Damaged Goods

I came across two articles this morning that linked a topic that had been wandering in my thoughts these last few days. One article was about the possible move of a fast-food company headquarters from a large metropolitan area. The other was about the potential ethical and criminal issues of a politician. The common link of the two was democrat politics.

https://cbsstlouis.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/img_0069.jpg?w=620&h=349&crop=1

Hardees Headquarters in downtown St. Louis. Photo by Dominic Genetti/KMOX

The first instance was from St. Louis. The corporate headquarters for Hardees is in downtown St. Louis. An article appeared in the St. Louis CBS News outlet that hinted Hardees would soon be moving to more…business friendly climes. A state without an income tax and with Right-to-Work.

All Signs Point to Hardee’s St. Louis Departure

Michael Calhoun (@michaelcalhoun)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says after his conversations with Hardee’s CEO Andy Puzder, it looks like the fast-food chain is moving headquarters, and Slay says it’s over things the city has no control over.

“I know for sure he’s looking for states that don’t have an income tax,” Slay says, “and he’s looking at Right-to-Work states.”

The fast-food restaurant chain is currently headquartered at 100 N. Broadway, just a few blocks from the Gateway Arch in downtown.

The company announced last week that it was considering moving to Nashville.

Mrs. Crucis and I was in Nashville a couple of weeks ago. The city appears to be booming if all the road construction is any indication. Tennessee does meet the two criteria mentioned in the article above.

We drove through St. Louis on our way to Nashville. As does anyone who is about to leave on a long road-trip, I filled my Tahoe’s tank before I left. I paid $2.169 a gallon at my local gas station. I noted as we drove east that gas prices were about the same, varying a few pennies, west of Columbia. However, the further east we drove, the higher the gas prices. I wondered why. The state and federal gas tax is uniform across Missouri. That couldn’t be it.

We stopped not far from the St. Louis county line for a pit-stop and to check our route. The local gas price was $2.469 per gallon and higher. I discovered one of the reasons for higher gas was more and higher local sales taxes.

Sales taxes are a burden on everyone and sales taxes have a broad negative impact on commerce. Those who can, will buy elsewhere leading to cash flow out of the taxed area. A reason why internet sales are so popular.

The CBS article made Hardees’ motivation clear. They want to move to a location with lower taxes and a place with Right-to-Work. Nashville fits the bill. St. Louis, with its higher taxes and the city’s support and promotion of unions is not the place Hardees wants for its corporate headquarters.

The sense of oppression is not limited to the social ills of Ferguson and St. Louis. It extends to the business climate of the entire section of the state around St. Louis. Decades of democrat policies and democrat leadership of St. Louis have, “come home to roost!” Missouri, especially the eastern side of the state, has become ‘damaged goods’ as far as business is concerned.

The other instance hinted in today’s post title is about…Hillary Clinton. In a FOX report this morning, her political future appears to be imploding. Her cronies in the media are no longer providing cover against the growing revelation of scandal, fraud, and probable criminal activities of herself, her husband and the Clinton Family Foundation.

DAMAGED GOODS NO BARGAIN FOR DEMOCRATS
Another day, another revelation of ethical misconduct in Clintonland. This time it’s the Boston Globe’s discovery that the largest single non-profit group in the Clinton network utterly ignored the disclosure agreement that Hillary Clinton promised would be a bulwark against corruption during her tenure as secretary of state. Foreign donations exploded during Clinton’s tenure as America’s chief diplomat, but her organization said nothing about it. At the same time, we are learning more about the astronomical overhead in the Clinton family’s charitable network. So it is no wonder that Politico reports that the donors who have funded the multi-billion-dollar enterprise – the kind of folks who go on whirlwind Africa tours with Bill Clinton – are getting queasy about the new scrutiny and the serial improprieties. Their world is shrinking down to folks like billionaire Tom Steyer, who openly embrace the Washington cash-for-influence game.

So what’s a conscientious liberal to do? The GOP is out of the question. Republicans are tumbling over themselves to seek the favor of the super PAC donor whales who are preparing to fund potentially hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of red-on-red attack ads in the coming months. This isn’t a big problem for GOP voters, though, since the members of the party widely oppose restrictions on political spending. But for liberal Democrats, these are famine times. The wife of a former president is preparing to claim by regal right their party’s nomination. She is mired in a scandal that involves boatloads of cash from unseemly sources, the violation of basic transparency standards and the destruction of huge troves of documents. To go from “hope and change” back to “no controlling legal authority” is a far fall indeed. — FOXNewsletter, April 30, 2015.

Two democrat institutions, large metropolitan areas and Hillary Clinton; are two in a growing pile of democrat damaged goods. The liberal policies of the democrat party fail everywhere they are found from Detroit to Baltimore to St. Louis and Kansas City.

Kansas City’s Mayor Sly James proposed not long ago to raise Kansas City’s minimum wage to $15/hour. He filed to notice some of the unintended consequences to the city if that happened (or perhaps, like Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake, he just doesn’t care about business and private enterprise or property.)

I looked at the Kansas City School District’s pay scales recently for another post. The district is required to post the pay scales every year by individual from the Superintendent to the freshly hired teacher’s assistant. Over 1,000 district employees make less than $15//hour. If the district had to comply with Mayor James’ proposal, the decision would be who to lay off. The district can not longer depend on the state for funding. Those days are longer over.

Sly James proposal would break the KC school district’s budget. It would be one more woe for a failed district who lost its accreditation and is struggling to remain credible while hoping to control student flight to other accredited school districts.

Six decades of a failed political policies have killed the life of large cities. Wherever democrats are in control, the economies of those areas crumble and add one more city after another and their people to the pile of damaged goods.

On the Missouri side…

I wrote about Jay Nixon’s fiasco last week. His handling of the Ferguson shooting was incredibly inept. I’m being kind with that description. Some of his fellow democrats were not pleased either.

FERGUSON — ‘Black legislators air frustrations in meeting with Gov. Nixon in St. Louis County,’ St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Members of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus used a meeting Sunday with Gov. Jay Nixon to vent over the investigation into the Aug. 9 shooting death of an unarmed Ferguson teenager. The meeting Sunday afternoon at the University of Missouri-St. Louis was closed to the public and reporters, but some legislators said they repeated calls for an indictment of Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson and for Nixon to remove St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch from the case. “He’s pretending he cares,” said Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, who walked out of the meeting after about 10 minutes. “It’s a waste of time. He’s doing this to look good.” — PolitocMO Newssletter, August 26, 2014.

Nixon told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he would be attending Michael Brown’s funeral. A space was reserved for him. But, come the funeral, Jay Nixon was missing.

Nixon told the Post Dispatch on Sunday that he would be attending Michael Brown’s funeral yesterday. He had a place marked for him at the church where the funeral took place, but was not in attendance. Per spokesman Scott Holste: “The Governor has communicated to attorneys representing the family of Michael Brown that he will not be attending today’s funeral out of respect for the family, who deserve time to focus on remembering Michael and grieving their loss.” — St. Louis Today.

Every one seems to be jumping on Jay Nixon. I can’t think of a better person to be receiving all this negative attention.

***

Last week, by state law, democrats and republicans met to ‘reorganize.’ By reorganize, I mean all the Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen elected in the primary on August 5th, met to choose committee officers for the next two years.

Each county has a party central committee. What I didn’t know until last week is that each House and Senate districts also have committee each with a set of officers. The county central committees choose a Chairman, Vice-chairman, Treasurer and Secretary for the House District committee. The House District Chair and Vice-Chair are automatically members of the Senatorial District Committee.

What is the purpose of these committees? Basically, to choose candidates for office in case of a vacancy. For example, a couple of years ago, the Cass County Presiding Commissioner was deemed ineligible for office. The county central committee chose a candidate to run for office and that candidate won a special election a couple of months later. The committees also sent recommendations to the Governor when an appointment to fill a vacant term is needed.

The House district committee serves the same function if the state Representative position falls vacant for whatever reason. In such an occurance, the district committee would choose a candidate for the position.

The Senate district is slightly different. Its members are the two Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of all the House districts that fall within the Senatorial district. They choose a candidate for the state Senate seat if case of a vacancy. Plus—they also choose members of the state central committee. The House and Senatorial committees may have more functions than I have described, but those are the ones pertinent to today’s discussion.

Why am I going into all this detail? Because of what is happening in one House and Senatorial district.

