August 25, 2016

"To members of the liberal class, the Democratic Party offers constant reminders that the technocratic order whose upper ranks they inhabit is rational and fair..."

"... that whether they work in software or derivative securities they are a deserving elite; creative, tolerant, enlightened. Though it is less tangible, the moral absolution in which Democrats deal is just as important. It seems to put their favorite constituents on the right side of every question, the right side of progress itself. It allows them to understand the war of our two parties as a kind of cosmic struggle between good and evil— a struggle in which they are on the side of light and justice, of course.... And what is rightest and most inspiring about it is the Democrats’ prime directive: to defeat the Republicans, that unthinkable brutish Other. There are no complexities to make this mission morally difficult; to the liberal class, it is simple. The Democratic Party is all that stands between the Oval Office and whomever the radicalized GOP ultimately chooses to nominate for the presidency. Compared to that sacred duty, all other issues fade into insignificance.... The Democrats posture as the 'party of the people' even as they dedicate themselves ever more resolutely to serving and glorifying the professional class. Worse: they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning. And every two years, they simply assume that being non-Republican is sufficient to rally the voters of the nation to their standard...."

This calls to mind something I just read in Thomas Frank's book  "Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?"

43 comments:

Sydney said...

It allows them to understand the war of our two parties as a kind of cosmic struggle between good and evil— a struggle in which they are on the side of light and justice, of course..

Although I don't think of it as a cosmic struggle, I do often think the Democratic Party is a party of evil. My reasons - they ignore the rule of law, they flout laws as much as they can, they embrace a culture of death, and they cheat in elections.

dreams said...

Where is the link?

Nonapod said...

To be fair, everybody likes to believe that they're on the side of righteousness. It's just that there's a palpable sanctimoniousness exuded by certain privileged white liberals, underscored by various hypocrisies, that is especially grating. For people who pride themselves on self-awareness, they sure seem remarkably unself-aware.

rehajm said...

It seems to put their favorite constituents on the right side of every question...

It is an amazing coincidence that the solution to every problem aligns perfectly with self interest.

Larry J said...

The self-anointed elites have ran the country $20 trillion in debt while enriching themselves and their cronies. They've made a mess of much of the world. They've crippled American businesses with endless regulations and some of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. The end result is over 90 million Americans of working age who are no longer in the workforce. And they claim to be the party of the people. That rings about as true as a video from the Marcos dictatorship of a bunch of his cronies singing "We Are the World" back in the 1980s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODYt9Gm8N-0

Larry J said...

rehajm said...
It seems to put their favorite constituents on the right side of every question...

It is an amazing coincidence that the solution to every problem aligns perfectly with self interest.


One of the key aspect of politics is to convince people to support what is in your self-interest instead of their own. That's the basis for the complaint a few years ago in "What's the matter with Kansas?" How dare they support their self-interest instead of mine?

n.n said...

Reconcile moral, natural, and personal imperatives.

dreams said...

Thomas Frank was a conservative in college and seems like a good guy so maybe he is wising up once again. He was recently on CNBC Squawkbox.

khesanh0802 said...

This from Thomas Frank the author of What's the Matter with Kansas. In that book his thesis ( according to Wikipedia ) is " In order to explain to the "Cons" why no progress gets made on these issues, politicians and pundits point their fingers to a "liberal elite, a straw man". If this quote is from him guess he has changed his mind - the liberal elite is real.

I think the Republican elite is no different in practice, but somewhat different in philosophy. Both D and R are in the business of securing power to themselves usually with the aid of coastal plutocrats. As far as the working man/woman is concerned, they are just laboratory rats.

tcrosse said...

Krauthammer's Law: 'To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.'

Achilles said...

Clinton is pulling back the veil. No decent human being can countenance her actions. In ord to support Hillary Clinton you must admit you are amoral yourself.

Many people are signaling a refusal to support a society so corrupt it would elect her. A trump victory is your best outcome if you are one of the little people.

rhhardin said...

That's just lamentable dealing in self-interest, entirely expected in an adult society.

What's not expected is evil that you have to work to notice, like the effect of the MSM in its empathy programming for advertiser dollars.

