Even in the weeks and months before last year’s presidential election, I mentioned that a Barack Obama presidency would likely result in 1992 all over again — in that two years of angering the markets and the people with policies reaching to the far-left side of the political spectrum would be followed by a too-little-too-late tack to the center and a Republican revolution at the first mid-term contest. Next year, it seems, could very well be our 1994.
Of course, even with my dreary expectations of what an Obama White House and Democratic Party majority would bring, I never imagined just how staggeringly quick and comprehensive the statist tendencies would manifest themselves. Foreseeing a period of increased overreach by the federal government was one thing–Alexander Hamilton, after all, warned of the pendulum-like nature of federalism in Federalist No. 28–but the overt disregard for constitutional guidelines, whether it be in the form of government ownership of automobile manufacturers, the implementation of an ex post facto punitive 90 percent tax on executive bonuses or a planned individual mandate included in health care reform, was beyond even my wildest nightmares.
Nevertheless, I mentioned that there would be a few benchmarks along the way, a few occasions when we would be afforded the chance to take the temperature of the nation and world. Those benchmarks are fast approaching, and we’re beginning to see the foundation for exactly what I was hoping for an expecting — people taking a stand for freedom and against the trappings of totalitarianism.
The first true occasion, I said, would be the November gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia. In fact, it was Republicans who took the state houses in both those states in the year preceding the 1994 mid-terms and set the stage for the Contract with America, and with Republican Chris Christie leading Democrat John Corzine in New Jersey by seven points and Republican Bob McDonnell sweating a tight but expanding lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds in Virginia, we could very well see history repeat itself.
The second occasion, I’ve noted in several accounts here at America’s Right, would be the late spring elections across the pond in the United Kingdom. My thought, confirmed by our resident Brit, was that Labour was facing an uphill race while tethered to the increasingly heavy weight of British PM Gordon Brown. Now, it seems, the press on both sides of the Atlantic is joining in, with Bloomberg News citing Labour’s slump to third place in recent opinion polls and the Sun‘s statement that Labour is “lost,” due to “underachievement, rank failure and a vast expansion of wasteful government interference in everyone’s lives.”
Today, Sens. Barbara Boxer and John Kerry will likely unveil a Senate version of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. It will likely be wrapped in a prettier package, replete with softer-sounding language and a curiously low price tag, but the heart of the legislation will be the same — through the guise of energy and the environment, the government is seeking control over nearly every aspect of your daily life. And whatever isn’t achieved through energy legislation could certainly be achieved through health care reform, with which Congress will be able to rationalize unprecedented say in American life and behavior.
And the people don’t want it. That’s what we’ve been seeing at town hall meetings now so known for unrest among conservative Americans that Starbucks has used a parody in its latest television advertisements. We’ve seen it in the hundreds of thousands of people who marched peacefully on Washington a few weeks ago (speaking of which, have you taken the America’s Right “Know Your Protesters” Quiz?). And we’re seeing it in Britain, where the people have had enough of government interference and just want out.
Next year, friends and neighbors, could shape up to be the stuff of American legend, a chance for America to take America back, a chance for the ideas and ideals laid out so many years ago by those imperfect men to once again flourish, a chance for people to finally get back in touch with just what freedom and liberty means to them.
In the meantime, what are you doing reading this drivel? Turn away from the computer, pick up a telephone, and call your senator. Tell them that cap-and-trade by any other name is still cap-and-trade, and that even though it might be given some innocuous-sounding handle, it’s still the same tired, decades-old ideas meant more to take America down a notch than do anything beneficial for the environment.