Posted by Curt on 29 November, 2016 at 9:51 am. 2 comments already!



After the Democratic equality-of-opportunity agenda was largely realized (Social Security, Medicare, overtime, a 40-hour work week, disability insurance, civil rights, etc.), the next-generation equality-of-result effort has largely failed.

What is left of Democratic ideology is identity politics and assorted dead-end green movements as conservation has become radical environmentalism and fairness under the law is now unapologetic redistributionism. The 2016 campaign and the frenzied reaction to the result are reminders that the Left is no longer serious about formulating and advancing a practical agenda. In sum, for now it is reduced to a party of teeth-gnashers.

The Podesta archive, when coupled with the pay-for-play Clinton Foundation, summed up the liberal ideology: progressive platitudes as cover for an elite’s pursuit of power and influence. Examine a coastal Democratic establishmentarian, and there is little discernable difference in his lifestyle, income, or material tastes from those conservatives (usually poorer) whom he accuses of all sorts of politically incorrect behaviors. Self-righteous outrage is a Democratic selling point and a wise career move for journalists, academics, bureaucrats, and politicians.

Without an ideology that even remotely matched the life she led, Hillary Clinton could only run a campaign without consistent positions. She flipped on the Keystone pipeline and trade agreements. She refuted the entire 1990s Clinton economic and social agenda. Indeed, her positions of 2008 — anti–gay marriage, border enforcement, and rural populism — were the very positions that she smeared others for embracing in 2016. In 2008, Clinton damned Obama for his “clingers” speech; in 2016, she trumped him with her deplorables and irredeemables.

She both derided Wall Street and was enriched by it. Her 2008 brief flirtation with the white working classes as a modern Annie Oakley came full circle in 2016, with exultant promises to put coal miners out of work. In the end, Hillary had no ideology other than getting even richer by leveraging the office of secretary of state and pandering to identity politics in hopes that record numbers of women and minorities would vote for a 68-year-old white multimillionaire, much as they had voted for Barack Obama. The more she talked of the LGBT or Latino communities, apparently the more we were to think that the Clintons had subverted their offices and reputations to grift a $150 million personal fortune for the underprivileged.

One of the reasons Trump won without commensurate money, organization, ground game, big-name endorsements, establishment unity, conservative media encouragement, and despite a campaign of gaffes and opposition-planted IEDS, was that half the country felt it would not have survived four more years of the cynicism of left-wing politics. In other words, voters got tired of being accused of thought crimes from a party led by wealthy people who made them poorer while adding insult to injury.
Left-wing Hypocrisy Continues Apace, Post-Election

Liberal hypocrisy continued well after the election. Those who had become lapdog journalists before the election promised to be even more bravely biased afterwards. So Washington Post pundit Dana Milbank preened: “Rather than cozying up to this new establishment, the media need to savor our traditional role as outsiders.”

“Outsiders?” “Cozying up”?

What “traditional role” was Milbank himself ever trying to “savor” other than his own prior, predictable duty as an unethical insider? WikiLeaks had earlier revealed the Milbank apparently wrote the Clinton campaign begging for quick opposition research to help him write his column attacking Donald Trump.

When audiences heard liberal talking heads on television, in either brawling mode or rarified intellectual tones, they could assume that the Trump accuser (aside from being privileged) in many cases was either a plagiarist, fabulist, or ethnically compromised by previously weighing in with the Clinton campaign. Often the likes of Brian Williams, Fareed Zakaria, Doris Kearns Goodwin, or John Harwood proved such abject cynicism warranted when they damned Trump for failing ethical standards they themselves had earlier failed.

It was hard to know who was more cynical: the moralist DNC heads Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile, who conspired to rob Bernie Sanders of the nomination, or Bernie Sanders himself, who (after WikiLeaks confirmed his suspicions that Hillary Clinton was a shill for Wall Street, that the Democratic establishment had tried to rig the primaries, and that even the debate questions were compromised) ended up singing Hillary’s praises as he retreated to his new lakeside estate.

The cast of the Broadway hit Hamilton gave Vice President–elect Michael Pence a summary lecture on his need to respect diversity, along with sermons for President-elect Trump to meet the cast’s standard of probity. Was that a serious progressive moment, or just another empty teeth-gnashing psychodrama?

The cast may have broken recent custom by directly addressing individuals in the audience, but most of the sermonizing actors had not taken the time or energy to register, much less to show up, to vote. Again, more empty words in lieu of an idea or agenda. Pence’s progressive inquisitor, Brandon Victor Dixon, himself had previously, in quite illiberal fashion, tweeted sexual inanities that reduced women to “ho’s,” and he also had called for African-American men to take advantage of white women apt to be intoxicated on St. Patrick’s Day: “St. Patty’s day weekend is like Christmas for black dudes who like white chicks. Happy holidays boys.” Why the salutation “boys”?
Liberalism Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Again, such cynicism reminds us that progressivism has morphed into little more than a rhetorical insurance policy, in which identity politics and abstract race/class/gender pieties offer lasting indemnity for candid, politically incorrect expression that’s often private: Harry Reid playing the loud liberal is the insurance policy he took out to underwrite Harry Reid as the private bigot. The Hamilton production, of course, was not at all diverse but had put out a cast call to fill certain roles with non-white actors only — oblivious to the illiberal felonies of ignoring “proportional diversity,” “disparate impact,” and “cultural appropriation” that demand an actor of one race not play a character of another.

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