Noted writer and editor of The American Spectator, R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., has a new book out entitled ′The Death of Liberalism.′ The book is an elaboration of an editorial he wrote back in December, 2010, following the decisive political shift during the mid-term elections. While I have not read the book yet, I did catch Tyrrell speaking at The Harvard Club in New York City last week when it was replayed on C-SPAN. So I shall confine my comments to what he said during that speech.
In 2009, another author, Sam Tanenhouse wrote a book entitled ′The Death of Conservatism.′ The elections in 2006 and 2008 went well for Liberal Democrats, giving them essentially full control of the government. James Carville predicted that Democrats would hold the Congress for 40 years. With the election of Barack Obama, it appeared as though the Republican Party was doomed to be a powerless minority. Obama and the Democrats in the House and Senate could pass any bill, as many bills, as they wanted and there was nobody to stop them. Nobody except for the Supreme Court, the governors of the 50 states and the American People.
The ′over-reach′ that Tyrrell uses to describe Obama-Care and other items on the Liberal agenda caused a backlash. The Tea Party movement was born. Governors began standing up to Washington DC, rejecting what Obama was doing. The States began to file lawsuits through the federal court system to stop Obama. Now we await the Supreme Court to decide the fate of Obama-Care in the next few weeks.
The bailouts, the stimulus spending, the trillions of dollars of new debt, all started to pile up turning the voters angry enough to cast out the Democrats in wholesale fashion in 2010. The GOP took back the House, busted the filibuster-proof Senate, and took some 600 seats in state legislatures away from Democrats. Tyrrell blames the Liberals for going too far with their schemes. He cites how the ′zanies′ took control of the Democrat Party in 1972. How we are now seeing the end of the era of ′Infantile Liberalism.′ There is no argument from me that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid represent infantile thinking.
But I do disagree that Liberalism is dying. Even Tyrrell alludes to this when during his speech he describes that Liberalism is changing, devolving into Corporatism, a soft, friendly form of Fascism. How wonderful! Now we′ll get tyranny with a toll-free, 800 number to a citizen support phone bank to call when we need extra entitlements.
If anything maybe dying, its incumbency. That is the lesson of the past few election cycles. The age of the eternal political machines is now long gone. The Establishment is losing its grip on the throttles of power. Be that hand belong to a Republican or Democrat. No longer spoon fed news and information from a select few sources, Americans now have literally infinite options. So the options of whom to vote for have now also increased. The old, entrenched wise-men of Washington are becoming an endangered species.
So the new book by R. Emmett Tyrrell, ′The Death of Liberalism′, may be misnamed. Perhaps he should have entitled it as ′The Death of Incumbency′? While it does appear that the current crop of Liberal Democrat politicians and their philosophy may be waning, beware of what may come next from its ashes. Luckily for us, it appears more and more that the American People are waking up, slowly but steadily.