If there’s one expression which explains the hysterical reaction of Democrats and their allies among left-wing bloggers and the liberal punditry to the growing grassroots protests against President Obama’s plans to increase the size of the government and limit our freedom, it’s the opening line of a recent Michelle Malkin column, “The activist Left can’t stand competition.” It’s as if they believe they have a monopoly on protest and patriotic dissent.
When Obama won last fall, with increased Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress, they thought that the demoralized would just roll over and play dead. They did not expect nor do they get that Republicans and allied independents would express their frustration — and fears– about Democratic proposals as they have, by taking to the streets. Only left-wingers, er, progressives, do that. That’s how it’s been since the 1960s. Hence, their need to discredit, denigrate and demonize what they do not understand.
But, they should understand these gatherings, indeed, the Obama team should understand their frustration better than most, given how their candidate was at pains, during the campaign, to plea for fiscal prudence in the wake of Bush Administration profligacy, promising a line-by-line review of the federal budget and a “net spending cut.” It is the concern about the growing size of the federal government which, as Michael Barone writes today, which has become “the battle-line issue“:
And the tea party and health care protesters, in their often unsophisticated way, are raising an issue that seems to have become central to our politics: Should we vastly increase the size and scope of the federal government?
By suggesting in the campaign that he too was concerned about the growing size of the federal government, Obama helped convince wavering independents and even some Republicans upset about then-President George W. Bush’s failure to hold the line on domestic spending, to pull the lever for the Democrat.
Perhaps, the Obama team thought they could get away with this masquerade, that once elected, they could remove their masks, knowing that small government types aren’t likely to protest as do their statist, er, progressive, counterparts. They forget that it was people protesting an intrusive national government which led to the birth of this nation.
We’re just following in the footsteps of those who tossed tea into Boston Harbor.