Thursday, July 17, 2014

Abraham Lincoln on Obamaism

How is it that congressional Democrats, who once applauded Bill Clinton’s populist triangulations, migrated their enthusiasms in a mere decade from “the era of big government is over” to “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone”?

How did the party of “the first balanced budget in a generation” become utterly unconcerned about a never-ending string of the largest budget deficits in human history?

And how is it that the same people who enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and wished abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare” flew into paroxysms of rage when the Supreme Court ruled that, under RFRA, a devout employer may not be compelled to pay for other people’s abortifacient drugs?

In 1859, Abraham Lincoln observed a similar process of political support for a charismatic leader begetting a fundamental transformation of “moral tone and temper.” Substitute “Obamaism” for “Douglasism” in the passage below and see if you understand how yesterday’s Democrat Leadership Council yielded so smoothly to today’s neo-Marxist Democratic Party.

"I have said that in our present moral tone and temper, we are strong enough for our open enemies; and so we are. But the chief effect of Douglasism is to change that tone and temper. Men who support the measures of a political leader do, almost of necessity, adopt the reasoning and sentiments the leader advances in support of them." —Notes for his speeches at Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, September 16–17, 1859 [CW3]