First up, here's Victor Davis Hanson, anticipating the End Times for the Democrats.
The logical liberal trajectory of abortion on demand is the Planned Parenthood fetus emporium, of race-based grievance politics is the “hands up, don’t shoot” (and Trayvon as the son Obama never had) fantasy, of open borders is the murder of Kate Steinle, and of therapeutic foreign policy is the Iran deal, reset with Putin, Benghazi, red lines with Assad, the collapse of Iraq, and the birth of ISIS.That first paragraph will antagonize a lot of Democrat sympathizers or people who get their world view from public radio, and yet it's going to be hard for those folks to get outside of their comfort zones and suggest that (a) practitioners in difficult fields sometimes say things among themselves that they wouldn't in mixed company (b) Our President is playing a long game in racial reconciliation and calling attention to stereotyping and profiling today will change future attitudes and behaviors (c) immigration is evidence that the rest of the world sucks, and perhaps an attitude adjustment when it comes to "Land of Opportunity" is in order (d) it is difficult to bend over to be nice to people who hate you.
The result is Hillary is sort of stuck. She can mouth Obamisms that remain unpopular, with the realization that the polarizing rhetoric needed to energize an Obama black or Latino bloc voter in the past had often ensured turning off a working-class Reagan Democrat. Hillary needs to win both groups, but so far there is no indication that her “first woman president” theme will energize minorities in the fashion they had flocked to “hope and change.”
Or Clinton can go full-populist, damning Wall Street, the elite, and the one-percent, while again changing accents to reflect regional audiences. Here the challenge is twofold: all three Clintons swim most comfortably in plutocratic waters. Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea are all multimillionaires, precisely because they leveraged their political connections and the Clinton name, in quid-pro-quo fashion, to extract millions from cash-flush Wall Street and banking concerns. The world of the Clinton Foundation, the family’s jet-setting, the Clinton son-in-law, and the speaking fees of all three Clintons are elitist to the core and simply unfathomable to 99% of the population.
Interestingly, though, Mr Hanson pivots from social and diplomatic themes to political economy, where there's a long record of state failure, from the War on Poverty to the non-stimulus stimulus, and the old age benefits are still in trouble.
But as I never tire of pointing out, it takes something to beat the failures of the so-called progressives. Mr Hanson is right that "Hillary is a reactionary candidate for a reactionary party." But Glenn "Insta Pundit" Reynolds suggests there's more at work than the usual fatigue that sets in after eight or twelve years.
Democracy doesn’t do much for technocratically set policy that always seems to reflect ruling-class preferences, and people feel they’ve lost control of their own fates.Yes, and Zen Pundit (at Chicago Boyz) wonders why that anger hasn't already manifested itself.
Of course, orphaned voters aren’t a bug but a feature for a ruling class that would prefer to rule without them. But in a democracy, which America still is, voters don’t stay orphaned forever.
In this election cycle, Trump and Sanders have come forward to claim the orphaned vote. It’s very likely that, this time around, the ruling class will manage to put orphaned voters back in the political orphanage by the time Election Day rolls around next year.
But the orphans will still be there, still longing for someone powerful enough to give them a voice. And the politician who will ultimately manage to do so, unless our ruling class does a better job of listening, could be one who will make Trump and Sanders look mainstream.
Trump and Sanders are only symptoms. Failed leadership is the disease.
Our bipartisan ruling elite have, in the short space of fifteen years, managed to: lose two wars; collapse at least three states into permanent anarchy; turn Russia into an enemy again; suffer the greatest counterintelligence failures in history; and nearly melt down the entire global economy andvastly enrich themselves while presiding over the greatest loss of household wealth for ordinary Americans in history, save for the Great Depression. If that is not a level of incompetence that should disqualify them from public office forever, I’m not sure what would.There's much more, in a similar vein, at the post. Perhaps it's not the narrowing of elite consensus, it's the strengthening of disutility for differences between your preferences and what the elite decides to impose that produces both the frustration, and the inability of anyone to construct a message that will appeal to sufficiently many voters to be able to govern with the consent of the governed. When President Obama had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a compliant House and the tailwinds of historic goodwill and more than a little cheerleading from the legacy press and the best he could do was a health insurance reform passed on reconciliation and a stimulus that didn't stimulate, what else is at work?
Despite this track record of utter failure and brazen venality, our elite have managed to remain firmly in the saddle. Why is this? In normal countries they typically have revolutions and coups over far less, but our leaders of both parties managed to cruise from disasters to debacles to win re-election, often by substantial margins.
One reason may be that the elite, broadly speaking, have managed to restore a substantial degree of control over the information the general public consumes, that they had briefly lost in the early 2000s and subsequently narrowed and shape the terms of “acceptable” political debate in American society more than ever before.