RUSH: Now, Peter Beinart, this is a very, very long piece that ran on TheDailyBeast.com website, Tina Brown’s blog and website. It ran on March 15th. It’s very long. I’m going to excerpt it here for you ’cause it’s worth reading. It’s interesting. Beinart used to be — where did he used to be? New Republic? I get him confused with Fareed Zakaria. New Republic. Yeah, and he’s often a guest in the roundtable on Sunday shows. Oh, he’s a huge lib. Oh, of course. He’s at The Daily Beast, Snerdley, of course he’s a huge lib. It goes without saying. I guess it doesn’t go without saying. I just said it, he’s a huge lib. Here’s his piece: ‘Democrats, Forever Changed — By pressing ahead on health care, President Obama is ending a decades-long internal debate within his party — and the Democratic Party will never be the same.
‘This week’s last-ditch health care push may or may not prove the defining battle of Barack Obama’s presidency. It may or may not prove a defining moment in the history of the American welfare state. But here’s a good bet: The Democratic Party will never be the same. For close to a decade now, Democrats have been arguing with each other about what kind of country this is, and what kind of party they should be. On one side stands a group of politicians, consultants and wonks who believe that America is, at its core, a pretty conservative place. These Democrats form something of a political generation. In their youth, they saw their party move left during Vietnam and get booted from power in 1968. Then they saw George McGovern, the most left-wing major party presidential candidate of the twentieth century, lose 49 states. Then they saw Jimmy Carter’s presidency destroyed in part because he looked weak during the Iran hostage crisis. Then they saw Ronald Reagan, once considered as an unelectable right-wing nut, become the most popular president of their adult lives.’
We’re talking now about the Democrats who understand this is a conservative-right country. ‘In the late 1980s, they responded to these disasters by creating the Democratic Leadership Council, which pushed the party to the right on welfare, taxes, trade, crime and defense.’ I’ve always thought that was an illusion and a trick to make people think that’s where they were going, but let’s give Beinart the benefit of the doubt here, ’cause I’m sure he believes that the DLC was a genuine substantive movement to try to move the party to the right. We know it didn’t work, and probably ’cause it was not genuine. ‘They claimed vindication when a president of the DLC, Bill Clinton, became president, and claimed double vindication when, after Clinton pushed for universal health care and got creamed in 1994, he won reelection two years later by triangulating against the liberals in his own party.
‘For this generation of Democrats, which includes Al From, Mark Penn, Joe Lieberman, William Galston, Elaine Kamarck, Dick Morris, Ed Koch, Jane Harman, Evan Bayh, and to some extent Bill and Hillary Clinton, being a liberal is like walking past a bear. Move cautiously and reassuringly and the bear will purr contentedly. But make any sudden or threatening gestures, and you’ll be mauled because, fundamentally, the bear distrusts liberals. As Galston and Kamarck wrote in their famed 1989 essay ‘The Politics of Evasion’ — a document that helped define the ‘don’t scare the bear’ wing of the party — Democrats can pass liberal programs ‘but these programs must be shaped and defended within an inhospitable ideological climate.’ To pretend that the American people are liberal at heart is to evade political reality, with devastating results.’
So this bunch of Democrats essentially knew that to pass liberal ideas, you couldn’t say you were passing liberal ideas. You had to position yourself as a centrist, a moderate, or what have you. You couldn’t say, ‘I’m liberal.’ This is why they’ve always hated the word ‘liberal.’ We are the bear. They go walking by us, and they show us they’re a liberal, and we maul ’em. That’s why progressive is invented as a term or rotated with ‘liberal,’ anything but ‘liberal.’ ‘Liberal’ wakes up the bear. The bear is us. The bear is the rest of the country. ‘By the late 1990s, ‘don’t scare the bear’ Democrats pretty much dominated Washington. But in the Bush years, a new faction began to emerge. These Democrats were mostly newer to politics. They had never seen a McGovern or Mondale mauled for being too far to the left. What they had seen was the post-1994 Bill Clinton, who shied away from ambitious liberal reform. And they had seen the Iraq War, which DLC types largely supported, partly out of fear that opposing it would allow Republicans to paint Democrats as soft on defense.
