Thursday, September 23, 2010


"Four legs good, two legs better"

On a recent edition of C-Span’s “Washington Journal,” a young Democratic strategist named Dylan Loewe spent about forty-five minutes pitching his book “Permanently Blue: How Democrats Can End the Republican Party and Rule the Next Generation.” A snippet from chapter one follows - “That’s the kind of permanent majority the Democrats are on the verge of building: a single party, democratically elected to control the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the White House without interruption for an entire generation.”

Loewe’s analysis is impressive. As historian Doris Kearns Goodwin noted, “Combining passion and eloquence with deep research and sharp analytic skill, Dylan Loewe has produced a spellbinding book that should stimulate debate and provide hope to progressives everywhere.” It seems to add up. A charismatic leader, shifting national demographics, strong political organization, millions, possibly billions, of dollars in the campaign coffers, and weak political opponents all point to the very real possibility of a permanent Democratic majority.

I considered calling in to the program to remind young Mr. Loewe that Karl Rove, George Bush’s evil genius, had predicted a permanent Republican majority a little less than ten years ago. But, I decided against it. There was no reason to rain on a young man’s parade. Current trends may not be favorable, but political trends shift quickly nowadays. We may be heading for one party, progressive/Democratic Party rule.

Given that, I’ve spent the past week considering what the implications of Loewe’s thesis might be.

The most important feature of such a system would be maximum efficiency. There’d be no more blue state, red state nonsense. The Party of No would be eliminated. There wouldn’t be any need for problematic things like elections. If we held them at all, there would just be one choice on the ballot, named “the progressive of your choice.” The winners could claim 95% or better mandates. Saddam would glow white hot with envy.

The gridlock would cease. We’d all be blue; we’d all be Keynesians. The legislation and edicts could pour down in torrents. Every societal problem could be solved. Agencies could be created. Czars could be appointed. The Party faithful could start hoisting ladders to heaven.

There would be some knotty problems to solve on the way to a one party utopia, the principal ones being our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. For over two hundred years we’ve held that “all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator…” But, with a bit of legal skullduggery it could easily be changed to read, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Government lawyers could dance around, a la Napoleon, cracking whips and proclaiming “Four legs good, two legs better.”

It might be better to do away with our founding documents all together. Have you ever read such negative stuff in all your life? All the talk about “Governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” or “absolute Despotism” and “usurpations.” And, worse yet, all those negatively tinted amendments in the Constitution – “Congress shall make NO law,” “the right of the people…shall NOT be infringed,” “NO solider shall be quartered…,”Excessive bail shall NOT be required,” “The right of United States citizens shall NOT be denied or abridged.”

The new ruling paradigm wouldn’t have the usual hallmarks of despotism. There’d be no goose stepping. We’d be treated to a new breed of despots, dancing around the halls of power in Birkenstocks.

I’m sure there would be dissent at first. But, given time and the judicious use of Conan the Barbarian’s principle to “crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women,” the complaint box would dry up. If that failed to squelch all dissent, the legislative branch could re-invigorate the World War I Espionage Act, upgrade the Patriot Act and thereby make any opinion contrary to the ruling opinion illegal. Violators could be shipped off to Death Valley gulags, to be re-educated or fed gruel and moldy bread for the rest of their lives.

Seeing all the potential for progress, it makes me wonder what on earth our founders were thinking about. I sometimes see myself as a bit of a contrarian, but I couldn’t hold a candle to those guys. You’d think they’d have just gone with the flow. But no! They complained, in writing, about the taxes, plundering, and suspending legislatures. Some of them even signed in quadruple font. When the time for fighting came they carried flags reading “Don’t Tread On Me” or “Live Free or Die.” What on earth were they thinking?

Well, there you have it. In a little more than a month we might know whether or not Loewe is right. If he is, Birkenstocks may be “in” and our founding documents may be on the way out.

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