When the tide recedes suddenly and goes so far out one can barely see the waterline, it is a very bad sign as regards what comes next… And while I think the headline below trivializes the rest of the analysis, I think the analysis itself is quite sound:
Perotistas on the march
Ross Perot tapped into a populist anger in the 1990s; Democrats may fall prey to those same forces.
By Jonah Goldberg
The Los Angeles Times
One of the most macabre images I’ve ever heard described came in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami in 2004. Before the tidal wave crashed on shore, beach- goers stood around and idly gaped as the water drastically receded. Bewildered, they didn’t realize they were looking at the prelude to a calamity.
The Democratic Party looks more and more like those beachgoers every day, watching popular support recede, oblivious to the Perot tsunami coming our way.
Fast-forward to today. The tea-party protesters are in large part the heirs of Perotism. Liberal commentators are entirely deaf to the fact that the tea partyers have considerable antipathy to both political parties, preferring to cast the protesters as a deranged band of birthers and racists or hired guns of a Republican “AstroTurf” campaign.
Meanwhile, as National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru has argued, the Democrats have convinced themselves that the moral of Clinton’s failed healthcare push is not that he was wrong to try, but that he was wrong not to cram it through against popular opposition.
The Tea Party Protests are less party specific than they are anti-incumbent and policy specific. The party which embraces those two realities will benefit from having done so. Should neither major party do so, some third way will likely briefly prosper instead.
The question is: Who will mount the tiger and attempt to ride?