That's the actual evil of the modern age.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The feeling (or I would say actuality) of moral superiority was one of the things that was so great about the Grand Old Party, the Party of Lincoln. It's too bad the Republicans have lost that feeling and seem to care so little for getting it back.

In Europe and Canada, liberals and conservatives have made common cause against the socialists. Winston Churchill is perhaps the prime example of that. Here in the U.S., that bridge gets burned repeatedly, but it may be the only way Republicans ever win the White House.

FleetUSA said...

The Dims are so smug in their cocoon they don't understand the pain of ordinary Americans thanks to Obamacare and part-time America. Oh and yes, once you're out of a job 12 months you're no longer considered unemployed in the government statistics.

Hagar said...

@tcrosse,
Like so much else, Krauthammer also gets this backwards.

Hagar said...

It is the basic division between the parties: For the liberal elite, to be thought stupid is worse than criminal, and for Republicans it is the other way around.

Henry said...

Excerpt.

Sebastian said...

"they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning." Speaks well of him to say so. But alas, not enough American stomachs turn, and Dems supply plenty of financial Pepto-Bismol to ease the majority's discomfort. Between the self-righteous anointed elite and their feed-at-the-trough dependent classes, they have it made--as long as the economy and the transfer schemes work well enough to keep the trough filled.

Hagar said...

The United States has never had a labor left. Here, socialism has always been a plaything for the intellectual gentry.

buwaya said...

The technocratic order is putrid beyond all limits.
They are not the agents but the symptoms of decadence predicted by Schumpeter.
They are by-products of decay.

This, out just today, is a prime exhibit in the process -
https://www3.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/2016-08-ghg-hd-final-rule-phase2-preamble.pdf
1700 pages of new regulations governing emissions for trucks - justified on "Global Warming" grounds. I deal with this sort of thing every day, though this particular doc isn't in my technical field, the requirements and form of requirements are familiar.

All over this doc are various directives relating to "compliance" - hundreds of instances.
That, indeed, is a familiar word.

Do you need to see the mechanisms of disaster? This is it, though this is mere seeds. This has just been thrown on fertile ground, and it is already germinating and sending out shoots, legal opinions, consultants, "best practice" and "compliance" seminars, etc.

DougWeber said...

One of the problems with the last 8 years is that the Obama administration has push the culture wars hard to the left and without the agreement of the peoples' representatives. I think this is because with his advocate background, he thinks he has the correct answers and feels it is mandatory to implement them. The hubris is clear. This has fed back into the whole party now.

Oso Negro said...

It's your party, and you can cry if you want to.

dreams said...

The Black Death killed so many people that the wealthy land owners had to toil the fields themselves to survive. "Oh how the mighty have fallen" a contemporary wrote. I predict a nuclear attack will be the demise of our current elite along with lots of innocent people. Going forward global warming will likely cease to be a concern for any survivors.

mockturtle said...

Hagar The United States has never had a labor left. Here, socialism has always been a plaything for the intellectual gentry.

And in the UK, even the Labor Party became the darling of the UC.

Earnest Prole said...

An example, mentioned previously in another context: Teachers’ unions are the base of the Democratic party machine. As residents of any major American city know, the Democratic party is devoted to favoring the interests of older, whiter, richer teaching professionals over younger, poorer black and brown children and their families. The left passionately believes in the theory of structural racism, but seems blissfully uninterested in its blatant everyday practice.

mockturtle said...

Like so much else, Krauthammer also gets this backwards.

I would have to agree. Liberals have ALWAYS considered conservatives stupid. And because so many of them have more education than they have innate intelligence, they tend to equate the two.

Bruce Hayden said...

And this justifies Crooked Hillary's people running a campaign ad showing Democrats wearing sheets and burning crosses, and blames Trump for it. He is apparently an evil racist apparently because the KKK, at one time the militant arm of the Dem party was racist, and lynched some (probably Republican) Blacks. But is ok that 99% of the Klan over the years were Dems because what is important is to win, at any cost, and Trump must be a racist because he is a Republican, and, thus, evil, and hasn't completely disavowed the .001% of followers who are racists.

virgil xenophon said...