‘By 2003, this new group of Democrats was angry as hell. The Iraq War, which party elders had mostly backed, was proving a disaster, and to make matters worse, Republicans were clobbering Democrats as weak anyway. So these Democrats began fashioning a different theory: Perhaps the problem wasn’t that Democrats looked weak because they were too liberal, perhaps the problem was that Democrats looked weak because they didn’t stand up for what they really believed.’ And this new bunch of Democrats doesn’t like the Clinton wing and the old DLC guys because they think they’re frauds, cowards, didn’t have the guts to say who they really were, tried to paint a picture of themselves that was not accurate. This new bunch typified by the fringe kook leftists, the Kuciniches of the world, the Obamas, screw scaring the bear, screw centrism, we are proud of being radical, anti-American leftists and this is who we are going to be, and this is who we’re going to tell you we are. And Beinart says this is the battle going on within the Democrat Party, much like we think a similar battle is going on in the Republican Party, conservative ascendancy to get rid of our phonies, the RINOs.
Anyway, I continue with the excerpts here. ‘In their version,’ these new Democrats, ‘the Democrats didn’t get mauled because they made sudden, aggressive moves,’ in front of the bear. ‘After all, the Clinton and Bush-era Democrats hadn’t been aggressive at all. They had been mauled for precisely the opposite reason: because they didn’t fight back. … If Democrats defined themselves — if they stood up for their beliefs in the face of political threats — they would win in the end,’ is what these people think. ‘In Bush’s second term, the Halpin and Teixeira faction grew stronger. Congressional Democrats held firm against Bush’s effort to partially privatize Social Security, and forced him to back down. The netroots were further buoyed by the 2006 midterms, when Democrats ran against the Iraq War, and won control of Congress.’ They didn’t run against the Iraq war. It was Mark Foley that they ran against.
At any rate: ‘Perhaps the Democrats were building their superjumbo after all. During the 2008 presidential primaries, each of the Democratic Party’s factions had a candidate. The DLC types — led by Mark Penn — mostly backed Hillary Clinton, who refused to repudiate her vote for the Iraq War, took a hawkish line on Iran and defended her husband’s centrist record. Many in the superjumbo faction, by contrast, signed on with John Edwards,’ and, by the way, many of these people that signed on with John Edwards are the people who think Sarah Palin is an idiot. Now, contrast that. John Edwards was the answer to everything, never a more duped, taken-advantage-of and intelligence-insulted group of people than the Edwards supporters and they all think Sarah Palin’s an idiot. That is just a side observation.
So now the battle, Beinart says, is over. ‘When Scott Brown won his Senate seat, he made Obama choose. On the one hand, he handed the White House an excuse to abandon comprehensive reform and return to the incremental, small-bore approach that Clinton pursued after 1994. The Brown victory, in fact, seemed to illustrate the ‘don’t scare the bear’ theory perfectly. Obama had passed the stimulus and bailed out the banks and taken over part of the auto industry and for the American people, it was too much liberal activism too fast. … Superjumbo Democrats, by contrast, argued that the public wasn’t so much anti-reform as they were anti-the legislative process that had produced reform. But more fundamentally, they argued that the American people would respect Democrats for not backing down in the face of adversity.
‘Why exactly Obama — advised by David Axelrod, Rahm Emmanuel and Valerie Jarrett — decided to double down on health care remains unclear. But it’s a good bet that President Hillary Clinton — advised by Mark Penn — would have acted differently. And in acting the way he did, Obama has turned himself into a superjumbo Democrat. For the foreseeable future, he has forfeited any chance of bridging the red-blue divide. … Conversely, Obama has cemented his bond with the netroots. It doesn’t really matter that the health care reform bill he is fighting for isn’t particularly left-wing.’ It is, Peter! ‘For the netroots, a politicians’ ideological purity has always been less important than his willingness to resist pressure from the other side. … Obama has embraced polarization over triangulation. … And that’s a disaster for ‘don’t scare the bear’ Democrats whether Obamacare passes or not. The reason is that the DLC wing of the party is much more top-down than the MoveOn wing. It has always wielded influence primarily through elected leaders rather than grassroots activists. But today, Obama is the only leader in the Democratic Party who really matters. As the retirement of Evan Bayh illustrates, there are few nationally prominent DLC-aligned politicians left.’ They’ve been swept away.
