“Today’s conservatives resemble the exhumed figures of Pompeii, trapped in postures of frozen flight, clenched in the rigor mortis of a defunct ideology”, thus opined Sam Tanenhaus, editor of NYT Books Review, on contemporary conservatism in his book Death Of Conservatism, published in the immediate aftermath of Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008.
His literary swagger could be excused. After rending clothes and gnashing teeth through eight long years of George Walker Bush (who according to them had all the unpleasant characteristics of Hitler, Satan and company of dimwitted cousin), in 2008 the liberals were finally back in Washington and how!
With Obama’s audacious victory as well as the earlier drubbing of Republicans in 2006 Congressional elections, they had captured both executive and legislature after a long time, to top it all for a short time they had filibuster proof majority in senate, it seemed nothing could go wrong for liberals.
In fact so pleased was liberal intelligentsia with their good fortune that they believed that similar to climax of horror movies (when the protagonist manage to off grotesque monster), 2008 election marked beginning of end for conservatism , and beginning of beginning for long term ascendancy of liberalism.
Unfortunately for them, conservatism, just like monsters of horror movies, is back. Barely a year after its epitaph was being written, it was back, stronger than even in form of tea parties, giving ulcer to liberals and media (but I repeat myself).
But let’s not get ahead of this story of conservatism’s comeback. This story begins immediately after the Obama’s victory, even as Tanenhaus and his ilk were gloating, trouble was brewing.
But before that full disclosure at the time I had predicted that Republicans were headed for a well deserved exile in political wilderness. Subsequent events proved my prediction incorrect.
Liberals had taken charge just when US was entering most severe recession since World War – II, a result of subprime crisis. What is worse, US had narrowly (according to some) managed to avert financial Armageddon, though the way it was averted proved to be unpopular.
Before we continue, to some among you, who are less unsympathetic to liberalism than me, this might seem unfair to liberals, and to those among you who are just plain crazy or Oliver Stone, this might look like conspiracy of Rovian proportion. Now without going into details in this post, suffice it to say the crisis was a bipartisan folly and liberals were reaping what they had helped sown.
Anyway to continue, the work for liberals was cut out. Their first priority should have been to get economy on track; everything else took back seat including their hobby horses. If liberals had done that they would have increased their public acceptability and consolidated their political gains thus helping them secure real long term dominance.
It is here that liberals met the same problem they have frequently encountered spanning time and space, which is, to paraphrase what Nietzsche said , in liberalism ideology never comes into contact with reality at any point.
Same happened this time, liberals, and this includes current American president and full time dilettante Barack Obama, instead of taking verdict as what it was, which is a result of voter’s anger over Republican Party making a perfect mess of government, what with shoving democracy down the throat of unwilling tribes, and taking wide stances in inappropriate places, they took it as a indictment of free market and a mandate for tilting the American politics to left. This transformational reading of election lulled liberal into a false sense of security. Result? Instead of trying to address economy, they busied themselves with their pet projects.
The first manifestation of this was the spectacle of Obama acting as Santa Claus by completely outsourcing the task of writing legislation for economic recovery to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Result was an early Christmas present, otherwise known as stimulus.
This largesse to special interest groups, at expense of general public raised the first murmurs of discontent. These murmurs turned to outrage when Obama decided to go where no liberal had been able to go before that is healthcare.
Even this didn’t deter liberals, though discontent was palpable, they estimated it was perhaps too diffuse to harm them. But then a miracle happened, powered by the social networks and largely independent of any existing conservative organization at the time began a series of citizen up swell. Alarmed by the prospect of anonymous bureaucrats deciding their healthcare choices, the furious public started to besiege the house members in constituency town halls.
Normally to any ordinary politician this would have sounded huge warning gongs and he would have curbed his enthusiasm. But not the liberals (see liberals, reality), in a move which was to presage their subsequent disaster, they decided the only problem plaguing them was that they were just too damned nice and their opponents were just too mean.
Thus came out Alinsky’s rule no. 11 from the democrats armament, and began a long campaign of vilification which started with Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Liberals hoped to gain a reprieve by redirecting people’s anger at them. But this had the opposite effect, as designated enemy of Obama both Rush Limbaugh and Fox News became even more popular.
More importantly, this propaganda further inflamed popular passions and the besieging of town hall transformed into protests across America, small at first which later became known as Tea Party movement. Instead of getting a clue the liberals decided to go for broke, and then started a second campaign of vilification again ordinary people participating in the protests. They were vilified, as liberals do, as bunch of know-nothing knuckle dragging racists.
And now starts the third act. After they lost the filibuster proof majority, it was believed that Obamacare is dead. However in a display of sharp political maneuvering, liberal managed to pass it, and it became the law.
After the passing of Obamacare, liberals believed that it will become more popular. Unfortunately for them and as before the reverse happened. The liberals were handed one of their worst political defeat and due to liberal immaturity, conservatism is more popular than ever.