Want to know the ultimate in the inane leftist sense of moral superiority? Try a quote from trustafarian Julia Louise-Dreyfus who only managed to potentially alienate fully one-half of her audience with the following observation: "I could never date a Republican--I'm too morally centered." LOL.

William said...

Pedantic note: "What's the matter with Kansas?" was one of the rallying cries of William Jennings Bryan. He felt hat the answer to this rhetorical question was the collusion between the railroads and the bankers in order to grind down the farmers of Kansas. I'm not sure, but I think that might be what Frank was alluding to in his book title.

boycat said...

Like so much else, Krauthammer also gets this backwards

It helps to remember that Krauthammer has a history of political confusion. This guy seen pontificating conservatively nowadays on FOX News spent the 70s working in the Carter Administration and the 80s working as Walter Mondale's speech writer. Many of his views are still rather leftist. He doesn't know what he is.

William said...

The Democrats not only get to make history. They get to grade the history that was made. Eisenhower kindly declined France's offer to join them in Vietnam. He desegregated the public facilities in DC that Wilson had segregated. Although Truman had signed the order to desegregate the armed forces, it was Eisenhower who made it happen. Also, one notes that Stevenson felt that federal troops should never have been sent to Little Rock to enforce the Brown ruling........All in all, Eisenhower had a pretty good record, even on the issues Dems now feel must keenly about. He did, however, play a lot of golf and read Zane Gray novels. The Dems of that era portrayed him as an amiable doofus who let America stagnate. Kennedy, by way of contrast, was young, dynamic and got America moving again......Eisenhower's reputation has since gone up a notch or two, but Kennedy is still the glamour president despite his many flaws and screw ups.......If you want history to remember you kindly, it is wise to be a Democrat. Colin Powell did the wise thing in endorsing Obama. He is no longer spoken of as a war criminal. Still, he'd better get straight on this email thing.

wildswan said...

What we need to do is get the inner city kids out of the rotten public schools. For that we need charter schools. for that we need lots of new teachers. For that we have a source - the adjunct professors doing most of the teaching in colleges and universities without any kinds of protection at all. Many of them could teach in public charter schools as full-time regular teachers of seniors and juniors without further training because they have been teaching the introductory courses at the university. That means they have been teaching 18 year-olds, students very close in age to upper level high school students. They have been teaching public school graduates so they know what is not being taught or at least not learned in the public schools and which things it is important to know. They know why students fail in college. So they would be ideal. And if they had a chance to become full time teachers, tenured, there would probably be a lot of interest.

So this is an idea - how we could improve the lot of the inner city kids. But the teacher's union would oppose it. And the Democrats in every city will support the teachers unions, not the inner city kids. And the inner city voters will vote for the Democrats who will support the teachers union, not the inner city kids. And those kids will fail. And, Tom Barrett, Gwen Moore, whose fault is that? And why don't you care?

fivewheels said...

"Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil."

Mostly true, but I think it's better expressed as: "Conservatives think they're smarter than liberals. Liberals just know they're better than conservatives."

I think the biggest component is liberal self-flattery ... not to say the right doesn't have plenty of that too, in different flavors.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Left Bank of the Charles said..."In Europe and Canada, liberals and conservatives have made common cause against the socialists... Here in the U.S., that bridge gets burned repeatedly"

By the pyromaniac democrat party which has made common cause with the socialists. So much so that the party masters had to rig the primary elections or democrat party voters would have actually nominated a socialist as the party's presidential candidate... You built that.

LarsPorsena said...

We are ruled by the new Mandarins.

With hands uncallused by labor.
With hands unsoiled by mean trade or finance.
With hands untried by military service.

You are in the best of hands.

gadfly said...

Althouse tells us: This calls to mind something I just read in Thomas Frank's book "Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?" yeah because that is where most of the stuff came from. But I quickly lose perspective when I find the severe bias of the author.

