Whaddaya Know — An Honest Democrat

Do yourself a favor and start your day by reading Camille Paglia’s latest column at Salon.com.

You know, as much as I consider myself to be fairly consistent in my political bent, I must admit that I enjoy a bit of commentary that makes common sense regardless of who penned it. Paglia is a Democrat. She makes no effort to hide it. But she’s also the most honest commentator out there — definitely the most honest on the left, but possibly the most honest throughout the political spectrum.

Her latest piece is brutally honest about the failings of the president and the Democratic Party and, save for a few partisan jibes at people like Newt Gingrich and Mark Sanford (as if the Democrats, party of Client No. 9, Gov. Jim McGrabbedme, and the Oval Office Cigar Concealer, don’t have enough marital problems of their own), is spot-on about the Republicans as well.

If I were to excerpt everything I wanted to from Paglia’s piece, I would most certainly get in trouble with the folks at Salon.com. Therefore, I’ll bring you the first four paragraphs — but you’ve got to promise me that you’ll read the whole thing, okay?

What a difference a month makes! When my last controversial column posted on Salon in the second week of August, most Democrats seemed frozen in suspended animation, not daring to criticize the Obama administration’s bungling of healthcare reform lest it give aid and comfort to the GOP. Well, that ice dam sure broke with a roar. Dissident Democrats found their voices, and by late August even the liberal lemmings of the mainstream media, from CBS to CNN, had drastically altered their tone of reportage, from priggish disdain of the town hall insurgency to frank admission of serious problems in the healthcare bills as well as of Obama’s declining national support.

But this tonic dose of truth-telling may be too little too late. As an Obama supporter and contributor, I am outraged at the slowness with which the standing army of Democratic consultants and commentators publicly expressed discontent with the administration’s strategic missteps this year. I suspect there had been private grumbling all along, but the media warhorses failed to speak out when they should have — from week one after the inauguration, when Obama went flat as a rug in letting Congress pass that obscenely bloated stimulus package. Had more Democrats protested, the administration would have felt less arrogantly emboldened to jam through a cap-and-trade bill whose costs have made it virtually impossible for an alarmed public to accept the gargantuan expenses of national healthcare reform. (Who is naive enough to believe that Obama’s plan would be deficit-neutral? Or that major cuts could be achieved without drastic rationing?)

By foolishly trying to reduce all objections to healthcare reform to the malevolence of obstructionist Republicans, Democrats have managed to destroy the national coalition that elected Obama and that is unlikely to be repaired. If Obama fails to win reelection, let the blame be first laid at the door of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who at a pivotal point threw gasoline on the flames by comparing angry American citizens to Nazis. It is theoretically possible that Obama could turn the situation around with a strong speech on healthcare to Congress this week, but after a summer of grisly hemorrhaging, too much damage has been done. At this point, Democrats’ main hope for the 2012 presidential election is that Republicans nominate another hopelessly feeble candidate. Given the GOP’s facility for shooting itself in the foot, that may well happen.

This column has been calling for heads to roll at the White House from the get-go. Thankfully, they do seem to be falling faster — as witness the middle-of-the-night bum’s rush given to “green jobs” czar Van Jones last week — but there’s a long way to go. An example of the provincial amateurism of current White House operations was the way the president’s innocuous back-to-school pep talk got sandbagged by imbecilic support materials soliciting students to write fantasy letters to “help” the president (a coercive directive quickly withdrawn under pressure). Even worse, the entire project was stupidly scheduled to conflict with the busy opening days of class this week, when harried teachers already have their hands full. Comically, some major school districts, including New York City, were not even open yet. And this is the gang who wants to revamp national healthcare?


Furthermore, I must also admit that I’m starting to trend a little isolationist with regard to the war in Afghanistan. While I will not go so far as Paglia does to condemn the Iraq war–how quick the same Democrats who stand up for human rights in Darfur neglected and forgot the plight of Iraqis under Saddam Hussein–I will say that the president of the United States needs to do what it takes to win in Afghanistan, or bring our troops home now. I said the same thing under President Bush before the Petraeus Surge in Iraq. Win or go home.

