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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Hapless Dems badly in need of crash course in political self-awareness

What’s wrong with the Democrats?

A lot, obviously. Depending on who you’re talking with or what you’re referring to, volumes could be written on the subject. Despite theoretical numerical voting pluralities nationwide the liberal party has blundered its way into the minority in both houses of Congress, surrendered the presidency to a supposedly unelectable outsider Hillary Clinton(Donald Trump) in 2016 and is facing a long-term deficit in federal judgeships unless something turns around for them.

At the same time, Republicans haven’t exactly taken advantage of their golden opportunity to push through the party’s agenda this past couple years, but with Trump in the White House running roughshod over what remains of predecessor Obama’s executive branch legacy, things are looking mighty bleak for the poor Democrats.

If you listen to establishment media commentators and pundits Democrats don’t have much of a problem at all – these experts see a “blue wave” on the horizon because Trump’s approval numbers are mediocre at best and the tag-team of congressional minority leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are doing a stellar job stymying the GOP at every turn.

Who to believe? Or, what’s to blame for the party’s sorry condition? Ideologically speaking, the Democrats have fallen off the reservation. Kyle Smith wrote at National Review last week, “The Democratic party is swiftly turning radical. Its members’ beliefs make Obama look like a moderate. Trump will be able to claim plausibly that his policies are far closer to Bill Clinton’s than the Democrats’ next presidential nominee’s are...

“It is today’s party dogma, agreed upon by the presumptive Democratic presidential candidates, that the federal minimum wage should be raised by more than 100 percent to $15 per hour. Obama, on the other hand, pushed for a minimum-wage hike of 30 percent and failed to get it, even with Democrats in control of both houses of Congress for two years. Some 52 percent of Democrats want single-payer health care, according to a Pew survey last July, and the Sandersista policy of forcing the cost of state college tuition on taxpayers instead of students is catching on...

“On immigration, an issue that in 2016 motivated Democratic voters in the bluest areas of the country but hurt them in swing states and in any case did not cost Trump any Latino support compared to Mitt Romney, the Democrats have taken an extreme position, backing open borders and protecting illegal immigrants.”

The recent debate over various immigration proposals illustrates Smith’s final point. While Republicans corralled all the media attention for their internal struggle over the House moderates’ discharge petition, Democrats stood in lock-step on their side of the aisle ready to vote down any bill that included anything in addition to blanket amnesty for the horribly mislabeled “Dreamers”.

Why has it been so difficult for Republican majorities to get anything done on Obamacare repeal, immigration or spending reform? Because the new class of “resistance” Democrats isn’t the least bit willing to bargain over legislation. Whereas before the minority caucus would at least come to the table seeking something from the majority, nowadays they won’t even show up. Maybe they wouldn’t always succeed in grabbing half a loaf but these days if Democrats can’t have the whole enchilada they’re not cooperating on anything.

It does save Paul Ryan and the establishment Republican leadership the trouble of having to visit Nancy Pelosi’s office to see whether votes may be found there, but it also means the political system is broken to the point of near complete stagnation and essentially one-party rule. This leads to a zero-sum attitude among the respective party faithful and polarization in the American populace.

Smith’s article makes Obama sound like a “moderate” compared to the Democrats’ new breed of Bernie Sanders-type socialists but there’s little doubt the previous president’s leftward lurch led to today’s party followers demanding more and more government control over everything and pecuniary goodies to satisfy the Democrat voters. Obama ushered in the now commonly accepted notion of demonizing the rich, ostracizing social conservatives and pitting everyone against each other in Saul Alinsky-like fashion to maintain a hold on power.

If Democrats all want to be like Bernie Sanders these days it’s because Barack empowered them. Obama notoriously switched positions on issues like same-sex marriage and mass amnesty within the span of a few years, an “evolution” that made it seem satisfactory to sway to the whims of the radicalized masses (meaning ethnic minorities, single white women and elitist limousine liberals of all colors, creeds and orientations) for political expediency.

Like Clinton, Obama had to deal with Republican congressional majorities for a good portion of his tenure, but unlike Bubba Bill, Obama never gave in to GOP leaders. Clinton famously assented to the Republicans’ welfare reform (after a couple vetoes, of course), for example – do you think Obama would’ve ever capitulated…to Mitch McConnell?

Not likely. Now avowed socialist Bernie Sanders is calling the ideological shots for Democrats; his strong showing against queen bee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primaries revealed the party establishment was losing control of the base. The radical socialists didn’t just love Bernie because he was a decrepit old coot with a bad hairdo and an accent ripe for parody on Saturday Night Live – no, they favored Sanders because he was willing to articulate a platform of what they felt: demonize the wealthy and powerful while tossing goodies to the downtrodden.

It’s a simple formula, actually. The 2020 Democrat presidential primary race will be fascinating to watch – not for different issue positions of the respective candidates but to see which wingnut emerges as the favorite because he or she credibly swears to exterminate the rich in this country.

All of this is taking place while America’s fiscal crisis deepens. The GOP is equally complicit in failing to deal with runaway entitlements but that’s little comfort to those who are staring not-so-distant future government insolvency in the face and feeling powerless to do anything about it.

How bad is it? Michael Tanner wrote last week at National Review, “One problem with living in times as interesting as these is that important news often gets lost amid the swirl of rapidly changing events. If you blinked last week, you may have missed the latest report from the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare systems. But for the sake of our children and grandchildren, not to mention the country’s economic future, America’s looming entitlements crisis is worth paying attention to…

“The report … makes clear that there can be no long-term reduction in the national debt without addressing these massive entitlement programs. Social Security now costs nearly $1 trillion per year, and Medicare more than $700 billion. Those two programs alone account for some 40 percent of all federal spending. Congress can and should slash away at discretionary spending all it wants, but without entitlement reform, the debt will continue to grow.

“It is long past time to face facts: We have lied to our kids. Social Security and Medicare cannot pay for all the future benefits that we have promised them — and until we admit that, we’ll continue down the road to national fiscal ruin.”

To be perfectly honest, if there’s one area where President Trump has been a disappointment thus far it’s for his perceived lack of interest in dealing with the government’s spending problem. While it’s true Trump didn’t campaign as any kind of messiah-like budget cutter – and he swore he wouldn’t touch Social Security and Medicare, the proverbial third-rails of American politics – Trump’s given precious little attention to the country’s mounting debt problems.

Opportunistic Democrats are quick to blame the GOP and its “irresponsible” tax cuts that benefit the super wealthy (at the expense of needy people, of course), but reality shows the tax rate reductions are realizing their intended positive effects – boosting economic growth, putting more people back to work (historic low unemployment rate) and growing tax revenues at the same time.

Once again, revenues aren’t the problem; it’s the spending, stupid.

Actuarial tables are all one requires to envision the coming debt train wreck with entitlement programs. As the Baby Boom generation continues to age the problem grows by the day – people live longer and there are more of them. Medicare is stretched to the brink because anytime you provide virtually free (or at least low-cost) services like healthcare you get people running to the doctor for any reason. Fraud is rampant and there’s little incentive to control costs when the government bureaucracy is cutting the checks.

And yes, more and more Democrats are proposing to expand the program to everyone – a true single-payer system. Do numbers mean nothing to these people?

It's evident Democrats don’t even look at the figures – and even if they did they’d beg for confiscatory taxes to pay for the new benefits. If Democrats can’t attract enough votes by advocating for a $15 minimum wage and full-employment for all they’ll reel in the gullible by promising “free” healthcare and college tuition. Taxes, taxes, taxes… how long can it go on?

It's safe to say Democrats yearn for the 90’s when Bill Clinton roamed the White House halls, liberals gave him a pass on his many personal indiscretions and life made sense (for them at least). Pete Kasperowicz wrote at the Washington Examiner, “Bill Clinton wasn't always ridiculed in the press for failing to grasp the MeToo movement, and he wasn't always the subject of awkward conversations among Democrats about whether it's time for him to go away.

“A long time ago, in 2016, Democrats, and Democratic women in particular, just couldn't say no to Clinton. The Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General issued a report providing several pages of evidence about how things used to be…”

In his article Kasperowicz provides a detailed overview of the infamous conversation Clinton had with Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch aboard her government plane at the Phoenix airport in June of 2016. The two chatted about “golf and grandchildren” while Hillary was under criminal investigation for abusing her email privileges and jeopardizing national security – you know, little things.

According to Lynch the former president overstayed his welcome that day – lingering long enough to make it clear he was trying to schmooze her into a good frame of mind regarding his wife’s legal troubles.

Lynch claims she knew the off-the-record face-to-face wasn’t proper and it looked disreputable … but Clinton wouldn’t exit. Just imagine ‘ol red nosed Bubba Bill parking his rear on your getaway jet and no tactful way to tell him to remove himself. Oh, the horrors! It’s almost like trying to goad a mule in motion when the animal has no inclination to do so.

The IG’s report probably makes Democrats burn for the days when they could get away with anything. Kasperowicz concluded, “Just 102 weeks ago, Bill Clinton was the man no Democrat could tell ‘no,’ even when all the adults in the room knew they should.

“Today, Bill Clinton only seems to be able to get attention for pitching his new novel and when he kicks the MeToo movement in the head by saying things like, the times have changed when it comes to ‘what you can do to somebody against their will.’”

There’s little doubt Bill Clinton’s star has fallen like a meteor out of the night sky of late. Could it have been just (a little less than) two years ago when he and Hillary stood together on stage in Philadelphia gazing up in stupefied glee as the balloons dropped after her nomination acceptance speech at the Democrat National Convention? They were on top of the world…again!

Times change; Donald Trump won the election and Democrats haven’t been the same since.

There’s no easy way to explain what’s wrong with Democrats these days; they’re wrong on policy, wrong on facts and wrong on personnel. There’s no telling how they’ll do in the midterm elections but even if successful they’re still in trouble. They’re a mess and don’t even realize it.

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