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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 Oct. 21, 2009 / 3 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Perotistas on the march

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the most macabre images I've ever heard described came in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami in 2004. Before the tidal wave crashed on shore, beach- goers stood around and idly gaped as the water drastically receded. Bewildered, they didn't realize they were looking at the prelude to a calamity.

The Democratic Party looks more and more like those beachgoers every day, watching popular support recede, oblivious to the Perot tsunami coming our way.

In 1992, the incumbent president, George H.W. Bush, was a disappointment to his party's base and a pariah to the Democrats. Government seemed to have lost its grip. The deficit became a massive issue, a symbol of out-of-control government. The hangover of Cold War sacrifices and the expectations of a "peace dividend," the S&L bailout, runaway crime, huge trade deficits, the long-term trend of manufacturing decline and, of course, the recession contributed to the sense that America desperately needed to get its house in order.

Ross Perot, a quirky Texas billionaire, tapped into that anxiety perfectly. Western, pro-business, no-nonsense, pro-choice and pro-gun, culturally conservative but with little interest in culture-war issues, he managed to thread the needle between both parties. He also benefited enormously from the fact that his independent bid for the presidency was seen as an indictment of the incumbent Republican and the "Reagan deficits" that Democrats and the media had been denouncing for years. At one point, Perot led in the polls, and if he hadn't dropped out and then rejoined, he might have done even better than his historic 19% of the popular vote.

It's still debated whether Perot cost Bush the election -- he took votes from Bill Clinton and Bush. But even if Clinton would have won regardless, Perot's candidacy had an underappreciated significance. He forced Clinton to double-down on his "New Democrat" appeals. Clinton had already fashioned himself as a "different kind of Democrat" who would "end welfare as we know it." But the Perotista revolt of "raging moderates" and "angry centrists" reinforced Clinton's rhetorical commitments and the voters' expectations.

Historian Richard Hofstadter identified the phenomenon decades earlier when he wrote of third parties in U.S. politics: "Their function has not been to win or govern but to agitate, educate, generate new ideas and supply the dynamic element in our political life."

He added: "Third parties are like bees: Once they have stung, they die." The Perotistas stung in 1992.

Once elected -- with only 43% of the vote -- Clinton seemed to betray his promises to govern from the center. His heavy-handed "Hillarycare" effort was exactly the sort of thing the Perotistas didn't want (never mind gays in the military and all that). The Democrats were shellacked in 1994, losing the Senate and the House to Newt Gingrich and his "Contract with America," which was a carefully calibrated appeal to centrism.

The liberal interpretation of this sea change has always been freighted with denial. The late ABC News anchor Peter Jennings said the election was a giant hissy fit. "Ask parents of any 2-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums. ... The voters had a temper tantrum."

In part because Perot voters and sympathizers were disproportionately white and male, and because they expressed their dismay with Clinton by voting for the GOP, the Democrats and the media ginned up the "angry white male" theory of American politics. The same voters who were part of a "vital center" when attacking a Republican president, were increasingly recast as dangerous minions of Rush Limbaugh and the forces of hate when they aligned with Republicans.

Fast-forward to today. The tea-party protesters are in large part the heirs of Perotism. Liberal commentators are entirely deaf to the fact that the tea partyers have considerable antipathy to both political parties, preferring to cast the protesters as a deranged band of birthers and racists or hired guns of a Republican "AstroTurf" campaign.

Meanwhile, as National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru has argued, the Democrats have convinced themselves that the moral of Clinton's failed healthcare push is not that he was wrong to try, but that he was wrong not to cram it through against popular opposition.

President Obama promised a "new era of fiscal responsibility," but he's governing as if exploding the size of government is what Americans want, the polls be damned. The Democrats' budget games amount to poking the angry Perotista beast with a stick.

If the GOP can convincingly align with and exploit the growing Perotista discontent, it very well might ride to victory on a tsunami the Democrats can't even see.

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