• A Pre-New Year Prevision

    December 19, 2023

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    The question I am asked most often, and most often find too hot to handle, is this one: What must Republicans in our state of perpetual Democrat dominance do to win office?

    They must – in their campaigns for office – begin to agitate against the policies of President Joe Biden, who will appear on the 2024 campaign ballot. Take a lesson from successful campaigners, former President Donald Trump among them. Campaigning and governing are two distinct endeavors.

    Well sure, but most Republicans would consider that as an invitation to suicide, given that those who present news to the public are almost universally opposed to Trump.  No one likes larval Nazis. True or not, Trump has been effectively boxed as, in Democrat parlance, an enemy of the democracy, a charge Biden has nimbly deflected.

    All this is mildly interesting. It certainly produces internet clicks in our 24/7 news outlets. However, the media scales have in Connecticut and much of the northeast been tipped in favor of Democrats for decades, which is why the present Connecticut U.S. Congressional Delegation is uniformly Democrat. It began to tip in a Democrat direction long before Trump’s down-escalator incursion into a politics controlled nationally and here in New England for decades by Democrats. The decimation of Connecticut Republicans who spent a good deal of their professional lives as U.S. congressmen – Nancy Johnson, Rob Simmons and Chris Shays – preceded Trump in office by close to a decade. All were, it was said at the time, fiscally conservative and socially liberal. All were replaced by Democrats who were socially and fiscally neo-progressive.

    Shays, the last Connecticut Republican U.S. Congressman, spent 21 years in office, from 1987-2009. Trump was elected to the presidency in 2016, seven years after Shays bid goodbye to his U.S. House comrades. Shays was succeeded by Jim Himes, who supports without question the most progressive President in decades.

    At some point, likely during the presidency of Barack Obama, the national Democrat Party veered sharply left. The reformed party moved away from traditional liberalism in the direction of neo-progressivism. It was both an emotional and strategic parting of the ways from the party of Jefferson, Jackson and Bailey. John Bailey was Connecticut’s last Democrat Party political boss. Bossism in the Northeast has long since been replaced by party dog-and-pony show primaries. Lauding his wife during his farewell address to the nation, Obama let slip a tear, and instantly John Blake of CNN told us “Why Obama’s tears are so revolutionary.” Showing one’s tears in public had become a revolutionary act on a par with Sam Adams’ Boston Tea Party.

    What accounts for the sharp turn the Democrat Party has taken away from John F. Kennedy liberalism towards Marxian-tinged neo-progressivism?

    There is no satisfying answer to this question. For many years in Connecticut and national politics, change has been deified and sanctified by such political revolutionary strongmen as Obama and, before him, progressive world-shakers such as Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt. Progressivism and its modern iteration, neo-progressivism, are century old, post-Civil War doctrines. Neo-progressivism is essentially different than the progressivism of William Jennings Bryant or Robert La Follette. The socialist/communist post-World War 1 period now uncritically embraced by the American left has lent it a severe geo-political, anti-nationalist edge, celebrated unctuously these days in our ivy-league universities, where anti-Zionist crowds march cheek by jowl with revolutionary college administrators carrying in their fashionable torn-jean pockets much read copies of Paulo Freire’s book, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

    Only absurdists would believe that modern ivy-league college students are oppressed – spoiled by their obscenely rich parents maybe, but oppressed in the sense that any political oppositionist in Vladimir Putin’s Russia may be routinely oppressed by an overbearing state and educational indoctrination system?

    No way.

    The notion that students at Yale, or Columbia, or Princeton are oppressed by their teachers is not only, on the face of it, ineffably stupid, it is also laughable, the sort of thing that would have appealed greatly to Mark Twain, a superb satirist whose nose instantly sniffed out phonies. One gets the feeling, while reading newspaper stories and commentary on student oppression at ivy-league institutions, that the faculties might make good use of a Twain or two or three. Unfortunately, because neo-progressives are passionately attached to discredited socialist and communist imperatives, Twainian truth-sayers are likely to be hounded out of their jobs by idiot protesters seconds after insisting the earth is not flat.

    Connecticut Republicans would be wise to take a page from the Democrat Party playbook and begin a political assault against Biden, an entirely unoriginal politician who has during his first term shamelessly plagiarized the neo-progressive politics, foreign and domestic, of his Democrat predecessor, Barack Obama.

    Under Biden’s direction, the U.S. southern border has all but disappeared, because Biden cannot bring himself to reinstitute successful measures adopted by Trump-the-Terrible. Inflation, caused by excessive government spending and borrowing, continues to ravage the disappearing assets of post-COVID middle class Americans, despite a coordinated propaganda attempt to sell Bidenomics to a querulous public. After Biden’s assault on fossil fuel and clean natural gas production, the United States has become energy poor. Biden’s foreign policy is a muddle, as was Obama’s, because neither president was able properly to distinguish friends from enemies. Financing Iran’s caliphate-creation ambitions in the Middle East can never be effective foreign policy. And bets are now being taken that Israel will soon feel the point of a dagger at its back as Bidenites begin to insist that the war room in Washington D.C. is better suited than the Israel military to win a just war against the second state, Hamas, in an impossible “two state solution” designed to push Israel, as ivy league protestors would have it, into the sea.

    Surely there is something in this record of gross ineptitude that may be used by Republican campaigners in Connecticut before the 2024 national elections roll in.  

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    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.

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