TROUBLE BREWING IN STATE GOP? — ‘Local leader in GOP faces issue for post,’ Joplin Globe: “A longtime Southwest Missouri conservative activist has hit a bump in the road after his three decades of involvement within the inner workings of the Missouri Republican Party. The eligibility of ballots submitted by Carthage-area resident John Putnam, former chairman of the Jasper County Republican Central Committee, in his two-way race to become chairman of the 127th House District Republican Committee has been questioned. The issue arose after Putnam narrowly defeated Dade County resident Bob Jackson in a 15-14 vote last week. … 
“Putnam, a tea party activist who is well-known throughout the state, has not been shy about his concerns with the so-called party establishment. He backed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin until the end of the tumultuous 2012 campaign, and he has taken criticism directly to Republicans who he thinks are too flimsy on their beliefs. The night before the 127th District Republican Committee chairman election, during remarks to the Jasper County Republican Central Committee, Putnam criticized U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., for what he said was Blunt’s support of Mississippi Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in his heated primary against tea party favorite Chris McDaniel. … 
“‘’Roy Blunt has divided the Republican Party before, and I can’t support him in the Senate race next time, and I do think that has some bearing on what’s happening now,’ Putnam said in an interview. Missouri Republican Party Chairman Ed Martin has called for the Republican National Committee to investigate the Mississippi Senate race. He has said the runoff election there included “racially charged” television ads opposing McDaniel that should not be tolerated by the Republican Party. That episode solidified the distrust between Martin — and Martin’s supporters, like Putnam — and the so-called Republican establishment. Putnam said, ‘They can read the tea leaves: If I’m the chairman of the district, I’m going to vote for a state committeeman and woman that will support Ed Martin in his re-election.’” — PoliticMO Newsletter, August 26, 2014 and The Joplin Globe.

If Putnam’s election to the House District is upheld, he will automatically be a member of his Senatorial committee…and possibly be selected as a member for the state central committee.

Roy Blunt is well known in ‘Pub politics as being an establishment butt-boy. His endorsement and contribution to Thad Cochran’s campaign, in opposition to Missouri’s GOP State Chairman Ed Martin, broadened the schism between party conservatives and the Washington (and state) establishment. Ed Martin was elected State GOP Chairman with the backing of the Tea Party and other grassroots activists as an anti-establishment candidate. The question upcoming is whether he will retain his position after the new crop of state GOP committeemen are chosen.

If you can’t beat’em, be them

That appears to be the state of the republican party today. Fifteen ‘pub senators joined dems to pass the immigration amnesty bill. Oh, they’ll claim there’s no amnesty and the border will be secure, etc., etc., etc.

They lie.

Here are the 15 Republican senators who voted in favor of invoking cloture on the amendment, according to the Weekly Standard:

  • Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
  • Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
  • Jeffrey Chiesa (RINO-NJ)
  • Susan Collins (R-ME)
  • Bob Corker (R-TN)
  • Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
  • Lindsey Graham (RINO-SC)
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • Dean Heller (R-NV)
  • John Hoeven (R-ND)
  • Mark Kirk (R-IL)
  • John McCain (RINO-AZ)
  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Marco Rubio (R-FL)
  • Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Some of the senators above will be up for re-election in 2014. Let’s not forget them. We don’t need more democrats in the Senate.

***

Yesterday I wrote about the political technique called Logrolling. It’s a tactic where pols exchange votes to pass their favorite piece of pork. John Boehner’s and Vicky Hartzler’s votes to pass the Food Stamp Bill are prime example. The problem with this tactic is that democrats lie and when they are expected to reciprocate, they don’t. Repeated use of this tactic fits the definition of insanity—doing the same time after time while expecting different results.

Tactics like this one serves no one. It doesn’t gain the pols any political advantage and alienates their constituents. But the ‘pub establishment continues as before—acting insanely.

Cal Thomas, a writer whom I once admired, says we’re now entering a new era, of those looking backward and those looking forward. He even cites passages from Newt Gringrich’s upcoming book to support his premis. His premis is that we, who revere the past—the Constitution as it was originally written and intended, are losers locked into the past. What Cal Thomas fails to prove is whether this forward looking stance provides any benefits to our personal liberty and security.

Breakout from politics of the past

By CAL THOMAS | JUNE 24, 2013 AT 1:30 PM

The “Faith and Freedom” Coalition held a gathering last week in Washington, D.C. It resembled many similar conservative assemblies: mostly white male speakers, a mostly white, middle-age audience and mostly full of attacks on President Obama, liberals, Democrats and Washington.

