Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Acting more and more locally on the Left

Mark Steyn has a marvelous column in National Review, this time about the fact that Democrats are becoming more and more parochial, in an increasingly global world. And I use the world "parochial" on purpose, because one of the examples he uses to advance this point is the snit Howard Dean got into with his church over a bike path. You can read the whole article for a mere $21.00 subscription, but I don't think I'm violating any fair use policies to give you these two great paragraphs about what Democrats have become:

That’s what David Brooks got wrong in Bobos in Paradise. He visited Burlington and other “latte towns” and concluded that they were “relatively apolitical.” What he took as the evidence of lack of politics — bike paths, independent bookstores, skinny espressos — is the politics, albeit a lo-fat version. The pre–Tony Blair Labour party believed it needed to control “the commanding heights of the economy.” The pre-Gorbachev Communist party wanted to control the commanding heights of everything. But the big-picture Left collapsed in 1989, and for a Vermontified Democratic party small is the new big. That’s what Bill Clinton had in mind when he said the era of big government was over; instead, he’d be ushering in the era of small government, lots and lots of it, all over the place, like a map of America repainted by Seurat — and, when you add up all the little dots, you find out that small government works out far more expensive than big government. Thus, the Clinton legacy is all small print, starting with the federal toilet-tank legislation: He’s the first president to flush himself down the toilet of history. You can understand why the Dems miss the Nineties. There was nary a word about war. Okay, you’d get the odd million-man genocide in Rwanda, but you tended to hear about it afterwards, usually as a late-breaking item in the Clinton teary-apology act. Instead, it was an era of micro-politics, a regulation here, an entitlement there, a recycling program everywhere you looked. Venusian Americans assumed they’d entered an age of permanent post-Martian politics, and they resented 9/11 as an intrusion on their minimalism. When you’re at an event for the “anti-war” movement, you realize it’s no such thing: It’s an I-don’t-want-to-have-to-hear-about-this-war movement.
Maybe that's why it was easy for me to make the break with the Demos when the world exploded on 9/11. I care deeply about the global, and am willing to make a few enemies, and a few local sacrificies, to ensure that my children grow up in a globally safe, strong America, not just a pretty community with the women attractively attired in their black burkhas. UPDATE: I have such smart friends. Patrick took what I wrote and ran with it:
There's nothing wrong with focus on the grass roots, politically speaking. The problem is that grass roots focus, for Democrats, is ultimately self-defeating, because individual or family focus can't be reconciled with a party platform that depends on grievances driven by groups. No amount of Berkeleyite "reframing the argument" can bridge that chasm. In other words, when you want the Ingalls family vote, you have to parlay with Charles and Caroline Ingalls, not pander to them as "WASPS on the prairie who bake pies for Scots-Irish no-accounts and displace Native Americans in the Plains Tribes by fencing pastures on which God -- if there is one -- never put fences."
Yeah, what he says!