Daniel Henninger has an interesting column in the Wall Street Journal on the Fall of the House of Kennedy.
Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts will not endure unless Republicans clearly understand the meaning of “the machine” that he ran against and defeated.
Yes, it is about a general revulsion at government spending, what is sometimes called “the blob.” But blobs are shapeless things, and in the days ahead we will see the Obama White House work hard to reshape the blob into a deficit hawk. Unless the facade is ripped away, the machine will survive.
The central battle in our time is over political primacy. It is a competition between the public sector and the private sector over who defines the work and the institutions that make a nation thrive and grow.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy planted the seeds that grew the modern Democratic Party. That year, JFK signed executive order 10988 allowing the unionization of the federal work force. This changed everything in the American political system. Kennedy’s order swung open the door for the inexorable rise of a unionized public work force in many states and cities.
This in turn led to the fantastic growth in membership of the public employee unions—The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the teachers’ National Education Association.
They broke the public’s bank. More than that, they entrenched a system of taking money from members’ dues and spending it on political campaigns. Over time, this transformed the Democratic Party into a public-sector dependency.
What an irony it is that in the same week the Kennedy labor legacy hit the wall in Massachusetts, the NEA approved a $1 million donation from the union’s contingency fund to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. It is this Kennedy legacy, the public union tax and spend machine, that drove blue Massachusetts into revolt Tuesday.
Yes, health care was ground zero, but Massachusetts—like New Jersey, like California, like New York—has been building toward this explosion for years.
This is why New Jersey’s Chris Christie won running on nothing. It’s why in California Carly Fiorina is within three points of Sen. Barbara Boxer. It’s why the party JFK enabled, “the machine,” is hitting the wall.
Scott Brown’s victory has given the GOP a rare, narrow chance to align itself with an electorate that understands its anger. Now the GOP has to find a way to disconnect from a political legacy that smothered governments at all levels and is now smothering the Democratic Party.
Rats on a Ship Made of Cheese
Indeed, public unions and pension promises that cannot possibly be met broke the bank. Yet most of them still ask for more.
Like rats on a ship made of cheese, unions do not understand that consuming the ship will cause them to drown.
Singing The Message
Please consider Carly Fiorina brings Republican message to liberal Santa Cruz.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina braved territory normally reserved for Democrats on Thursday, telling a business group in the liberal city by the beach that the federal government had grown too big and that its ventures into health care, financial regulation and economic stimulus were misguided.
Championing herself as a “conservative” because she has “faith in people” and not politicians, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer is moving full speed ahead in her bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer — at a time when many in the Republican Party believe Democratic incumbents are vulnerable.
“The fact that the government is getting bigger and bigger has not translated into better services,” Fiorina said during her stump speech at the Cocoanut Grove. “Washington sometimes forgets, Sacramento sometimes forgets, (but) it’s our money they’re spending … I think people are kind of getting tired of career politicians.” Republican candidates are not known for making appearances in Santa Cruz — both because of its small size and its nearly 4-to-1 ratio of Democrats to Republicans.
Carly Fiorina may be a better choice than Boxer, but she is not the right candidate (at least for me). I do not care for her stance on abortion or her vote on same-sex marriages, yet I endorse her position on government spending.
Why is it so hard to find a fiscal conservative who also wants to mind their own business on gay marriage and other such nonsensical issues, respect a woman’s right to choice, end the war mongering overseas, and end the ridiculous war on drugs?
If someone has the answer to that, please let me know.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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