Progressives Losing the Mob


By Mr. Curmudgeon

With President Obama’s approval ratings heading to 30 percent, Gov. Sarah Palin viewed more favorably than the president by independent voters, zero job-creation, and the Federal Reserve forecasting “greater downside risks to the economic outlook,” and the public in agreement with the Tea Party that Washington’s spending and debt must be curbed, Progressives are understandably in panic mode.

Yale law professor Jerry L. Marshaw expressed as much in his Op-Ed in the New York Times. Marshaw is upset that American’s have lost faith in New Deal and Great Society “safety-net” programs. “The words that our political leaders use to talk about our problems have changed,” says Marshaw, “Where our politicians once drew on a morally resonant language of people, family and shared social concern, they now deploy the cold technical idiom of budgetary accounting.”

In other words, never let cold, mathematical reality trump political demagoguery. What Marshaw fails to understand is that our politicians don’t operate in a vacuum. They read the polls and are taking their “cold technical … budgetary accounting” cues from the public. Obama, in fact, always frames his socialist rhetoric in accounting terms, often using the phrase “deficit reduction” to describe his plan to soak the job-creating rich, and “investment” to mean political payoffs for a favored few.

Described as a “political commentator and grassroots strategist,” the Washington Post published a piece by Sally Kohn. In it, Kohn laments the president’s attempt to redefine accounting terms. “On Monday, defending his plan to raise taxes on the rich to pay for job creation, President Obama said: ‘This is not class warfare, it’s math.’ No, Mr. President, this is class warfare – and it’s a war you’d better win. Corporate interests and the rich started it. Right now, they’re winning. Progressives and the middle class must fight back, and the president should be clear whose side he’s on.”

I strongly disagree with Kohn on one point: the president knows which side he’s on … the losing side. Kohn also uses the tired and discredited lexicon of the Progressive left, the term “corporate interests.” But this kind of talk isn’t getting much traction. As unemployment rises and home values fall, middle-class Americans are becoming increasingly aware of how closely their fortunes are tied to those embattled corporate interests. As Obama’s failed stimulus spending proved, his kind of “job creation” is very temporary and very expensive.

By masking his leftist demagoguery in accounting and Wall Street jargon, the president acknowledges the obvious: the Progressive left is losing control of the mob it so skillfully manipulated these past eighty years. This is why the woodenheaded billionaire Warren Buffett makes for the perfect ventriloquist’s dummy. The puppet moves his lips, while Obama provides the words to lend an air of legitimacy to discredited Progressivism … not the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The mob has awakened from its slumber and is listening to the peaceful, well-reasoned, Constitutional small-government arguments of the Tea Party. And the people will make their voices heard, not with violence in the streets but in the quiet of the voting booth.

In 1794, the revolutionary demagogue Maximilien Robespierre, who controlled the French mobs to murder 40,000 of his countrymen, said, “To what faction do I belong? Yourselves! What faction, since the beginning of the [French] Revolution, has crushed and annihilated so many detected traitors? You, the people – our principles – are that faction!”

Two days later, Robespierre was executed by the mobs he lost. It turned out their only “principles” were anger, envy, violence and death.

Robespierre’s end should have taught Progressives that when you live by the mob, you risk dying by the mob.


  1. MR. CURMUDGEON. Always, he speaks the truth, often he is insightful, sometimes he's accomplished… but, every great once in a while he combines all three… and is IMPRESSIVE… like today.