That is not a winning strategy for political victory. Neither are appeals to a bygone era that is unlikely to return. The social, financial and governmental dysfunction we are experiencing are symptoms of something far deeper. The foundations that built and have sustained America are being destroyed. Too many Republicans and conservatives mistakenly believe what’s needed is a paint job, like those false storefronts painted on closed-down businesses in some Northern Ireland towns to hide its struggling economy during the G-8 summit.

Instead of more navel gazing, Republicans and conservatives (they are not always the same) must seize the future rather than hold on to the past.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich believes America may be on the verge of another major breakthrough on several levels, but he warns in a book titled “Breakout,” to be published this fall (Regnery Publishing, Inc.), about powerful forces opposed to the advance. “Prison guards of the past,” he calls them, versus “pioneers of the future.” If the future has publicists, he says, the past has lobbyists.

Gingrich believes, and polls reflect this, that people are weary of the left-right, Republican vs. Democrat repetitive drama. He thinks the next decade will be more future vs. past.

What is needed, he says, “is a movement dedicated to identifying and encouraging the pioneers of the future,” while fighting for the policies and structural changes that will hasten its arrival. He labels it the “Breakout Party,” though he thinks this shift can still be achieved within the GOP.

Gingrich says a breakout occurs when “so many different new scientific and technological capabilities are emerging and being translated into usable products by entrepreneurs in a dynamic consumer-led market that the very capacity of life, for the individual, for society, for business, and for government, are changing.”

Neither party has a clear vision or understanding of what this can mean for the country. Neither, says Gingrich, does either party have a strategy for knitting together a coalition of these pioneers who are already creating the future, but largely under the media’s radar. The media could be said to be one of the “prison guards,” because they mostly focus on the old arguments, rather than on solutions.

Thomas’ next statement is where he diverges from conservative philosophy.

House leadership last Tuesday brought a bill to the floor that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill has zero chance of passing the Senate. It has less chance of being signed by the President. Instead, Republicans should place themselves on the side of giving more information to women, empowering them by making it law that they view a sonogram of their baby before they have an abortion.

Yes, Cal, let’s just give up on the whole anti-abortion thing and give in to the libs. That’s a real winning solution…for them.

“The opportunity for Republicans to play the lead role in developing a breakout system is historic,” says Gingrich, “and will both reward the party with victory and reward the country with vast new opportunities for jobs, economic growth, long-term prosperity, greater learning, better health and greater security.”

In this last statement, Gingrich is correct. But Cal Thomas completely misses the point. Conservatives must understand the new technologies and how they will affect society for our benefit and detriment. It is the conventional party structure who is locked into the past, not the political and philosophical views that govern our purpose as we enter this new era.

There I wuz…

Today will be a short post…unless I get on a roll.  I had an appointment this morning that upset my normal schedule.

Today’s post is a continuation of a theme from earlier this week. A variety of groups are attempting to build a coalition to effect change within the Republican party. Some of these groups are frustrated Ron Paul supporters. Others are local Tea Party groups hoping to expand and consolidate into a viable state-wide organization with a consensus on platform and action-plans. They all are having a rough start. The biggest hurdle I’ve seen is their inability to believe that other conservatives may have legitimate opposing viewpoints.

Case in point. A large conservative social group in Missouri almost dissolved just before the primary this year. The group had been incorporated with rules prohibiting favoritism of one candidate over another. Favoritism could cause tax issues with the IRS. However, one candidate’s followers persisted in pushing their candidate in violation of the rules. The group owner dropped all of the membership and reconstituted as a closed group whose members would abide by the rules.

The election is now over. We lost. Some blame, not all, can be levied towards those who refused to vote for ABO…Anyone but Obama. i.e., Romney. He wasn’t the best candidate and some suspected he may not be as strong a conservative as some of the other ‘Pub candidates. In the end, Romney was the selected ‘Pub candidate and truly, had the only real change of defeating Obama and he did come close.

But not close enough.

Now after the election, various groups and individuals are attempting to reconstitute the people and organizations that won so many seats in 2010. 2014 is coming soon and is very important. We must retain our control of the House and expand our members in the Senate. If that is the goal…and for some, I believe it is not, we must have a united platform and a united organization. That cannot be achieved if we do not follow this rule.