Back to the health care debate, it seems to me as though Paglia is a shining, endlessly articulate example of most Democrats in the United States of America. They see that their party has been hijacked by the Marxist far left, but they simply cannot bring themselves to vote for a Republican Party depicted by the mainstream media as being hung up on the abortion and gay marriage debate and nothing else. That is, in part, why I’ve been recommending for some time now that the GOP focus on the proper size, scope, role, function and reach of the federal government, and tackle each issue in that same way. While we would not forsake our commitment to life, for instance, a simple question of “how involved do you want government in your daily life?” would go a long way in defeating the statist policies furthered by the current regime.

First and foremost, we need to patch up the holes in the tent above those of us on the right who have been getting soaked by the GOP for too long. We do that by focusing on Jeffersonian principles. A limited federal government. Power concentrated in the several States. Focusing solely on once again bringing about a truly limited federal government would directly counter the steps being taken by this current administration, and would provide that yin and yang, those bold colors rather than pale pastels that Ronald Reagan talked about.

In reading Paglia’s piece, I found myself wondering if she would vote for Barack Obama again in 2012 if he continued along this path, or if she would cast her vote for Democrats in 2010 just the same. I can’t pretend to know and, honestly, this center-right nation certainly doesn’t need her help. Still, it would be nice to see the GOP so completely depart from this president’s message and agenda that people like Paglia would consider voting alongside a newly invigorated conservative right.

In the piece, Paglia notes the GOP’s propensity for shooting itself in the foot. Even she sees that the party must find its conservative roots and maintain that message. Between now and this time next year, it’s up to folks like you and like me to make sure they do.



  1. Gail B says:

    Jeff, I'm blown away by Paglia's words! Hooray for her!

    I don't think Obama will be around for a second term.

    As for the GOP shooting itself in the foot, hopefully, that won't happen again, thanks to folks like you and your writers who bring us good information on prospects.

    Thanks for all you do (and for setting the record straight with your email earlier).

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jeff—How come nothing on Dr. Taitz major victory in court yesterday??? I hope the Judge will continue to discovery and trial….it is looking good so far!

  3. Richard says:

    I think that there is also a non-political aspect to how administrations are managed and which ones are successful at getting their agenda (or even foreign policy) across the finish line.

    For the most part, Democratic administrations have senior staff and key executive positions that are filled by academics or career politicians. There are few individuals, if any, that have the executive/managerial experience to run a successful company. These does not mean that politics and academia should be removed from the mix – they should just not be the only dynamics.

    For example, the Carter administration hit town with a bunch of hard working, well intentioned state level politicos that had no clue how to get things done in Washington. They also had a leader who was arrogant, could not delegate and micromanaged issues to failure.

    When Reagan came to Washington, his senior people were successful business executives who ran multi-billion dollar companies. They knew how to organize, set priorities, work they system and hold people accountable. Plus, their leader was somebody who trusted his senior staff and delegated areas of responsibility.

    In the current administration, it is difficult to find anyone that has the executive or business skills required to run a successful organization.

    All politics aside.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I read the article before coming over to your page. I agree that is a good article.

  5. Jennifer says:

    She is one of my favorite columnists (even though she does not give Obama enough blame for the mess we are in). I loved this paragraph:
    "But affluent middle-class Democrats now seem to be complacently servile toward authority and automatically believe everything party leaders tell them. Why? Is it because the new professional class is a glossy product of generically institutionalized learning? Independent thought and logical analysis of argument are no longer taught. Elite education in the U.S. has become a frenetic assembly line of competitive college application to schools where ideological brainwashing is so pandemic that it's invisible. The top schools, from the Ivy League on down, promote "critical thinking," which sounds good but is in fact just a style of rote regurgitation of hackneyed approved terms ("racism, sexism, homophobia") when confronted with any social issue. The Democratic brain has been marinating so long in those clich├ęs that it's positively pickled"

  6. Lilly says:

    Thank you Jeff for posting this. I have to agree with her and you! Wow, who woulda thunk?

