Sunday, January 20, 2019

You'll Get Nothing... And Like It

When I was young, I was worried that the Democrats actually wanted the things they claimed to want. Crazy... dangerous... destructive things. Over the years, however, it became clear that their agenda is just for show. We've just seen another example of that.

It was always a bit of a mystery why the Democrats had gone from the party that really controlled the levers of power and got whatever they wanted from the 1930s through the 1970s to a party that slowly stopped doing anything. They wanted socialist level taxes... yet agreed to Reagan's tax cuts. They wanted disarmament, yet funded the greatest military spending in history. They wanted crippling new environmental regs yet only really managed to increase CAFE standards. They wanted militant unionism and yet presided over the disassembling of non-government unions. They wanted racial quotas and yet agreed to fence blacks into majority-minority districts and watched the Supreme Court slowly dismantle affirmative action. They wanted guaranteed minimum income and settled for lower-than-inflation minimum wage hikes. What gives?

Then their demands got even stranger. Blacks want reparations and, basically, apartheid. Women want an equal pay law that would shift income from male jobs to female jobs, quotas in boardrooms and legislatures, plus a guilty-as-accused set of harassment laws. They've promised illegals citizenship. They've promised environmentalists industry-crippling carbon taxes. Internationalists (America lasters) get a series of treaties making America subservient to foreign regulators and courts. They've promised an end to capital punishment. A massive tax on the rich. Free healthcare for all. Free college. A disavowal of Israel. Nuclear disarmament. Conventional disarmament. Freeing of terrorists, banning of land mines, banning of phosphorous ammunition. Banning of drones. Closing Guantanamo. A $15 minimum wage. Ending arctic drilling. Killing coal. An end to student testing. An end to private schools. The shutting of "for-profit" colleges. Open borders. An end to the Electoral College. Statehood for liberal places like Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

And so on.

Every one of these ideas, and more, existed when Obama won election and the Democrats had a super-majority in the Senate (and House). They could have done any and all of this. But they didn't do any of it. Instead, we got a sop to big banks and "Obamacare", a sop to big insurance. Why didn't they do anything else?

The answer is that the Democrats aren't like the GOP. The GOP is a collection of generally like-minded people who mostly have common goals. In some instances, we disagree. But overall, we agree on about 80% of policy. The Democrats are a collection of tribes who have been bound together in the hopes of getting their own pet peeves fixed, but who don't have anything binding them together except their status of wanting their own wishes fulfilled.

This creates a problem for them, as I've mentioned with gays: once one of the tribes gets what they want, there's no reason for that tribe to stick around to help the rest. Success becomes suicide for them. Hence, they will talk about wanting these things... and they make noise about fighting for them... but they will never willingly deliver (remember: the gay stuff was given to gays by the Supreme Court).

We see this again now with Trump's proposal. Trump is trying to get a wall. It's honestly a silly idea. It will do nothing. Nor will it change immigration law in any meaningful way. So the Democrats would give up nothing voting for it. Basically, the Democrats could vote for this and laugh if they wanted. To get it, Trump has proposed giving the Dreamers a path to citizen (basically). That's a Democratic demand. So for giving basically nothing, the Democrats could get one of the things they want which they couldn't otherwise get. Yet, they're refusing.


I think this is more proof that the Democrats will never voluntarily accept/pass the things they claim to be pursuing because they are terrified of losing their tribes. Interesting, isn't it?


LL said...

President Trump has offered legislation on DREAMers in the past and the Dems ran from it as if it was a house fire.

tryanmax said...

It's actually a very cushy gig. If you can get yourself into office as a Democrat in a safe district, your tribes will keep you in power and you can collect a check for doing basically nothing indefinitely. If you're accused of doing nothing, you just blame Republicans for stopping you, even though you never really tried and there hasn't been a Republican majority in this city/county/state for 50+ years. The only reason, it seems to me, that Democrats even care about the presidency is (a) prestige and (b) Democrats tend to lose seats when Republicans start winning. But mostly (b).

AndrewPrice said...

LL, It's ironic to me that no one on the left seems to get this.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, It is a cushy gig. All you have to do is spout off and find some reason that you can't actually do something. You even get to pretend you are doing it when it can't possible pass - like when the GOP can block it.

Being President must be trickier. Poor Obama having to look busy while making sure he didn't do anything.

JimmyC said...

Democrats only care about one thing: power. It's their entire agenda in one word. As you say, they need every vote they can get, and happy people tend to vote Republican while angry people vote Democrat. Giving their constituents what they want is political suicide, but keeping them angry and bitter is job security.

Anthony said...

Both parties are amalgamations and both parties realize that the more they do the faster they lose power. As I have remarked before, last election cycle the hope seemed to be that Republicans did nothing controversial with power (seriously, how many thought in November 2016 that in 2019 Obamacare would still be a thing?).

The fact liberal oxen went undamaged didn't help Republicans much because like Obama Trump was a relative newcomer who won office with his mouth as opposed to his record and even more than Obama he refuses to accept message discipline. Since winning office both guys fed a lot of fears/dug a LOT of graves for fellow party members with their tongues.

I suspect Democrats refuse to give on the wall not because they fear losing voters but because giving Trump anything makes no political sense for them. Republicans who negotiated with Clinton were scorned as dupes, ditto for Democrats who negotiated with Bush II. No subsequent Congress has made a substantial concession to a president of the opposite party (aka the devil) because to make a concession is to write one's own political obituary.

AndrewPrice said...

Jimmy, Scaring people is definitely what they do to keep their people in line. That's why everything is racist or rapee suddenly. They don't want blacks and women escaping.

They seem to be slowing giving up on Hispanics and Asians for some reason.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, There is a huge difference in how the two parties are built.

The Democrats are a collection of single issue groups: me! They have very little common ground beyond that. In fact, their interests are often opposed.

The Republican mostly agree, but have difference around the edges. There are some single issue types in the party, but they aren't a significant percentage at this point.

So the Republicans can give lots of things, whereas the Democrats can't give anything to their people.

Anthony said...


I'd say both parties are fairly divided. Among Republicans there are (among other groups) the talk radio/populist wing, the small government/personal responsibility wing and the religious right. Both of the first two groups have been pretty enthusiastic about backstabbing the other. Trump's ascension has caused the talk radio crowd to demonstrate previously unseen levels of loyalty and the small government/personal responsibility crowd has shown the level of disloyalty one expected from the talk radio crowd under the Bushes.

One can't please everyone, one has to pick and choose. Many groups get that they are not the belle of the ball and they are with Party A because it collectively hates them less than Party B does (America is a two party system so one has to choose A or B).

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