A while ago, codified all of the various Berg’s Laws in one place. These laws – an encyclopedic survey of several small but fairly universal truths – include perhaps one of my most trenchant observations, captured for posterity as Berg’s Seventh Law:
Berg’s Seventh Law of Liberal Projection – When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty, they are projecting.
Critics have misguidedly assailed this law; “you’re basically saying you’re rubber and we’re glue”, which may sound satisfying on a superficial level, it ignores the fact that the Seventh Law is entirely true.
For example – liberals constantly tell conservatives they’ve “gotten too extreme” for the American people. This is at a time when the American people are rejecting Obama’s far-left overreach in droves, even to the point of the once-unthinkable; conservatives organizing and going to demonstrations.
In the meantime, some Democrats – the ones that have to live in the real world outside the Beltway – are starting to get nervous.
This might be the only time you ever see me call Chicago mayor Richard Daley a moderate. He’s got an op-ed in the WaPo:
The announcement by Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith that he is switching to the Republican Party is just the latest warning sign that the Democratic Party — my lifelong political home — has a critical decision to make: Either we plot a more moderate, centrist course or risk electoral disaster not just in the upcoming midterms but in many elections to come.
Rep. Griffith’s decision makes him the fifth centrist Democrat to either switch parties or announce plans to retire rather than stand for reelection in 2010. These announcements are a sharp reversal from the progress the Democratic Party made starting in 2006 and continuing in 2008, when it reestablished itself as the nation’s majority party for the first time in more than a decade.
That success happened for one major reason: Democrats made inroads in geographies and constituencies that had trended Republican since the 1960s. In these two elections, a majority of independents and a sizable number of moderate Republicans joined the traditional Democratic base to sweep Democrats to commanding majorities in Congress and to bring Barack Obama to the White House.
Daley is leaving out a few things, of course; Obama and the Dems made those “inroads” against the legacy of a deeply unpopular outgoing Administration, with the full complicity of a media that made a rigid agenda point of showing Obama as a moderate, to the point of actively stifling any discussion of his far-left past, associations or record. I think the left accepts that as a given, by now.
But wait! (I’ve added some emphasis):
This call was answered not just by voters but by a surge of smart, talented candidates who came forward to run and win under the Democratic banner in districts dominated by Republicans for a generation. These centrists swelled the party’s ranks in Congress and contributed to Obama’s victories in states such as Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and other Republican bastions.
But now they face a grim political fate. On the one hand, centrist Democrats are being vilified by left-wing bloggers, pundits and partisan news outlets for not being sufficiently liberal, “true” Democrats. On the other, Republicans are pounding them for their association with a party that seems to be advancing an agenda far to the left of most voters.
The political dangers of this situation could not be clearer.
Or more fun!
In particular, I love Daley’s probably-offhanded admission – that the left wing smear machine actually is as venal, smug and divisive as they’ve always alleged hosts like Limbaugh, Hannity and the Northern Alliance – whose messages are actually relatively closer to the center of American politics – to be.
Witness the losses in New Jersey and Virginia in this year’s off-year elections. In those gubernatorial contests, the margin of victory was provided to Republicans by independents — many of whom had voted for Obama. Just one year later, they had crossed back to the Republicans by 2-to-1 margins.
Witness the drumbeat of ominous poll results. Obama’s approval rating has fallen below 49 percent overall and is even lower — 41 percent — among independents. On the question of which party is best suited to manage the economy, there has been a 30-point swing toward Republicans since November 2008, according to Ipsos. Gallup’s generic congressional ballot shows Republicans leading Democrats. There is not a hint of silver lining in these numbers. They are the quantitative expression of the swing bloc of American politics slipping away.
The Mayor still knows his audience:
Despite this raft of bad news, Democrats are not doomed to return to the wilderness. The question is whether the party is prepared to listen carefully to what the American public is saying. Voters are not re-embracing conservative ideology, nor are they falling back in love with the Republican brand. If anything, the Democrats’ salvation may lie in the fact that Republicans seem even more hell-bent on allowing their radical wing to drag the party away from the center.
Of course, the biggest second-tier danger facing the Democrats is believing their own talking points about the GOP and conservatism; just because you relentlessly intone that everything to the right of Olympia Snowe is “extreme” doesn’t make it so.
The real conservative case – limited government, individual and economic liberty, security, family – is the American mainstream. And when Republicans act like conservatives rather than beltway lobbyists-in-training, it shows at the polls.
Read Daley’s entire op-ed.