Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 1, 2011 / 26 Adar II, 5771

The Failure of Obama's Conventional Wisdom

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In 2008 supporters of Barack Obama subscribed to the view that his election would, not to put too fine a point on it, "change everything." Maybe they were right.

For the last two years, the old ways of Washington have been crashing down like pillars of Mordor at the end of "The Lord of the Rings."

Then-candidate Obama was himself fond of noting that the conventional wisdom -- or "CW" -- was that a black guy with a funny name could never be elected president. His chief opponent, he explained, wasn't any candidate but "cynicism" itself. It was a clever bit of messaging, not least because it worked. Obama not only won, he captured such "impossible" states as Indiana and Virginia.

Coming into office during a wrenching financial crisis, the conventional wisdom was that the American people would rally around New Deal policies. At least that's what liberal historians and political scientists said they should do.

The experts were wrong. While Obama had widespread support to fight the financial crisis, once it became clear he was using it to enact a New Deal style agenda, everyone outside his core base started to flee. It didn't help that the White House said from the outset that it wasn't going to let the crisis "go to waste."

That's OK, explained the experts, Obama is such a masterful orator he will rally the public to his cause. To date, despite too many "big speeches" to count, I am at a loss to think of a single issue where Obama has successfully changed the minds of voters. He sounds good, but he can't sell his agenda.

Indeed, at the top of that agenda was health care "reform." The entire Democratic Party had convinced itself that Bill Clinton's biggest mistake wasn't in attempting a government takeover of health care, but in failing to cram it through. After all, the CW for generations has been that once the American people are given an entitlement they never want to let it go. That was the story of the New Deal and the Great Society, as well as George W. Bush's prescription drug benefit.

Armed with this conviction, the Democrats pushed "ObamaCare" through on a partisan basis, without clear support from the public. It's now been more than a year, and in defiance of what everyone "knew" would be true, it is still not popular.

At the same time, rather than rally around bold new expansions in government as the CW said they should, independent voters broke wildly against Obama. They put a Republican in Ted Kennedy's seat, which is not only contrary to conventional wisdom but almost in defiance of biblical prophecy. They swept Chris Christie into the governor's mansion in New Jersey -- a liberal state Obama had won by 14 points. And they elected a staunch social conservative governor in Virginia, which, according to the conventional wisdom, shouldn't have happened because the state was turning blue.

Oh, and then there are the tea parties. According to the CW, organic, grassroots populist movements are supposed to be leftwing things, and they're most certainly not supposed to demand less government. But that's what happened. And they powered a political landslide in the 2010 elections, which, again, should have gone Obama's way if the New Deal paradigm was in play.

It goes on and on. Public sector unions have lost the public's support. A massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico hasn't significantly dented the popularity of oil drilling (nor has the Japan calamity much affected attitudes on nuclear power -- yet). A war in Libya hasn't produced a rally-around-the-president effect. It's done the opposite, with Obama's poll numbers hitting at an all-time low this week.

So now, the Democrats are sure -- absolutely sure -- that a government shutdown stemming from a budget fight will play right into their hands. Why? Because that's how it worked in 1995. Howard Dean said this week that if he were still running the Democratic National Committee, he'd be "quietly rooting for" a shutdown because "I know who's going to get blamed -- we've been down this road before."

Really? It's certainly true that the Republicans might lose the blame game over a government shutdown. And, personally, I'd like to see Republicans conclude this fight over the current half-year budget and instead launch the larger war over the fiscal future of our country.

But if I were a Democrat, never mind Barack Obama, I'd be awfully nervous about accepting any argument that boils down to "Well, that's the way it always works."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


To comment on JWR contributor Jonah Goldberg's column click here.

Jonah Goldberg Archives

© 2006 TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles