Chanting Points Memo: Potemkin Outrage

The smaller story (from my admittedly and temporarily parochial perspective): lefty protests in Europe have much moo, little political cow:

Throw your Euro stereotypes out the window: Last weekend, a Greek government that has cut public-sector pay and lowered pensions won a clear victory in local elections. Despite strikes and violence, despite the fact that Greece’s debt is still growing and more cuts are coming, there will be a Socialist mayor of Athens for the first time in 24 years. (And, yes, in Greece, the Socialists favor budget cuts, and the conservatives oppose them.)

Nor are the Greeks alone. Last month, voters re-elected a Latvian government that cut public-sector workers’ pay by 50 percent. The British government coalition, which is also trying to eliminate benefits and cut spending, remains strangely popular, too. Although—contrary to my previous observation—London witnessed its first Continental-style, anti-austerity riot last week, there wasn’t much general enthusiasm for the protesters. Some of their leaders wound up denouncing the riots, and they haven’t hurt the government’s poll numbers yet, either.

It’s saying too much to call it a pattern, and it may well not be a permanent change: I’m sure there are plenty of European politicians who won’t survive their next encounter with the voters. But there is something in the air. It almost seems as if at least a few Europeans have actually drawn some lessons from the recent recession and accompanying turbulence in the bond markets. They have realized, or are about to realize, that their state sectors are too big.

So the takeaway: despite the left’s sturm und drang and immense fury, the people support conservative (by Eurozone standards) reforms.

I say that to set up what is (by my, again, parochial and situational standards) the big story; Target Corporation – the, er, “target” of an astroturf smear campaign over the summer after donating money to MNForward, a pro-business PAC – has seen same-store sales rise.

The left’s astroturf campaign – the boycotts,  the ofay little videos of planted DFL harpies cutting up their Target cards, the “flash mobs” of smug  jagoffs – all of it was a flop.

10 thoughts on “Chanting Points Memo: Potemkin Outrage

  1. What the public wants means nothing. Obama is going to rule by Executive Orders. The Congress has become inconvenient.

  2. I don’t think Obama could rule by executive order, Kermit. He doesn’t have the political skill.
    Hillary could probably do it with Bill’s help.

  3. The evidence concludes otherwise. The EPA has ruled CO2 as a “harmful” and the TSA can now legally grope your “junk”. The Big O put a man in charge of Medicare who “loves” the British medical system without Congressional approval.

    The last election backed these socialist bastards into a corner. They are not going down without a fight.

  4. We know the progressives are an astroturf movement, but the larger question is whether Mike and Mollie Minivan will turn off ‘CCO, KARE, MPR and the major networks and begin to actually think for themselves. Not an easy thing for people who have grown up learning about the world from the check-out lanes, MTV and John Stewart.

  5. Kermit Says: “The last election backed these socialist bastards into a corner. They are not going down without a fight.”

    That may be Kermit, but at the end of the day I’m confident we’ll find the dogs have no teeth. I truly believe there’s going to be a continuing rise of the conservative tide.

  6. They might not have teeth, but they have huge capital reserves and a compliant media. Underestimate at all of our risk.

  7. Target…I don’t know one person who “boycotted” their stores due to Target donating a small amount of money to a pro-business organization, but I have spent far less at Wal-Mart and union grocery stores, shifting my spending to Target. I do love those new Super Targets, with the grocery departments.

  8. Chuck;

    I am right there with ya’ bro!

    As I posted during that whole faux outrage fueled lunacy by the lefties, I went to Target to buy things that I didn’t even need.

    Now, here’s a huge laugher for ya’! One lefty indoctrinated college girl that I confronted outside of the Bloomington Target protesting, was in line there today to get the Cities 97 sampler CD! Classic lefty hypocrisy!

  9. boss….damn, I forgot about that. Was going to stop this morning and get that.

    The best thing Target did was NOT cower. They had the balls (at least as far as I know) to just stand their ground, then release a non-apology apology.

    What it did for me was remind me that if I shop at a union retailer, some of my money goes to causes I hate.

  10. Yea: That’s why I was there, but, too late. People camp out there all night to be sure that they get one.

    Probably 80% of them end up on eBay for huge bucks. I already saw one for $50.

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