The problem with a cult of personality is…

…that its appeal is, well, personal.

People who follow that personality aren’t a part of the equation when the person they follow isn’t a part of the equation, either.

Evangelical Christians know this from hard experience: Time and time again, a preacher arrives on the scene who dazzles everyone and promises his followers the Sun, Moon and stars in return for their faith (and a small cash donation), and time and time again, that preacher is shown to be a fraud with feet of clay and a heart of stone.

And now the secular messiah, the Kwisatz Haderach, the Lightbringer, is being shown to be just another hustler pushing himself up while pushing others down.

Democrats should have been more suspicious of the notion propagated by many partisan analysts over the last six years which postulated that the president’s electoral coalition of minority voters, young people, and single women is the new Democratic base. 

Surveying the four national elections that have occurred in the Obama-era, analysts will find virtually no evidence to suggest that the Obama coalition is synonymous with the Democratic coalition. When Barack Obama is on the ballot, his coalition of voters shows up at the polls. When he isn’t, they don’t; even despite his personal appeals.

Evangelical Christianity has the advantage of divine inspiration and 2000 years of history to help it weather the slings and arrows of outrageous preachers. The Democrats have neither of these. Gonna be a long, hard road ahead before the can rebuild from the damage that Obama has done to them.

 
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November 12th, 2014 by exurbankevin

The New Party Of No

Let me explain this simply, clearly and plainly.

If you ally yourself with schoolteachers, restrictive sexual mores, speech codes and domestic spying, don’t be surprised when young people rebel against you

Kapeesh? 

 
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November 6th, 2014 by exurbankevin

A Delicate Balancing Act

In 2008, Republicans had to balance not ticking off conservative Christian voters, who at the time were an essential element in the party, with the fact that one of their heroes, George W. Bush, had become absolutely toxic on the campaign trail as a whole. 

In 2016, it’ll be the Democrats who will go under the sword of Damocles. Barack Obama’s popularity numbers will be even lower than they are today (assuming that’s even possible…), but he will probably still be popular with African-American voters, who are as critical to the Dems as Evangelicals are to the GOP. 

So how do you court the voters you need to win without looking like you’re supporting a candidate that everybody else absolutely loathes? 

McCain didn’t figure that out in 2008, and I doubt that Hillary, Biden or Warren will figure out how to do it in 2016.

 
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November 5th, 2014 by exurbankevin

First in Arizona, then in the rest of the nation.

Michael Barone talks about what today’s elections will mean for the Democrats

President Obama’s ideology — expanded government, Obamacare — has been less widely acceptable and his reputation for competence is currently in tatters. He was able to eke out re-election with a reduced percentage by good organization. But he leaves his party in trouble.

Yes, Hillary Clinton leads in polls for 2016. But her numbers have been sagging. And other Democrats poll worse against not-very-well-known Republican alternatives than I can remember any party’s potential candidates polling in the last half-century.

Why does that sound so familiar? Oh yeah, because that’s just how Janet Napolitano left Democrats in Arizona when she bolted for the Obama Administration

With Napolitano gone, Camacho worries about a Democratic “power vacuum” in her absence, though some political observers suggest the void will be filled by Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, the state’s highest-ranking Democrat.

Re-running a perpetual second-place finisher like Goddard didn’t work out so well, and re-running Hillary in 2016 is going to work out just as well for the national party as it did for Arizona Dems. 

That’s not to say that things are rosy for the GOP after today, either. It’s up to them now to provide an alternative to the wretched hive of suck and fail that has been Obama’s big government style of (non)leadership, and if Republicans see their mandate as Compassionate Conservativism v2.0, they’re also facing a short trip to the dustbin of history

People are voting for the GOP right now because they’re not Obama, and that’s a valid reason to vote. It is not, however, a valid vision of government, and that’s the battle that the Republican party faces these next two years.

 
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November 4th, 2014 by exurbankevin

Out of the one, many.

Leave it to a Libertarian to notice the (decentralized) elephant in the room.

Just 39 percent give Democrats a favorable rating and just 33 percent do the same for Republicans. Not coincidentally, each party has also recently had a clear shot at implementing its vision of the good society. If you want to drive down your adversary’s approval rating, just give him the reins of power for a few years.

What’s going on? The short version is that political, cultural, and even economic power has been decentralizing and unraveling for a long time.

Good grief, I’m agreeing with a Libertarian. What’s next, re-watching Iron Man 2 to catch the subtle Randian plot nuances it contains?

 
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November 4th, 2014 by exurbankevin

A Unique And Special Flower, Even When He’s Not.

“No president in modern history has ever inherited a bigger mess of problems, bigger unemployment, bigger deficit, longer wars, than President Obama.”

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley

“Do tell.” 

– Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“What he said.”

