Democrats, still six votes shy, keep acting as though they’ve already won
Nonetheless, a gathering of House Democrats on Saturday afternoon to hear the president address them had the feel of a celebration of legislation already passed.Doesn’t that capture the strange and off-putting behavior the Democrats have exhibited all through this process—as personified by Madame Pelosi herself? They keep preening and congratulating themselves over what they are doing, even before they have done it. On one hand, this is the religion of liberalism in its contemporary, personalistic mode, in which liberals worship, not so much their ideals (as was the case with the older type of liberals), but themselves for believing in those ideals. (For more on this, see my talk, “The Political Religion of Modernity”.) On the other hand, it is the political tactic of performing repeated collective victory laps before victory has been achieved. Why do they do that? I guess it is to produce a feeling of the inevitability of their victory, which will discourage the opposition and push undecided members to get into step. But one can’t help but wonder: are these premature triumphal celebrations the sign of a powerful movement that can’t be stopped, or a sign of weakness? I tend to think the latter, but I do not know. On one hand, the Stupak anti-abortion group (now reduced to perhaps six) dearly desire to vote for the bill, and therefore it seems likely that the leadership will in the end bite the bullet and find a way for them to do that. On the other hand, the fact is that at 1:30 a.m. on the day of the House vote, the leadership, after innumerable assured statements that they have the votes, still do not have the votes. Which suggests that they may not be able to get the votes. Which would mean that their triumphalism is leading them into the biggest embarrassment in modern political memory.
Charles T. writes:
You wrote:James N. writes:
Subject: Liberal self-worship
I’m at a scientific meeting, and I was at a 7 a.m. seminar today. During the question period, the first at the mike was an Orthodox British Jew (the tefillin and prayer shawl give it away, not that there’s anything wrong with that). With trembling voice, instead of a topical question, he launched into a monologue about the historic nature of today, how “Obama’s bill” would pass, that America would leave the dark ages, and he ended, his voice actually cracking, “YES WE CAN.”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 21, 2010 08:32 AM | Send