Tuesday, December 15, 2009

At Long Last, Panic

The Democrats baffle me — and I've been a Democrat all my life.

Rich Lowry writes at the National Review about how Democrats, under Barack Obama, "have perfected the 'impatient style' ... a headlong rush to a slapdash social democracy, justified by whatever arguments happen to be at hand and effected by whatever means necessary."

To me, "impatient" suggests an unwillingness to listen to those who disagree — even when the disagreement is really a matter of a few degrees. And, instead of listening to constructive criticism that might make a good but flawed idea (to, say, promote job creation) better, the Democrats insist on answering a question that was not asked.

It was Bush's fault.

Well, Michael Luo and Megan Thee–Brenan did ask that question in a good overview of joblessness for the New York Times — although, as the article makes clear, the long–term unemployed aren't worried about history. They just want someone to do something to deliver them from their nightmare.

"In terms of casting blame for the high unemployment rate," they write, "26 percent of unemployed adults cited former President George W. Bush; 12 percent pointed the finger at banks; 8 percent highlighted jobs going overseas and the same number blamed politicians. Only 3 percent blamed President Obama."

And now a sense of panic seems to be settling in.

Perhaps the Democrats, rigidly obsessed as they seem to be with assigning blame, are starting to get the message. Voters don't blame Obama for the economy. They elected him to do something about it, as the writers for the Times make clear in their next paragraph.

"Those out of work were split, however, on the president's handling of job creation, with 47 percent expressing approval and 44 percent disapproval."

It's hard to make the case that anything has been done about unemployment when joblessness has risen to double figures.

The Democrats remind me, more and more, of the Black Knight from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" — unwilling to yield until all his limbs had been cut off and he was forced to seek the best possible result from a bad situation that was of his own making.

I pray they get the message before it is too late and they have to say to the Republicans, "All right, we'll call it a draw."

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