You do not achieve your goals by pissing off those you wish to influence.

It’s a difficult lesson to be learned but learn it we must if we are to achieve our goals—first to control Congress and in 2016 to expand that control with winning the White House. Once we have the political power, we can begin to implement our agenda. It’s a long-term plan with short-term mileposts. The long term is limited government, the repeal of Obamacare, Frank-Dodd and other liberal legislation passed over the last seventy years.

The short term goals can only be achieved by unification. Unifying our groups, our people and laying aside those issues where we do not have consensus. When i bring up these points, I’ve been accused of selling out to the democrats, being in favor of Obamacare, being a tool of the establishment and those are just the more polite labels.

Vilifying the opposition is not a winning plan. Let’s start anew and remember Reagan’s and Goldwater’s rule: Never speak ill of a fellow Republican (Tea Partier, Conservative, etc.) Once we achieve this goal, we can begin to work towards some of those longer term goals.

What Americans Cherish

I like Michael Barone. In many ways, he’s a kindred spirit and I’ve yet to find any of his writings that counter my core beliefs. In this column from last week, Barone touches on the point why libs, progressives and Europeans never understand Americans; why they think the way they do nor what drives them personally and politically. It’s great food for thought and reflection.

Obama’s Nanny Care Insults the American Spirit

By Michael Barone · Thursday, February 25, 2010

You are victims. You are helpless against the wiles of big corporations and insurance companies, and you need protection. You need the government to take over and do things you cannot do for yourself.

That is the thinking of what David Brooks calls “the educated class” that favors the Democrats’ health care bills. Members of this elite spout tales of woe of people denied coverage or care with the implication that there but for the grace of government go you. So sign on, and the government will take care of everything.

It’s an argument that has often been appealing to Europeans but that has always been unappealing to Americans. That’s why these advocates segue to other arguments, like Barack Obama’s assertion that the government can expand coverage and save money at the same time.

But voters quickly sniff out what this means. The government will use the “science” of comparative effectiveness research to achieve cost savings the only way government can: denial of care. The Soviet medical system kept down the heart disease caseload by placing cardiac care units on the fifth floor, walk up. Death panels, anyone?

In the meantime, the House, Senate and the latest iteration of the Obama health care legislation — which is too vague for a cost estimate, according to Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf — promise to eliminate Medicare Advantage and cut $500 billion from Medicare, and increase federal spending by something like $1 trillion. Obamacare Plan B would add a new layer of federal regulation on health insurance.

Why do Americans reject such policies while Europeans seem content with them? One reason is history. Twentieth-century history — and 19th- and 18th-century history, too — showed Europeans that they were often the helpless victims of tyrants and total war. That made them content to rely on government for security.

Americans have had a different experience. As scholars like Seymour Martin Lipset have documented, Americans are more likely than Europeans to believe that there is a connection between effort and reward. And to believe that they can improve their situation by their own hard work and ingenuity.

As a result, Americans cherish their independence. One interesting aspect of the spontaneous tea party movement is the constant invocation of the Founders and the prominence of the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. Eighteenth-century Americans declared their independence, 19th-century Americans fought so that blacks could be independent, too, and 20th-century Americans sacrificed to extend the blessings of independence to the wider world.

Americans tend to see themselves as independent doers, not dependent victims. They don’t like to be told, especially by those with fancy academic pedigrees, that they are helpless and in need of government aid. That’s why the politically popular American big government programs — Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ benefits, student loans — all make a connection between effort and reward. You get a benefit because you’ve worked for it.

In contrast, Americans have loathed and rejected big government programs with no nexus between effort and reward. Welfare was begun in the 1930s to help widows with children, whose plight, as Russell Baker’s memoir “Growing Up” showed, was often dismal. But when welfare became a mass program to subsidize mothers who didn’t work and to excuse fathers from responsibility for their actions, it became wildly unpopular.

Bill Clinton recognized this when he signed welfare reform in 1996. Clinton worked his way up in Arkansas, a state with a highly unequal income distribution, with a few very rich families — the Waltons, Tysons, Stephenses — and many people with modest incomes. But polling shows that the Democrats’ health care plans are overwhelmingly unpopular in Arkansas, even more than nationally.

