.

[6] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 4-17-2013 at 02:30 PM · [top]

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