When Liberalism Meets Reality

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It’s baffling to me that there are proud left-wing Democrats who still believe the tired dogmas that only work in the realms of theory and context but disintegrate when put to real-world and practical applications. This country’s president has spent the last six years demonstrating that high-minded idealism doesn’t carry weight, as class disparity is reaching its greatest distances, we’re bending over and taking it on foreign policy — but perhaps it does make for the kind of fodder that wins elections.

Last week, there were four particular events that best illustrate this political reality. From Milwaukee, with buffoon Mayor Tom Barrett continuing to embarrass himself and the city, to the national stage, with the firing of Jill Abramson from the New York Times, these events could all play significant roles in the midterm elections, and could help bolster conservative candidates in 2014 and beyond. Most importantly, the confluence of these events set the stage for the right to bring the fight to the left, reach the hoi polloi, and sell the argument that conservative values are American values, and create the framework for a prosperous society.

  • Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett led the charge last week during “Ceasefire Week,” a time to encourage the bad guys to stop shooting the good guys. It culminated with three shootings late Saturday into Sunday morning, after which he had the audacity to go to churches and spin the farcical yarn that his gun buyback program and other initiatives have the capacity to work. It is reported that 353 guns were collected through the buyback program — touted as being “taken off the streets.” That is an especially aggressive and unfounded claim, as if each of those guns would have been otherwise responsible for illegal activities. Talk about protecting society from itself and its guns plays well with the fringe left, but as the crimes committed this weekend demonstrate, has little impact on saving lives and protecting people.
  • Jill Abramson was canned as Executive Editor of the New York Times, whose editorial board takes any opportunity to yammer about gender inequality in the workplace and in pay. Arguing about the merits of these arguments aside, the Grey Lady’s leadership has risen to defense, arguing that multiple factors contribute to Ms. Abramson’s compensation package beyond salary and that she was ultimately ineffective as a leader in the newsroom. These are the same defenses every other business accused of institutional sexism has to make when accused of the same ludicrous allegations. A report by its own David Carr sets aside the loony but typical screeching that the newspaper mistreated a woman editor because she’s a woman and verifies that Ms. Abramson was not the right person for the job. Not that I’m throwing in with America’s Izvestia — it’s entertaining to watch a reliably liberal bastion of liberalism collapse under the weight and burden of its own unrealistic liberalism.
  • American veterans aren’t getting cared for, a display of government-managed health care benefits — and treatment — run embarrassingly amuck. This model, in the lefty world of Planet Yahoo, reeks of the the single-payer utopia Democrats so desire in the United States, and proves itself to be inefficient and impossible to execute. Watching the implosion of the Affordable Care Act and the destruction in its wake makes for good political theater, but when veterans are affected by incompetent bureaucracy, the outcome is tragic, immoral, and unacceptable.
  • The cable home for all things domestic HGTV dumped real estate entrepreneur brothers David and Jason Benham after it was reported they are on record disapproving of celebrated liberal causes. In the aftermath of their dismissal, on Friday, Sun Trust Bank cancelled their deal with the duo, removing all property listings from the bank’s portfolio. When the Benham’s took the news public, their supporters waged a swift and obviously effective campaign to help reinstate their business deal — reversing the bank’s decision before Close of Business the same day.

Mary Burke reigned supreme, though, balancing the impossible act of placating unions and demanding contributions to their benefit programs. She’s been talking a big game, and touting world-class negotiation skills that she says she’ll bring to Madison if elected in November. Her imaginary fiscal conservatism has disenchanted liberals who can’t equate progress without increased government spending. Even in the world of politics, where empty but nice-sounding rhetoric reliably wins the day, Ms. Burke is falling short. The reality is her base is farther to the left than it’s ever been. When anyone crosses the carefully-guarded line of perceived racial or gender bigotry, or upsets the sensibilities of pants-wetting progressives whose entire politics depend on victimhood and failure, the transgressor is swiftly marginalized, defeated, and removed from the conversation, but not before a public beating. It really throws them for a loop when this doesn’t happen. So Democrats in Wisconsin are stuck with boring Mary Burke, the candidate who looked good on paper but has no leadership or ideas to offer, and whose contrast to Scott Walker is that she isn’t Scott Walker, and they’re not sure what to do.

The robust machine that unifies the party is already at work. Brett Hulsey was a fun distraction, but his fifteen minutes are ending; the DPW isn’t giving him a slot at its convention in June. So much for being a party of ideas, not fascist hegemony. If Ms. Burke wanted to put her divine powers of persuasion on display, she would have the perfect opportunity in pulling the rug out from under Mr. Hulsey’s guaranteed sideshow.

But Democrats can’t handle free thought or expression, even when it comes from their own ranks, once the Party Line has been established. That’s why liberalism fails: It does not allow for the innovation that springs from the market of ideas or the progress born out of endeavor and failure.

As the temporary leader of the party, Ms. Burke will be beholden to this failed dogma, making her assertion that she can synthesize the best ideas and suggestions into pragmatic policy all the more farcical. When reality sets in a few days into November, and Democrats have again tried and failed to defeat Governor Walker, it will be too late.

About the writer: Nik Nelson is publisher of MorningMartini.com and Founder/CEO of OpenBox Strategies, where he connects political candidates and small businesses with excellent digital marketing tools and strategies.