Barack Obama, who has chosen to live his adult life in university precincts, sees Arkansans and Americans generally as victims who need his help, people who would be better off dependent on government than on their own. Most American voters don’t want to see themselves that way and resent this condescension.

Obama hopes to embarrass Republicans at his Thursday summit and persuade Democrats to change the legislative rules and jam through a health care bill. Tactically, he’s not likely to succeed. But his greater problem, on health care and other issues, is strategic. Most Americans don’t share his view that they are victims, in need of protection and supervision by “the educated class.”


You can read the entire column here.

What Americans Cherish

I like Michael Barone. In many ways, he’s a kindred spirit and I’ve yet to find any of his writings that counter my core beliefs. In this column from last week, Barone touches on the point why libs, progressives and Europeans never understand Americans; why they think the way they do nor what drives them personally and politically. It’s great food for thought and reflection.

Obama’s Nanny Care Insults the American Spirit

By Michael Barone · Thursday, February 25, 2010

You are victims. You are helpless against the wiles of big corporations and insurance companies, and you need protection. You need the government to take over and do things you cannot do for yourself.

That is the thinking of what David Brooks calls “the educated class” that favors the Democrats’ health care bills. Members of this elite spout tales of woe of people denied coverage or care with the implication that there but for the grace of government go you. So sign on, and the government will take care of everything.

It’s an argument that has often been appealing to Europeans but that has always been unappealing to Americans. That’s why these advocates segue to other arguments, like Barack Obama’s assertion that the government can expand coverage and save money at the same time.

But voters quickly sniff out what this means. The government will use the “science” of comparative effectiveness research to achieve cost savings the only way government can: denial of care. The Soviet medical system kept down the heart disease caseload by placing cardiac care units on the fifth floor, walk up. Death panels, anyone?

In the meantime, the House, Senate and the latest iteration of the Obama health care legislation — which is too vague for a cost estimate, according to Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf — promise to eliminate Medicare Advantage and cut $500 billion from Medicare, and increase federal spending by something like $1 trillion. Obamacare Plan B would add a new layer of federal regulation on health insurance.

Why do Americans reject such policies while Europeans seem content with them? One reason is history. Twentieth-century history — and 19th- and 18th-century history, too — showed Europeans that they were often the helpless victims of tyrants and total war. That made them content to rely on government for security.

Americans have had a different experience. As scholars like Seymour Martin Lipset have documented, Americans are more likely than Europeans to believe that there is a connection between effort and reward. And to believe that they can improve their situation by their own hard work and ingenuity.

As a result, Americans cherish their independence. One interesting aspect of the spontaneous tea party movement is the constant invocation of the Founders and the prominence of the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. Eighteenth-century Americans declared their independence, 19th-century Americans fought so that blacks could be independent, too, and 20th-century Americans sacrificed to extend the blessings of independence to the wider world.

Americans tend to see themselves as independent doers, not dependent victims. They don’t like to be told, especially by those with fancy academic pedigrees, that they are helpless and in need of government aid. That’s why the politically popular American big government programs — Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ benefits, student loans — all make a connection between effort and reward. You get a benefit because you’ve worked for it.

In contrast, Americans have loathed and rejected big government programs with no nexus between effort and reward. Welfare was begun in the 1930s to help widows with children, whose plight, as Russell Baker’s memoir “Growing Up” showed, was often dismal. But when welfare became a mass program to subsidize mothers who didn’t work and to excuse fathers from responsibility for their actions, it became wildly unpopular.

Bill Clinton recognized this when he signed welfare reform in 1996. Clinton worked his way up in Arkansas, a state with a highly unequal income distribution, with a few very rich families — the Waltons, Tysons, Stephenses — and many people with modest incomes. But polling shows that the Democrats’ health care plans are overwhelmingly unpopular in Arkansas, even more than nationally.

Barack Obama, who has chosen to live his adult life in university precincts, sees Arkansans and Americans generally as victims who need his help, people who would be better off dependent on government than on their own. Most American voters don’t want to see themselves that way and resent this condescension.

Obama hopes to embarrass Republicans at his Thursday summit and persuade Democrats to change the legislative rules and jam through a health care bill. Tactically, he’s not likely to succeed. But his greater problem, on health care and other issues, is strategic. Most Americans don’t share his view that they are victims, in need of protection and supervision by “the educated class.”


You can read the entire column here.