Well this begs the question: how can we possibly get evidence about illegals voting if we can’t verify the identity of people who are? To be willfully ignorant of voter fraud is a completely different thing than to say it doesn’t exist. I think we can all agree on that.
Furthermore, the accusation in this video — that Republicans are intentionally trying to disenfranchise blacks and latino voters — is astonishing in its maliciousness. Everyone who can think straight can see that protecting our voting system from false and illegal votes is an incredibly important goal… but these commentators can’t even entertain that as a possible motive. Instead they impugn the worst possible motive and proceed to accuse Republicans of racism. This begs the question: how are we on the right supposed to have civil discussion when we are being accused of racism? One needs to look no further at the root causes of bitter partisanship than at the terrible things liberals are saying about conservatives.
As I rolled last week’s Supreme Court arguments and the commentary thereon around in my mind, the Ferguson and Berkowitz pieces offered a possible answer to two questions that conservatives had been mulling: Why was the quality of the government’s argument so weak, and why were liberal elites so baffled that their side was being pummeled? Well, if you have given into relativism, shun the notion that the Constitution is fixed rather than infinitely malleable, and take little interest in the historical context and political philosophy in which our political system is grounded, you are going to be, let me put this bluntly, ignorant. You’re going to be out-argued and out-maneuvered by smart people who think relativism is bunk, seek to undercover the meaning and intent of the Constitution, and luxuriate in the study of the Founders.
In sum, the left systematically has dumbed its side down, to the point where supposedly well-educated elites are untrained and unaware of our country’s history and constitutional traditions. The left thinks words have no fixed meaning (health care and health insurance, are close enough, so they insist we can define the latter to be the former.) The liberal elites have a poor grounding in market economics so they swallow the idea that health-care insurance is “unique” because others’ purchases affect your cost of goods. (Surprise: all markets operate this way.) They advance illogical and counterfactual arguments (e.g., withdrawing a 100 percent subsidy for health care to seniors is a “mandate”) because they are unused to vigorous debate that upsets their preferences dressed up in a thin veil of factual distortion. (Sorry, taking away a freebie is not remotely the same in logic or in law as requiring you purchase something.)
This is exactly why Obama’s approval numbers continue to tank: he confuses policies with solutions. He thinks intangible words on paper, the legislation he wants to pass, is a magical elixir that will heal that which is tangible. He thinks washington really can solve every problem simply by spending money. Jim Geraghty puts it slightly differently:
[F]rom the year of Obama’s birth, 1961, through the last year of the Reagan administration, 1988, the United States of America accrued $2.4 trillion in new debt — again, in inflation-adjusted (2011) dollars. So Obama is now insisting that he be allowed to rack up the same amount of inflation-adjusted debt in the next 15 months as Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan did during Obama’s first 27 years.
Yet Obama doesn’t just want his $2.4 trillion. He wants this on his own terms. He has threatened to veto Republican legislation to cut, cap, and balance spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion, because he claims that “setting arbitrary spending levels” is not “necessary to restore fiscal responsibility.” This, from a president under whom the federal government is spending a little over $7 this year for every $4 it takes in, and a president who has refused to reform entitlements even though (according to his own budget) mandatory spending alone will exceed total federal revenues this year (and that’s before Obamacare has really even kicked in), and under whom annual deficit spending has been more than twice as high as a percentage of the gross domestic product than under any other recent president.
Obviously Obama thinks he is entitled to spend whatever he wants…. and the debt is someone else’s problem. That is exactly why he can’t be re-elected.
The secret shame of the conservative base is that they’ve internalized the enemy’s secular cosmopolitan value set and status hierarchy—hence this obsession with the idea that somewhere, someone who went to Harvard might be snickering at them.
And if that wasn’t convincing enough…
Or consider the study Ryan Sager highlighted a while back, showing that many SUV owners don’t merely think their choice of vehicles is harmless or morally neutral, but positively virtuous. Apparently the “moralistic critique of their consumption choices readily inspired Hummer owners to adopt the role of the moral protagonist who defends American national ideals.” Note two things here. First, this is classic ressentiment: It’s not just that SUVs are great in themselves because they somehow “embody” some set of ideals. They’re goodjust because they symbolize an inversion of the “anti-American” values of critics. Second, think what it reveals that people feel the need to construct these kinds of absurd rationalizations—to make their cars heroic rather than simply denying that they do much harm. It betrays an incredible sensitivity, not to excessive taxes or regulations on the vehicles, but to the feeling of being judged.
“In three short years, an unprecedented explosion of spending, with borrowed money, has added trillions to an already unaffordable national debt. And yet, the President has put us on a course to make it radically worse in the years ahead. The federal government now spends one of every four dollars in the entire economy; it borrows one of every three dollars it spends. No nation, no entity, large or small, public or private, can thrive, or survive intact, with debts as huge as ours.
“The President’s grand experiment in trickle-down government has held back rather than sped economic recovery. He seems to sincerely believe we can build a middle class out of government jobs paid for with borrowed dollars. In fact, it works the other way: a government as big and bossy as this one is maintained on the backs of the middle class, and those who hope to join it.