04/15/2019

The Disappointed Democrats

Fred Barnes, Washington Examiner

Democrats these days are the party of disappointments. They’ve had three big ones. The first was President Trump’s election. Then came the success of Trump’s economic program. The third was Robert Mueller’s finding of no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 campaign.

In each of these, Democrats were counting on the opposite to happen. With each disappointment, their despondency got worse, since the Democratic view of Trump is harsh and simple: He is evil. The better he does, the worse they feel.

It’s reminiscent of how foes of Andrew Jackson felt when he won the presidency in 1828. In The Age of Jackson, historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. described the gloom two months after the election in early 1829. “It was no year for righteous men: everywhere they sat in darkness. … The ungodly were now in the ascendency, and those who walked not in their counsels had little but Scripture for consolation.”

For Democrats, their frame of mind affected their response to Trump. They set their sights on trying to thwart him or undo the consequences of what actually has happened in the Trump era. But more often than not, this strategy hasn’t made political sense nor has it hindered Trump, except in his desire to build a wall on the southern border.

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With interest rates flattened [by the Federal Reserve], government zeroes out the future. Abandoned were 80 percent of private defined-benefit pension plans. Public plans faced a similar evisceration in the future. With no acknowledgement, the U.S. government had casually dispossessed the American middle class of its retirement assets and pushed millions of Americans into acute dependency on government programs. ... Government dependency negated the American dream.

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