  7. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Jeff -

    Wow – that was refreshing! The truth is coming to light more every day.

    I heard a woman call in to an NPR show this morning. She campaigned big time for Obama. She said she is very disappointed in his "namby-pamby" ways (her words!)& hopes he "kicks some butt" in his speech tonight. She & many others are just beginning to see what a total fraud he is.

    I think as more people on the left have the courage to voice their concerns & disappontments, others will begin to speak out as well.


  8. Gail B says:

    Think you guys will enjoy this one:













  9. Gail B says:

    Anonymous said…

    "Jeff—How come nothing on Dr. Taitz major victory in court yesterday??? I hope the Judge will continue to discovery and trial….it is looking good so far!"

    This was a preliminary hearing only, not a "major victory." The "good stuff" is yet to come. He will be all over it, in all likelihood, when there's something of substance to write about the case, the judge's moves, or ramifications.

    Meanwhile, ain't it grand that people are now looking at the "czars," thanks to Glenn Beck? (Have you signed the petition yet?)

  10. fleur says:

    Paglia has articulated exactly what's wrong with the Dems and the administration. This was a great article.
    Thanks for posting it Jeff although the bizarre Salon home page threw me a little,lol.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Finally, a voice of reason and sanity in the Democratic party. I can surely understand her constructive criticism of both parties. So tolerable to read as well. Thanks, Jeff, for bringing her to our attention.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I don't know who wrote the joke using Psalm 23, but it's wrong on many levels.

  13. Gail B says:

    Uh-oh! I've been thinking again–

    Jeff and stable of writers, the Silent Majority was just snoring softly (reduced from a loud snore in earlier days) when Jeff went to Poland.

    I think that it took folks like you guys, Glenn Beck, JB Williams, and others to give Americans our wake-up call, and it took hours and hours of research and writing by you and others (including the people who make the comments) to give folks enough non-conflicting information for us to sit up and take notice.

    And, when we did take notice, we roared like a kid having cold water thrown on him to get him (or her) out of bed on a school morning. (Yes, Mama really did have to.) But the point is, we had to have the information distributed, and we had to know there would be others at the rallies. And, the Progressive Democrats (Marxists) had to know that they had been busted by the majority of the American people and would not give up without an outcry.

    This also waked up "regular Democrats" and scared the bejabers out of them, too.

    So good riddance of one czar, and hopefully a parade of others. And, Congress has FINALLY raised its eyebrow at a lot of things being pushed.

    Anonymous said…

    "I don't know who wrote the joke using Psalm 23, but it's wrong on many levels."

    Anonny, I don't know either, but it's also right in its message.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Gail…"Annony"? I've been reading and posting here for well over a year, and I've never seen you use that phrase. Curious enough…

    Well, I agree with the message, but I don't agree with using God's Word to deliver it. Especially using one of the most beautiful books of the Bible, and one that I remember my grandmother cherishing and reading to me. I don't like comparisons of Obama as "The One" and I don't like Obama's name inserted where the real ONE belongs.

  15. Rix says:

    I am quite sure many moderate Democrats have noticed their party being hijacked from the left, and there are a number of reasons why they don't speak up. Some found themselves surprisingly comfortable with having a steady stream of campaign money and feet-on-the-ground support provided by the radical left; others fear that the same Chicago-style politicial machinery that keeps their chairs afloat may turn against them if opposed, up to and including bodily harm; quite a few, especially in coastal areas, actually shifted to the left out of honest conviction, fed by the Obama lovefest in the media, that it's their voters' true will.

    It is truly a good sign that some Democrats have started to speak up. When it comes to blows – and I am convinced that it eventually will – I'd rather have the blacks and the SEIU alone on the other side of the barricade, not half the country.

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