One thing that I always found both aggravating and curious during both of the George W. Bush administrations was how his opposition and the media seemed intent on picking every nit and prying on every scab, no matter the level of importance. The constant badgering of the “progressives” and their enabling “journalists” for Bush to admit mistakes and offer apologies to the American people were part and parcel of every presidential press conference Bush held from January of 2001 to January of 2009.
Some of the younger folks won’t remember it but this type of acidic confrontation is commonplace during Republican administrations – Reagan had Sam Donaldson and George W. Bush had the old anti-Semitic crone, Helen Thomas.
But you don’t hear those same demands of the Obama regime today.
The reason isn’t what you think – it isn’t hypocrisy or bias.
Of course those doing it are hypocrites and are biased but it is truly because “Progressives” believe that they are superior simply because they are “progressives”.
Republicans from Reagan to Bush II have been expected to admit fault as proof that conservatism and its slightly more left leaning/big government variant, compassionate conservatism, are inferior to the “progressive” ideology practiced by the Democrats and their leftist kin.
For you see, “progressivism” can never actually win, it only “wins” if the other side admits that it lost. For example, once George H.W. Bush wrongly admitted that his “Read my lips, no new taxes” was a mistake by raising taxes in a “grand bargain” with the Democrats, the “progressives” seized on that admission as evidence that moderate conservatism was a failure, packaged and sold that meme to the people and “Voila!”, we got two terms of Bill Clinton.
Even in the face of such a massive failure as Obamacare – a failure by their metrics, not by conservative reckoning – there will never be an admission or a course correction. What President Obama has done with all the delays and the material changes in the law by executive fiat are not changes for the better, they are just designed to delay the inevitable collapse of the program and the insurance industry until after he leaves office in 2016. The only reason that there are no alterations in that outcome is the absolute and total inability for a “progressive” to conceive that anything they do could be wrong or a failure.
In the mind of a “progressive”, their ideology has never failed. “Progressivism” is always held in a perpetual state of limbo with its success just out of reach – it just has never been implemented correctly, they have never had enough power, people just aren’t taxed enough, government has never spent enough to make it successful or all of the above are true.
Charles Kessler, Editor of the Claremont Review of Books, wrote about this in the January issue of the Hillsdale College newsletter, Imprimis:
“Liberal impatience with partisanship—that is, with people who oppose their plans—arises from the fact that in contemporary liberalism, there is no publicly acknowledged right of revolution. That may seem like a strange thing to say, but if one looks at some of the political theorists who were most important to modern or statist liberal- ism—Kant and Hegel in Germany, say, or Woodrow Wilson here in the United States—they are usually quite explicit in rejecting a right of revolution. In their view, a people always has in the long run the government it deserves. So there’s no right of the people to “abolish,” as the Declaration of Independence pro- claims, the prevailing form of government and substitute a better one. In particular, there is no conceivable right to overturn contemporary liberalism itself; as liberals today are so fond of saying, there is no turning back the clock.”
“Progressivism” shares many traits with radical Islam and the terrorists who practice it. It is asymmetrical, it knows no borders, it excludes any possibility that it could be misunderstood by its followers and it is antithetical to its professed core beliefs. As much as radical Islam prosecutes crimes against God as it proclaims “Allah Akbar!”, “progressivism” eschews true progress and embraces regressive tendencies – among them, an apparent desire to devolve the human race.
“Progressivism” cannot be negotiated with any more than one can negotiate with the Taliban, al Qaeda or Jemaah Islamiya, it – and they – can only be destroyed.