‘From top to bottom, Democrats have decided to bet the party’s future on the belief that Americans prefer bold liberals to cautious ones. Now it’s up to the bear.’ Us. That’s Beinart’s analysis of where the Democrats are. That they’ve doubled down now, and they have bet their party’s future on the belief that this country is ready for radical leftism, Marxism, and socialism.
RUSH: Well, well, well! Right at one o’clock a new Gallup poll was released on Obama’s approval-disapproval — and, folks, he’s upside down here. Right now President Obama is at 46% approval, 47% disapproval. This is his lowest yet in the Gallup poll. He is now below where McCain was during the general election. Now let’s couple this news with a pull quote here from the Peter Beinart piece from which I just excerpted. Obama ‘has chosen Karl Rove’s politics of base mobilization over Dick Morris’s politics of crossover appeal, with consequences not merely for how he campaigns for Democrats in 2010, but for [how] he campaigns for himself in 2012.’ In other words, let me translate here what Peter Beinart wrote. Obama, contrary to what everybody voting for him thought, came to divide. Obama’s purpose is to divide the country. His purpose was to never ‘unify.’
His purpose was to never ‘reach across the aisle’ and ‘bridge the political divide’ or ‘gap.’ He was never interested in that. He does not want to compromise a shred with people who disagree with him. He wants to steamroller them. As we’ve always said: His tactic is to clear the playing field of any opposition. It’s not to make the playing field level. So he succeeded. He’s divided the country, but he’s on the downside. Forty-six approve, 47% disapprove. At the height of the health care debate, it is his lowest number. He will benefit no Democrat, or very few Democrats, if he does go campaign for them in their reelection in November. He’s toxic. President Obama is a fraud. He openly and successfully totally misled 53% of the American voting population. He came to divide. ‘Base mobilization.’ That’s why he’s doubled-down on health care. That’s the whole plan.
This is just in addition to, of course, the substantive reasons of what he believes in. He’s openly said that the Constitution is an obstacle, that the Bill of Rights is bad because it doesn’t say what the government can do for anybody or what the government can do TO anybody. All it says is what the government can’t do, and he doesn’t like that, because government is his instrument. He doesn’t like it. So all of you who bought into this silly notion because you desperately wanted it to be true — you know, the Rodney King-Peggy Noonan way of thinking, ‘Can’t we all just get along and stop fighting?’ — for crying out loud, Obama was not interested in unity! He was not interested in that at all. He had never unified anybody in his orb in the past. That was not his purpose. He’s an agitator! Community organizer, ACORN advisor, lawyer, he’s an agitator. Barack Obama came to divide, and he has succeeded. Forty-six percent approval in Gallup, just announced, and 47% disapproval at the height the health care bill. It’s his lowest in this poll.
RUSH: So now that we know, via the latest Gallup poll, that we know that Obama’s approval numbers are lower than McCain’s during the general election, can we ‘deem’ Obama to be unelected? I mean, where does this ‘deeming’ stuff, which is nothing other than pretending, stop?
RUSH: Hanford, California, Donna, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you very much for taking my call, Mr. Limbaugh.
RUSH: Yes, madam.
CALLER: I sincerely believe after reading Audacity of Hope and Dreams from My Father, that Barack Obama has developed this myth about himself, how great he is, and to him he really is the all-seeing, all-knowing answer to everything, and nothing that happens within his administration will ever taint him in his mind.
RUSH: That’s exactly right. You nailed it.
RUSH: It’s narcissism squared.
CALLER: Oh, yeah. Yes. And one other point. I saw your friend Karl Rove on Meet the Press on Sunday.
CALLER: It was a wonderful interview. I thought Tom Brokaw was going to come across the table at him, he had him livid. It was a great interview.
RUSH: Well, I didn’t see it, but I know that — see, the problem is these guys in the media, they don’t know anything other than what they know, and they don’t know anything other than their templates and storylines, and you have somebody like Rove come in there and tell them the truth, it’s like telling them the world’s flat. Or better, it’s like telling them the earth is round when they think it’s flat. And they don’t know what to do with it. They’re in stunned shock and amazement that anybody would think that way. They don’t know how to come back at it. Yeah, I was with Brokaw once on election night coverage in 2002. He-he-he-he-he. You couldn’t see it if you were watching, but when I was explaining why the Republicans had a clean sweep it was not a bunch of happiness on that set.