– Abraham Lincoln

“Riggggghhhht.” 

-George Washington

 
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October 21st, 2014 by exurbankevin

The Glower Behind The Throne

pic_giant_100314_SM_Barack-Obama-Valerie-Jarrett

John Fund goes there

On Capitol Hill, members of both parties are more and more mystified at Obama’s apparent disengagement from parts of his job. Months before he dropped the ball on ISIS, he failed to keep himself properly apprised of the problems with Obamacare’s website. Jarrett appears to exercise such extraordinary influence that in some quarters on Capitol Hill she is known as “Rasputin,” a reference to the mystical monk who held sway over Russia’s Czar Nicholas as he increasingly lost touch with reality during World War I.

No one suggests that Jarrett is solely responsible for the administration’s slow response to the crises, contradictory communication, and labored political calculation that have become its hallmarks. But many do think that she has failed to encourage the president to bring in new people with fresh ideas. 

Is Jarrett solely responsible? No, bad advice is only damaging when you heed it. Is she Obama’s go-to person for (bad) advice? Yes. As much as progressives wanted to blast Karl Rove as the evil genius behind George Bush, the fact is, Valerie Jarrett *is* what they imagined Rove to be. When the Fifth Estate decides to stop being Fifth Columnists for the Democratic Party and start to report the honest truth about the Obama Administration, we’ll find out it was Valerie Jarrett who was the Obama’s Ike Turner. 

Only this time, it was our country that took a beating. 

 
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October 3rd, 2014 by exurbankevin

A pack, not a herd.

Grover Norquist lays out the case that America isn’t having a “libertarian moment”, it’s having a libertarian MOVEMENT

“So forget ‘moment.’ Think trend. And consider the once-impossible political shifts that have taken place over the past 30 years. The relevant dividing line is not right versus left or Republican versus Democrat but the expansion of individual liberty versus whatever and whosoever stands in the way.”

I agree. 

With the internet pervading almost every facet of our lives today, we have an unprecedented amount of information on which to base our decisions and make our choices. This explosion of personal empowerment hasn’t been seen since the invention of movable type, and that little gadget brought us Protestantism, democracy and capitalism. 

Not bad.

Of course, it also brought us the Thirty Years War and book bans, so with every blessing comes at least one curse. 

Despite the Democrat’s best efforts, we are also living in a period of broad and deep personal wealth. The poor are doing better than ever before, and while there is still much, much more work to be done, the trend around the world is towards improved economic health on all levels. With that increased economic clout comes the desire for increased political clout as well. It’s no coincidence that Tiananmen Square happened as Chinese citizens gained personal wealth: People with more money have more reasons to resent the government telling them what to do with it.

The world was a scary, unstable place in the 1700’s as parliaments gradually took over from absolute monarchs, and it was scary in late 1800’s as  progressive socialism infested the capitals of the world. We’re passing through the collapsing confines of the liberal nanny state, and if we’re lucky and work hard for it, we’ll end up walking into the bright light of a new day of personal freedom.

“listen: there’s a hell
of a good universe next door; let’s go”

-e e cummings

 
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September 26th, 2014 by exurbankevin

It’s a good day when Michael Barone agrees with me.

This has been a bugaboo of mine for quite a while now: We are entering into an era of increased personal empowerment unseen since the invention of the printing press. I don’t HAVE to watch the evening news to know what’s going on, I have my podcasts and RSS feeds. I don’t HAVE to limit myself to what’s on the shelves in the local Sears store, I have millions of e-commerce website to chose from. I don’t HAVE rely on a union shop steward to empower myself, I have the soapbox of a blog and the Rolodex of my LinkedIn contacts to help advance my career. 

And Michael Barone agrees: Big government and empowering technology do NOT mix

“Large” technology requires the standardization of masses of people, centralized command-and-control, conformity to social norms. Massive work forces and massive armies cannot operate optimally otherwise.

“Small” technology enables individuals to make personal choices, fashion their world to their own dimensions, deploy their own talents and pursue their interests in ways of their own choosing. Standardization yields to customization.

President Obama doesn’t seem to get this. He sees history as a story of progress from minimal government to ever-larger government. He’s only sorry that he hasn’t taken us farther on that track.

But history doesn’t proceed in a straight line; it moves around. “Large” technology made big government seem necessary in 1914. “Small” technology requires something different, something more adaptive today.

The deer now have guns. Obama and the big-government Democrats don’t get that, and now they face extinction.

 

 
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September 12th, 2014 by exurbankevin

Major Frank Burns Reacts to the Hobby Lobby Ruling

“Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly, there is no possible way we can remain free.” 

Maj. Frank Burns, M*A*S*H

“Ditto.”

The American Left Wing

 
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June 30th, 2014 by KevinC