For decades one of my favorite rhetorical questions has been "What's the first rule for expanding a bureaucracy?" The answer is "Create a crisis." My friends, family and colleagues are probably sick to death of me using this line. So it was with a certain amount of vindication that I heard Rahm Emanuel (Barack Obama's Chief of Staff) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (still having trouble getting my mind around that one) freely acknowledge that the Democrats wanted to "take advantage of" our current financial crisis to push forward their political agenda.
Some have suggested that this is a great conspiracy, and the Obama administration is deliberately sabotaging the economy. There is no need for a conspiracy. They just don't really care about the economy. They have other more important things to do: re-ordering our society into a model that they prefer. Having a convenient economic crisis just helps with that process.
Sure they have to give lip service to worry about the economy. A lot of the people who are getting hurt are the left's core constituencies - the poor, minorities, women. But when you get to the thinking class of the left, not the "my family has been union democrats for 5 generations, not the "I'm black so I'm a democrat crowds, but the people who think they are intellectuals, you find a consistent set of core values that differ greatly from the ideals that made America great.
To begin with, they hate wealth. Even if they are wealthy. Particularly if they have become suddenly wealthy, or didn't have to earn their wealth. These are the lottery winners in the show biz and music industries, the silicon valley wunderkind, and the children of the rich and powerful who never had to work a day in their lives. They don't all have to have wealth. They just have to think they are better than the people around them. They love (or claim to love) abstract art, complex (generally meaningless) novels, and art films. Particularly if they have subtitles.
And when you sneak into their parties, catch them in unguarded moments, or when they post anonymously on the web you hear their true feelings. America's greatest sin is its wealth. It doesn't matter that we have a higher standard of living than anywhere else on the planet. It doesn't matter that we are the source of more science, technology, innovation, and progress than the rest of the world combined. What matters is that our rich make more money than our poor. They anguish over economic booms where the rich get richer faster than the poor get less poor. It is the DIFFERENCE between the more and less successful that bothers them the most. The idea that it is not FAIR that rich are SO MUCH richer than the poor, or even the average. This is the social injustice that they would do anything to end.
So silently they cheer at the greatest destruction of wealth ever committed by an American President.
The general pain is worth it just to take the really rich down a peg or two.
But it is not just the rich they hate, it is the richness of America. Just as they silently cheer when the rich become less rich, they cheer when the whole country is lowered. Because it is just not FAIR that most of the world lives in poverty when we have more than anyone else.
Of course they just don't get it. They way to get the rest of the world wealthy is to make them more like us. Whaddya know, capitalism actually works. But they don't think like that. Instead they use their new great buzzword. Sustainability.
Sustainability is the new code word. What it really means is - From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. But here is how it is being used. We should all live lives in a way that only uses the earth's resources that can't be used up. You can use oil, as long as it is limited to what naturally bubbles to the surface (calling Jed Clampett). Don't cut down any trees that are more than 100 years old. Oh yeah, and if they fall down on their own you can't recover them. The bugs, mushrooms and bunnies all use deadfall for their natural habitat. No strip mining, no fossil fuel generation of energy, no nuclear energy, no new subdivisions, no factories that have emissions of pretty much any kind, and most of all no cars. Of course they want to drive around in their hybrids, live in their single family houses (it's better for THEIR kids, after all), as long as they can salve their conscience by buying "offsets". (Asking other people to have crappier lives so that they can have nicer ones, but that hypocrisy is a subject for another day.)
They want fewer human beings living simpler lives in a way that is "natural" and doesn't disturb the earth, or threaten the existence of other creatures in the biosphere.
They probably don't even put words to these feelings in a lot of cases. They just look about them at the teeming cities, exploding world population, and burgeoning technology with quiet, superior loathing.
And this is there big chance to move the country (and through it the world) in the direction they want. In order to suppress growth they must control the means of production and education.
Education must be fair. All students going to identical schools teaching identical approved curricula. Of course all children must go to college. Health care must be fair. All patients receiving exactly equal medical care. Wages must be fair. All people belonging to unions, receiving the same wage, with increases based on nothing but seniority. No one should profit from the work of others. All products should be priced based on what the consumer can afford to pay. No wealth passed from generation to generation. It isn't fair that some start with more than others. Let's not even get into The Fairness Doctrine (you know, the Hush Rush bill).
If we all start with nothing, all live simply, all work together and share, then our way of life is sustainable. Global warming (excuse me, the globe has been cooling this decade, so let's call it Climate Change) has always been just an excuse. But now they have a better excuse. The financial crisis.
And how are they accomplishing this goal? By slamming through legislation that is so big and so fast that no one has time to read it, let alone consider and debate it. There is no way in the world that most of the proposals in these big "emergency" packs of legislation can stand the light of day. Let them be examined and debated, and they would wither and die. But we have a crisis. So we get to take advantage of it. And tip the scales in the direction of fairness. Of progressive ideals. Of sustainability. Against personal achievement. Against profit. Against success. Against progress.
It's not a conspiracy. It doesn't need to be. It is a movement.
And with this crowd the end justifies the means. They are so sure that they are right, that the rules don't apply to them. And you can see that in the entire attitude of the left toward rules and crime. Aside from the obvious examples of not wanting to call illegal aliens "illegal", wanting to let felons vote, opposing three strike laws, and generally labeling our legal system racist, there was a great example of this the other day.
The supreme court recently ruled on a case involving dash cam video from a police car. Some miscreant led the cops on a high speed chase through neighborhoods, school zones, stop lights, parking lots, etc. Eventually the cops got fed up and bumped his car off the road. The car went rolling, and the criminal ended up paralyzed. (Note to lefty readers, he was no longer a suspect, he was a criminal. He was on camera running from the cops. That's a crime. He is a criminal.) Naturally he sued the cops for unnecessary roughness. Unbelievably some lower courts gave this loser the time of day, and the Supreme Court justices apparently watched dash cam video, some reportedly never having had the experience previously. Predictably a couple of the more liberal justices thought that the cops were wrong. Fortunately for reason's sake the majority agreed that he had it coming, and the cops acted appropriately.
Some think tank showed the dash video to a cross section of people. If you were poor, ethnic, or liberal you were more likely to think the cops used excessive force. If you were middle class, white, and conservative, you were more likely to let your jaw drop with stunned disbelief that anybody could think the cops should pay the loser. To the left, law and order is just not as important to the more conservative among us. To the left the rule of law, the words of the constitution, even the concepts of right and wrong are flexible ideas to be used to move their agenda forward.
How do you expand a bureaucracy? Create a crisis.
The left tried to do it with global warming and were having some success. A real crisis has come along, and nobody in the Obama administration is doing anything to deal with it. The left is perfectly happy using it to move the agenda forward. And if a few people get hurt in the process, that's too bad. But the downsizing of the assets of the rich and the opportunity to have all of us experience lower standards of living is a price that they are more than willing to pay.
Cross posted at: Hairy Thoughts