There's a lot of sadness on liberal blogs these days. What happened to Hope and Change? Climate change is coming sometime next year, maybe. Financial regulation also isn't coming anytime soon, and what's proposed is the minimum set of politically feasible propositions rather than a sweeping overhaul. And health care? What the @#%! is Congress doing messing around with expensive, incremental [expletive deleted]? How can such a popular president be so powerless?
McArdle has my deepest sympathy. It must be hell to have the profanities of random persons inflicted upon her mind. It reminds me of the ordeal suffered by Sookie Stackhouse in Charlaine Harris' entertaining supernatural mysteries. Poor thing.
But two things are also clear: the Democrats overestimated the boost they'd get from both the crisis and Obama's popularity. And they dissipated a hell of a lot of the money and political capital they'd now like to spend on the stimulus and the GM bailout. They got very carried away with visions of 1932.
It's true that someone publicly stated that liberals partied like it was 1932 when Obama was elected, rejoicing at the opportunity to create a New New Deal, but that person was McArdle herself, so we can still accept this statement as psychic.
What's happening now is precisely the kind of political gridlock I--and a lot of libertarians and conservatives--predict when it comes time to actually cut costs in healthcare. Why can't we tax employer health benefits? Liberal answer: because Ben Nelson is a big fat jerk. My answer: because then the awesome health care package that Democrats want to run on in 2010 would come packaged with a
non-awesome hefty decline in everyone's weekly paycheck. The number of people who would get a benefit out of the program would be much smaller than the number of people who would pay a noticeable cost.
I googled "Ben Nelson is a big fat jerk." and can assert that no liberal said those words, and therefore McArdle is indeed psychic.
Many Democrats thought this time was different, and I confess, so did I: Obama was popular, the war was not, the financial crisis offered cover and rationale for sweeping change.This statement puzzles me, for I am not psychic and know little of their ways. Surely some Democratic minds remember the routing Clinton received when he tried to implement national health care. McArdle must have just read the minds of younger, less literate Democrats, who are unfamiliar with the 1980s. Still, her achievement is stunning, and I can only imagine the advantage that mind reading gives to a pundit. One still might be led astray by the mistakes of others, but psychic abilities surely are an advantage all the same.