. . . there is nothing dysfunctional or disappointing about Democratic politics; it feels exactly right. And what is rightest and most inspiring about it is the Democrat's prime directive; to defeat the Republicans . . . . There are no complexities to make this mission morally difficult; to the liberal class, it is simple. The Democratic Party is all that stands between the Oval Office and whomever the radicalized GOP ultimately chooses . . . . Compared to that sacred duty, all other issues fade into insignificance.

Let me acknowledge that I sometimes feel this way, too. It is true that Donald Trump seems outrageous and Ted Cruz is a one-man wrecking crew, and I think it would be a terrible thing if they or any of the rest of the Republican lineup were to capture the nation's commanding heights.


Shorter Thomas Frank: Open polls, cast ballot, insert robot.

pst314 said...

"In Europe and Canada, liberals and conservatives have made common cause against the socialists...Here in the U.S., that bridge gets burned repeatedly, but it may be the only way Republicans ever win the White House."
Have you not noticed that here in the U.S., liberals make common cause with socialists and communists and fascists.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

...rational and fair...

There's that word again. Receives nearly as much inappropriate use as that other four letter "f" word that got so much press a couple of days ago.

Somehow I thought "fair" was letting folks mostly do what they wanted with their time and money unless and until it came into conflict with something you wanted to do, and in that event working it out by generally peaceable and lawful means.

Terry said...

Some time ago I noticed that virtually all of the liberal newspaper columnists have exchanged adjectives for argument. This even goes for the masthead editorials of liberal newspapers.

BN said...

This is all as old as the French Revolution. The Left excels at mind control.

And when they don't convince you, they kill you.

You love words, word origins, etc.. Look up "propaganda". That might be interesting.

BN said...

Just throwing this out there: urban vs. non-urban.

Same as it ever was.

damikesc said...

Many people are signaling a refusal to support a society so corrupt it would elect her. A trump victory is your best outcome if you are one of the little people.

Which is true. How can I look at my two boys in the face and tell them of the importance of not cheating and playing by the rules when Hillary is unbelievably successful, in spite of any apparent talent, because she specifically does neither?


I would have to agree. Liberals have ALWAYS considered conservatives stupid. And because so many of them have more education than they have innate intelligence, they tend to equate the two.


Yeah, they seem to confuse credentials for intelligence. The phrase "An idea so stupid it can only be blamed on higher education" exists for a reason.

...though watching professors happily suppress free speech they don't like is amusing. Because, eventually, their free speech will ALSO be suppressed. It's the way the mob works.

And this justifies Crooked Hillary's people running a campaign ad showing Democrats wearing sheets and burning crosses, and blames Trump for it. He is apparently an evil racist apparently because the KKK, at one time the militant arm of the Dem party was racist, and lynched some (probably Republican) Blacks. But is ok that 99% of the Klan over the years were Dems because what is important is to win, at any cost, and Trump must be a racist because he is a Republican, and, thus, evil, and hasn't completely disavowed the .001% of followers who are racists.

And the press won't ask Hillary "Why did you attend the wedding of a man who is the personification of the KKK?"

The Dems of that era portrayed him as an amiable doofus who let America stagnate. Kennedy, by way of contrast, was young, dynamic and got America moving again

And the irony is that, even after his heart attack and all, Eisenhower was likely healthier than sickly and drug addicted Kennedy. JFK LOOKED young, but he was in truly miserable health.

So this is an idea - how we could improve the lot of the inner city kids. But the teacher's union would oppose it. And the Democrats in every city will support the teachers unions, not the inner city kids. And the inner city voters will vote for the Democrats who will support the teachers union, not the inner city kids. And those kids will fail. And, Tom Barrett, Gwen Moore, whose fault is that? And why don't you care?

That assumes the adjunct professors and TA's are any different than the current teachers. They have the same core beliefs.

We are ruled by the new Mandarins.

With hands uncallused by labor.
With hands unsoiled by mean trade or finance.
With hands untried by military service.

You are in the best of hands.


And, most importantly, with hands who don't have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Didn't California lawmakers, for example, exempt themselves from their gun control laws --- in spite of Leland Yee being an arms dealer while a high-ranking CA lawmaker?

mockturtle said...

damikesc: Just want you to know that your post, though on an older thread, was read and appreciated.