The Democrats are about to get their nose bloodied, Obama will no longer be able to defer to Congress to write his legislation for him. He wont be able to increase spending again. He wont be able to increase taxes. In other words, he wont be able to spend his way out of trouble.
Yet they wont get it.
"Though it has been typically misrepresented by the liberal media as a rattlers’ nest of gun-toting fruitcakes who want to ban masturbation and abortion, it is, of course, nothing of the kind. It is – whatever the increasingly redundant Moonbat may claim – a genuine grass roots movement inspired by the one great political cause truly worth fighting and dying for: the cause of liberty. " says James Delingpole in the Daily Telegraph.
The Tea Party is a libertarian inspired movement, which has the backing of more than a few conservatives. Yes there are some wingnuts, but the Democrats are not without their share of the same.
Toby Harnden in the Daily Telegraph has written what he thinks will be the top 10 excuses for losing.
1. Opponents (or enemies) don't believe in science or facts. They are stupid.
2. Democrats have been gutless and haven't defended their "amazing achievements" well enough.
3. Democrats did the right thing, even though it is unpopular (oh yes, really hard decisions to spend more money they didn't have).
4. It's history, you always lose somewhat after 2 years. Nothing new.
5. Democrats were too moderate, not enough change. Not enough government.
6. Democrats have communicated badly. It's about marketing.
7. Evil big business and foreign (remember these are people who name others as racist) money is feeding the enemy. They aren't real Americans looking after real Americans.
8. Racism. Why else would you oppose a Black President?
9. The media is to blame, especially evil Fox News. It does a lousy job. It didn't give Obama an easy run at all did it?
10. It's Bush again. Yes all that small government rhetoric, so common wasn't it?
Obama is desperate to increase turnout by his core of youth, Latino and Black voters, but he isn't inspiring. Instead of preaching hope, he is preaching fear, based on at best misunderstanding, at worst lies. Harnden says of Obama "at its core, his message is one of promoting what Margaret Thatcher called the "nanny state" at home and Wilsonian internationalism abroad. The problem last time was that Obama DID express hope and seemed to embody something different, but what wasn't clear to many was what it meant - it didn't mean an end to pork barreling, it meant more spending, more taxes and no limits on what government was prepared to do. This has scared people, they fear the world's biggest economy is being hamstrung by being the world's biggest debtor nation, and that free enterprise and free markets aren't important anymore.
The Tea Party is saying to hell with you all, but has managed to inspire enough Republicans to its cause.
What will happen? Well Congress wont be quite the same again. It wont be a matter of Republican majorities back to their old ways, but it also wont be a Congress ready to compromise.
Indeed, objectivist Harry Binswanger reckons that Republicans should be favoured across the board because the Tea Party has already taken over the political initiative in the party. In other words, the Republicans will not be in a position to resist the energy and determination of the Tea Party.
It will mean gridlock, as a leftwing President faces a libertarian/conservative House, and a hung Senate.
It has inspired much comment, as James Delingpole's article shows with over 1000 comments, many from disgruntled British Marxists who want to treat Americans as either stupid or having been duped.
He describes elegantly the problem:
"in the last 80 or more years – and not just in the US but throughout the Western world – government has forgotten its purpose. It has now grown so arrogant and swollen as to believe its job is to shape and improve and generally interfere with our lives. And it’s not. Government’s job is to act as our humble servant."
He even mentions New Zealand as among one of the countries maintaining this philosophy:
"Wherever you go, even if it’s somewhere run by a notionally “conservative” administration, the malaise you will encounter is much the same: a system of governance predicated on the notion that the state’s function is not merely to uphold property rights, maintain equality before the law and defend borders, but perpetually to meddle with its citizens’ lives in order supposedly to make their existence more fair, more safe, more eco-friendly, more healthy. And always the result is the same: more taxation, more regulation, less freedom. Less “fairness” too, of course."
Exactly! You can see it in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the UK, the National-ACT-Maori-Dunne coalition in NZ, and you could see it in the former Howard administration in Australia. Meet your new boss, same as the old boss, bossing you about, just with a different bitter taste.
Government has been growing barely checked, but as he says:
"With Hitler and Stalin it was easy: the enemy was plain in view. Today’s encroaching tyranny is an of altogether more subtle, slippery variety. It takes the form of the steady “engrenage” – ratcheting – of EU legislation; of the stealthy removal of property rights and personal liberty under the UN’s Agenda 21; of the eco-legislation created by democratically unaccountable bodies like America’s Environmental Protection Agency".
The future starts tomorrow, in the USA. For Obama will have been stopped in his tracks, and the next step is to carefully find the right Presidential candidate (it is not Palin by any stretch), and for the Tea Party to push on. For all the next two years will mean is stasis, not progress, so the Tea Party needs to maintain momentum at the local, state and federal levels.
It angers and distresses the left, they will pull out all the stops to portray it as a war against the poor, or driven by rich who are painted like how Stalin described the Kulaks, or the left's old fashioned xenophobia will come out. They will seek to scare minorities that it is racist or sexist, frighten the poor and the elderly, claim environmental armageddon, and want to not offend anyone (except those who disagree). Because when you give people back their own money, take away the laws that tell them what to do, give them back their property rights, and make free choice and persuasion the tools protected by government - not regulation, tax and spending - then those who don't like people's choices and do like other people's money will get upset.
Because the future wont be about the initiation of force, but about the power of argument, of convincing individuals to act differently, to spend their money differently.
Now that is an audacity of hope.