Sunday, July 17, 2022

What's Wrong with the Democratic Party?

It feels like whistling past the graveyard. 

Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria has some advice for Democrats. Stop being the party of policing pronouns. Start being the party of building things.

As if….

Let’s give the matter some thought. Apparently, Zakaria has not. We begin with a fairly obvious constatation: for four years America had a president who was a real, certified builder. It had a president who had built things, who had built hotels and apartment buildings. You can like or dislike what he built, you can pronounce him a successful or an unsuccessful builder, but the truth is, Donald Trump was a builder.

And yet, how much respect did the Democratic Party show for a president whose background was in building? When you stop laughing you can register the obvious: Democrats showed Donald Trump absolutely no respect for his prior activities as a builder. They showed him no respect when he was president. In truth, they offered him nothing but contempt and boatloads of seditious rhetoric.

Remember when Trump offered this policy prescription to solve America’s illegal immigration problem-- Build that wall! 

You barely had an instant to digest the thought when Democrats were out screeching that Trump was a racist xenophobe. So much for building.

But, the problem even predates the Trump era. When Barack Obama was running against a businessman, a private equity baron by name of Mitt Romney, he famously intoned this little ditty: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”

One notes the supercilious contempt for people who build businesses. One also notes the attack on the pride experienced by people who actually build things. 

One recalls that one Elizabeth Warren echoed the Obama phrase several years later. It was rich, indeed. For having lied her way into Harvard Law School, Warren was not especially qualified to shower contempt on people who actually built things.

To be clear, both Obama and Warren were emphasizing that those who built buildings and roads and shopping malls were profiting, to some extent, from the infrastructure built by governments. They did not bother to point out that most of the taxes in this country are paid by the rich, not by the rest.

Anyway, the Democratic Party is not the party of builders. It is not the party of industry and it is certainly not the party of building oil refineries or oil pipelines. It is, dare I say, the party of intellectuals.

Democrats like to see themselves as thinkers. Some of them are real intellectuals, fair enough, but many of them proudly show off their Democratic Party membership so that you will not see how profoundly stupid they are. So, the Democratic Party is filled with serious intellectuals and certifiable morons who are afraid that you will figure out that they are complete and total idiots.

By that I mean, the Democratic Party is the party of educators, therapists, journalists, lawyers, bureaucrats, media moguls and tech tycoons. They believe in the world of thought, the world of ideas, because it has no borders and requires no walls.

This means, not to put too fine a point on it, that the Democratic Party wants to own your mind. It wants to control your thoughts and beliefs, even your feelings. It refuses to sully its pristine fingers with dirty work, like agriculture and energy production, but it wants to be able to tell you what to think and how to vote.

You might imagine that bureaucrats, to choose one group at random, want to facilitate construction projects. You would be wrong. Bureaucrats want to make life more difficult for people who build. They are dedicated to remaining essential cogs in a machine that wastes resources on dysfunction. If things were working well, we would need fewer bureaucrats. For bureaucrats, that is a nightmare scenario.

In truth, and to be fair, Zakaria points out that Democrats talk a lot about infrastructure spending-- they revel in the fact that they can show off their verbal chops by pronouncing a polysyllabic word. But they do not get things done. After all, as Zakaria fails to notice, getting things done might harm the precious environment and we cannot have that.

So, Democrats talk a lot and get nothing done. Zakaria is correct about this:

Democrats in power often seem unable to get anything done. Democrats squabble more — and more in public — than Republicans. Despite the fact that much of the GOP establishment despised Trump, once he was elected, they nearly all fell in line, mostly passed his agenda and supported him unfailingly. 

Democrats, by contrast, rarely remind the public of the two big bills that they did pass — covid-19 relief and infrastructure — and in fact spent months bickering over the third one they’ve proposed, Build Back Better. Why is the Biden administration not announcing large new public works projects every week, financed by the federal funds appropriated in those two bills?

Why, indeed? The reason is that it is hard at work shutting down energy production. Lacking affordable energy makes public works projects pipe dreams. It also refuses to get its hands dirty-- because its leaders are thinkers, not doers.

Zakaria explains how this mania translates into inaction:

The answer is that it has become very difficult to build anything in America, especially in blue states. President Barack Obama, who passed another big infrastructure bill in 2009, famously said later that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” That’s because, as New York Times columnist Ezra Klein has noted, the number of permits, reviews, and delays that have become part of the normal approval process have delayed or doomed the prospects of large-scale public projects. Democrats have become paralyzed by their own ideas and interest groups, and no one seems able to break through and actually get things done.

Nothing is quite so dysfunctional as Democrats exercising political power. They are more adept at wasting money than at using the money to build anything at all. They would rather pay people not to work than to pay to get something done:

It’s not that there is any shortage of money. Consider the state where I live, New York. The state budget is an eye-popping $220 billion. Florida, with nearly 2 million more residents, spends half that sum. New York City’s budget is $100 billion. That’s more than double the budget for the state of Illinois — and Illinois’ population is some 50 percent larger! New York is the most heavily taxed state in the country; its tax rates are highly progressive. The top 1 percent of New York City residents pay more than 40 percent of the city’s income taxes. And yet, New York’s infrastructure and services at every level are in bad shape.

This is not a perception problem. It is a reality problem. Democrats need to once more become the party that gets stuff done, builds things and makes government work for people. That’s a lot more important to most Americans than using the right pronouns.

Yes, but forcing people to change the way they use language produces a high level of totalitarian mind control. In the end, such activities not only keep Democrats in power. They save the planet.

I'm sure you feel better already.


Jay Dee said...

What's wrong with the Democrats? At one time, the Democratic Party prided themselves in representing the working people. They still do. Only now the "working people" are government employees. About a decade ago, the United States passed the point where more people are working for government than private industry. So the Democrats are representing the bureaucrats and government employee unions. That's where the money is.

Such a situation cannot continue forever. The question is how will it end? In the past, most empires and nations collapsed under the weight of bureaucracy and corruption. The United States could easily do that as well. Private industry has benefited from Lean Initiatives. Perhaps we need a fourth branch of Government, a Lean Branch, to clear out the rot and corruption.

Matthew W said...

"Democrats, by contrast, rarely remind the public of the two big bills that they did pass — covid-19 relief and infrastructure —"

Except if they brag about those, "we" expose them for all of the fail and fraud that's in those bills.

Anonymous said...

What's Wrong with the Democratic Party? MY vote is EVERYTHING!!! Let's start with UNTRUSTWORTHY. Besides that, it OWNS the "media", which is, to me, UNTRUSTWORTHY...BIG TIME,
for it's in-house "lying to us" department...

IamDevo said...

The democrats are the party of "the intellectuals," which is to say the party of those who live in a world of thought where there are no consequences arising from being wrong. Contrast the "real world," where mistaken ideas put into action result in adverse consequences. For example, if a theory proposed by an academic turns out to be wrong, said academic suffers no adverse consequences. If a bridge built by an engineer collapses, the engineer is held responsible by loss of job, loss of business, damages imposed in a lawsuit, etc. The irreplaceable Thomas Sowell has a few comments on this topic.

Walt said...

What the Democrats want to ‘build” is a socialist society. They’ve already come pretty far in constructing the foundation.