A year ago the media resonated with the celebration of democracy, grassroots pushback against the existing order, the renewal of Congress, and the novel harmony between government and the people.
Now? Suddenly all this seems to be inoperative: Our institutions are supposedly broken and fossilized, rendered so by partisanship or inherent structural problems such as filibusters. The people themselves have almost magically gone from enlightened to dense, gullible, and undeserving of their one chance at progressive salvation.
So what changed? The Obama administration offered a statist agenda of massive deficits, and it blamed Bush for America’s current problems. The people revolted, and even the combined power of large Democratic congressional majorities, a ministry-of-truth media, and an Ivy League technocracy could not push through hope and change — largely due to Democratic legislators’ worries that they were walking out on a plank that would soon be sawed off by the next election.
The implosion of the Obama administration is newsworthy, but not as astonishing as this petulant liberal reappraisal of both popular political participation and the structure of American government.
Given that the people apparently don’t want bigger deficits, more stimulus, statist health care, cap and trade, or “comprehensive” immigration reform, and given that the most influential members of the Obama administration think the people either do or should want those things, we are apparently left with blaming George Bush, or self-righteously blaming the people for their stupidity, selfishness, brainwashing, or racism. Yet all of those assumptions only exacerbate the problem, and if continually voiced will turn a mid-term correction into an abject disaster for Democrats.