Not long ago James Carville released 40 More Years: How Democrats will Rule the Next Generation. Even in the wake of the 2008 election cycle it was a bold prediction, one that got him promotional spots on Good Morning America:
These tea-baggers turned everybody off. They were a bunch of like 75 year old cranky white guys, mad at everything. It just could not have been a better event for the Democratic Party. I hope they come back and teabag some more. And I think the Democrats are going to be smart enough when this recession is over, and it will be over, to jump on top of this spending issue like Clinton did in the 90’s.”
I’d like to be the first to congratulate James: you were only off…by 38 years. Your pejorative-laced assessment of the Tea Party movement was equally as impressive. Somewhere, the bargain basement prices of the Barnes and Nobel clearance section are brimming with Carville.
I’m not surprised the producers of GMA were duped. After all, they’re the types who go to North Korea and buy propaganda spoon fed by Communist minders and citizens of Pyongyang who know they’re gulag-bound if they don’t put on a good show. Diane Sawyer even went so far as to comment on the "unruly individualism of American schools," a critique one might find on the DPRK’s very own state run media. Regardless, I do wonder if Sawyer will invite James on to ask him where it all went wrong. Since that probably won’t happen, I’ll throw out some possibilities.
The more generous take on what happened is that James Carville is a savvy guy, who knows that there’s a comfortable life to be had throwing out sound bites to those who would subscribe to a Bill Maher or Joy Behar Book Club. That approach becomes more difficult when you find yourself screaming, "We're about to die down here!" during botched responses to gargantuan Gulf Oil Spills, but more or less Carville has mastered the art of creating quick witted cat-nip for hard core leftists.
In reality, it seems as though Carville is an ideological dealer who did his own stash and became just as dazed and confused as the people he peddled Big Government pills to. NPR found time to run an excerpt from 40 More Years:
The Bush administration, like a bunch of teenagers with a new car, was eager to take Dowd's strategy [of concentrating on mobilizing the base] for a test drive as they came into office. They wanted to see how far from the middle, how distant from truth, they could go.
It’s rather interesting that the Obama administration mined the blindly partisan ramblings of James Carville for metaphors, but there’s a more important point to be made: What James doesn’t get is that conservatism, properly articulated, speaks to the entrepreneurial spirit inside all Americans. The liberals who think they have a lock on minorities and youth do so because it’s been some time since we had a Great Communicator at the bully pulpit. However, woven into the American psyche by our founding fathers is an appreciation for free markets, limited government, and a strong national defense. Instinctually, large swathes of the electorate know that the best government – a limited government – is one that allows them to be the arbiter of their own destiny. Those who were lulled by liberal platitudes big on hope but short on specifics have been awakened by the sonic boom caused by rapidly increasing federal deficits. They want answers, and liberalism provides none.
In short, the liberalism of James Carville is a cynical, depressing ideology that depends on class and race warfare to win elections. The conservatism currently embraced by the Tea Party movement is a recipe for peace and prosperity created by returning to the principles that make American Exceptionalism a reality.
This November, conservatives should refrain from making any 40 year prognostications. A little schadenfreude at James Carville’s expense? You earned it.