"The Failings of Capitalism"

In a recent edition of Newsweek, columnist Eleanor Clift wrote an op-ed piece about, what else, Obama’s first 100 days.  Instead of commenting on the banality of this rather useless political tradition, some of her comments are quite revealing in another equally futile exercise- understanding the liberal mind.

Most revealing is her prognosis for the remainder of Obama’s term which she predicts success based upon the demise of the Republican Party.  Specifically, she states:

                       “The greatest asset he (Obama) has is the collapse of the Republican Party.  They have neither a credible message nor messenger.  They’re railing against big givernment when the core issue is the failings of capitalism.  They call for smaller government and berate Obama for moving towards socialism when people are not hungering for tax cuts.  They’re looking for jobs so they can pay taxes.”

Being the underdog could have its advantages.  Certainly, the Republican Party has suffered some setbacks since 2006, but to assert the collapse of the party is a little over the top.  What Clift fails to factor into the equation is that when expectations are set so high, then fail to be achieved, the fall is usually quicker and harder than expected.  She clearly espouses the liberal “spend now and worry later” mindset that Obama has latched onto and now promises the more rational elements within his own party that he will “work on the spending” part.  Sometimes, the “later” comes sooner.  Given the underpinnings of Obama’s policies, history has shown that they are ultimately doomed to failure.  Perhaps, we are really seeing the last hurrah from the Democrats.  Also, remember that Obama ran on a platform of change, mainly from the Bush administration.  But the further we move from the Bush years, the more the “same failed policies of the past 8 years” Democratic talking point will fall on deaf ears.

The remainder of the statement is perhaps the most disturbing and cuts to the crux of Obama’s policies and message.   At least Clift, unlike others, calls a spade a spade by asserting that capitalism has failed and that Obama is moving towards socialism.  Here we have an obvious Obama cheerleader basking in the “collapse” of the Republican Party, stating exactly those warnings stated during the campaign.  If you are “moving towards socialism,” chances are you are a socialist.  I don’t know what America Clift lives in (perhaps Joe Biden’s), but most people I know do not relish paying higher taxes no matter their political affiliation.  And it may come as a surprise to Clift and other liberals, but people don’t seek jobs so that “they can pay taxes.”  If liberals really believe this, then their end may be a lot sooner than they think.  There is one certainty: socialism is doomed to failure.

Later she states: “…the GOP has reverted to an outmoded form of libertarianism, calling for government to get out of the way when, if government had been more watchful, we might not be in this mess.”  If adhering to the constitutional role of government is “outmoded,” then perhaps we should just rewrite the Constitution and call it the Obamatution?  The fact is that smaller government closer to the people is the most effective government, not a bloated federal government being further expanded.  The Constitutional role of government is not to become everyone’s de facto surrogate parent.

Is it any coincidence that one sees declines in student performance occurring roughly when the Federal government became increasingly intrusive in education?  Is it merely a coinicidence that health care costs have risen in direct proportion to increased regulatory hurdles placed on the health care industry?  Is it merely a coincidence that despite federal regulations and numerous alleged federal energy policies, we are less energy independent than we were 30 years ago?  Isn’t it ironic that Republicans were shouted down for even contemplating that auto companies declare bankruptcy, that it would precipitate the Great Depression Part 2 and that all sorts of plagues would befall America, yet here we are five months and $30 billion later doing just that?

Finally, she states: “The party is not serious when its headliners are a radio talk show host and a discredited former Vice President.”  Whether Rush Limbaugh speaks for the Republican Party is debatable.  Apparently, Clift did not get the memo that this story line was politically orchestrated by Rahm Emmanuel and James Carville.  It is old, discredited news.  And whether Dick Cheney is discredited, only history will make that final determination.  Perhaps, there is a limited point to be made that the party has no “messenger” per se.  But after Bush’s victory in 2000, the Democrats trotted out a series of messengers- a bearded, reborn Al Gore who transformed himself into a climatologist, Howard Dean, Pelosi, Daschle, etc- before it culminated in (drumroll, please) John Kerry.  They eventually happened upon Obama and he upon them.  The Democratic Party’s recent history in finding a messenger is not exactly stellar.

If there is a message that espouses a free and fair market economy, that strengthens our capitalist system rather than decrying its “failures,” and a safe, secure nation rather than a foreign policy that engages in public self-flagellation, then the most important task is completed.  If the shell of a political figure could be molded into sainthood by the Democratic Party, then the Republicans can clearly achieve the same because the message is ultimately better.