Patterico's Pontifications


What Next?

Filed under: 2010 Election — DRJ @ 5:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

What’s next for ObamaCare opponents? Some plan legal action while others are mobilizing for the November elections. Still others may opt for a wait-and-see approach. The Instapundit quotes Randy Barnett, who thinks Obama and the Democrats have awakened the American public:

“This is big. With the passage of the health care bill – especially the way it was passed – the political landscape of the United States has changed, perhaps forever. And I am not referring to the inevitable growth of statism that has resulted from nationalized health care in Europe. I am referring to a clear demarcation between the parties that was not evident in the last election. If John McCain had been elected, we would have had something like this bill enacted last year in a bipartisan fashion – as was Social Security and Medicare. Such a bill would have been irreversible. Now the political consciousness of an enormous number Americans is entirely focused on government and the political class. There is a genuinely grassroots ‘liberty movement’ in this country that has not existed in my lifetime – perhaps not in a century or more. And they are not interested forming in a third party. If the Democratic Party could survive slavery, it should be able to survive the passage of this health care bill. But then again, until the Civil War, slavery was less unpopular in the United States than is this bill.”

Barnett’s description reminds me of Walter Russell Mead’s Jacksonians. During the Bush years, his focus was on the Jacksonian attitude toward war, summarized as “Don’t bother with people abroad, unless they bother you. But if they attack you, then do everything you can.” President Obama and his Democratic Congress have refocused Americans on domestic policies, and there is also a Jacksonian code for domestic affairs.

Steven Den Beste published Mead’s article on The Jacksonian Tradition which explains the Jacksonian code centered on self-reliance, equality, individualism, opportunity and courage. Here’s what Mead said about Jacksonian self-reliance:

“The first principle of this code is self-reliance. Real Americans, many Americans feel, are people who make their own way in the world. They may get a helping hand from friends and family, but they hold their places in the world through honest work. They don’t slide by on welfare, and they don’t rely on inherited wealth or connections. Those who won’t work and are therefore poor, or those who don’t need to work due to family money, are viewed with suspicion. Those who meet the economic and moral tests belong to the broad Middle Class, the folk community of working people that Jacksonians believe to be the heart, soul and spine of the American nation. Earning and keeping a place in this community on the basis of honest work is the first principle of Jacksonian honor, and it remains a serious insult even to imply that a member of the American middle class is not pulling his or her weight in the world.

Jacksonian honor must be acknowledged by the outside world. One is entitled to, and demands, the appropriate respect: recognition of rights and just claims, acknowledgment of one’s personal dignity. Many Americans will still fight, sometimes with weapons, when they feel they have not been treated with the proper respect. But even among the less violent, Americans stand on their dignity and rights. Respect is also due age. Those who know Jacksonian America only through its very inexact representations in the media think of the United States as a youth-obsessed, age-neglecting society. In fact, Jacksonian America honors age. Andrew Jackson was sixty-one when he was elected president for the first time; Ronald Reagan was seventy. Most movie stars lose their appeal with age; those whose appeal stems from their ability to portray and embody Jacksonian values—like John Wayne—only become more revered.”

Regarding Jacksonian courage:

“Finally, courage is the crowning and indispensable part of the code. Jacksonians must be ready to defend their honor in great things and small. Americans ought to stick up for what they believe.”

Mead thinks many Americans are Jacksonians, willing to live and let live until something interferes with their way of life. I agree and I think Obama and the Democrats have awakened Jacksonian America in the past year, especially with health care. Are there enough Jacksonian Americans and will they stand up with courage for what they believe? We’ll see on November 2, 2010.


57 Responses to “What Next?”

  1. The question is, really, whether there are enough of these, or if the armies of mediocracy, dependency and sloth will ooze out from in front of their TVs long enough to pull the “D” lever like they’re told.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  2. urr … mediocrity. Mediocracy is our political system.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  3. We’ll have to let this settle a bit, but the country seems to be in a very foul mood over what has just transpired; a mood that is reminiscent of that prior to Fort Sumter, and in the Great Depression. Fort Sumter was a spark that ignited a conflagration that was horrendous. Luckily, in the Depression, we averted any real sparks, but the possibility was there.
    The real test will be for the Left to keep itself under control, an ability that they are not renown for.
    If there is a spark… God help us!

    AD - RtR/OS! (d02306)

  4. Just take some money and put it away in a box marked “October.”

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  5. Andrew Jackson was sixty-one when he was elected president for the first time; Ronald Reagan was seventy.

    Reagan was 69 when he was elected president for the first time, not 70.

    Official Internet Data Office (3def0e)

  6. Wiki says Ronald Reagan was born 2/6/11 and became President on 1/20/81, which means he turned 70 years old 17 days after he took office. Close enough.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  7. “Jacksonian code centered on self-reliance, equality, individualism, opportunity and courage”

    How does Indian removal fit under this code?

    imdw (05d41e)

  8. I live in Toledo, OH, a clear-blue district with a heavy UAW union culture. Our Rep, Marcy Kaptur, is rated as “safe” by every site that measures such data. And yet…

    One of the local TV stations runs a facebook page and has had several comment-open threads about healthcare and Marcy’s vote. I’d say that it is easily running 3-1 against the bill and equally to vote her out of office in Nov. Even more surprisingly, there’s a GOP candidate who has the background, the principles, military/local Catholic culture connections, and a tea party patriot. A local boy, he was adopted into a family of means and has made even more – he’s already running local TV ads, has a website, and is on both facebook and twitter. If the local GOP weren’t infighting for control of the party, I think Iott might actually be able to take out Kaptur.

    Luthien Ivey (2f6891)

  9. Comment by imdw — 3/22/2010 @ 5:59 pm

    You can file Jackson’s response to the Indians under:
    Don’t mess with Texas!
    He didn’t like what they were doing, so he did something to ensure that they wouldn’t be able to do it again.
    They were (to him) a foreign threat.

    AD - RtR/OS! (d02306)

  10. AD – RtR/OS! #9 – sorta sounds like the country’s growing reaction to Obamacare and the Democrats, now, don’t it ?

    Alasdair (df44bd)

  11. Jacksonianism has been a powerful political force in America for close to 200 years.
    When the American People get their dander up, it is best to look for cover.

    AD - RtR/OS! (d02306)

  12. “Jacksonian code centered on self-reliance, equality, individualism, opportunity and courage”

    imdw – How does ObamaCare fit with this code?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  13. Close enough.

    Reagan was inaugurated 17 days before his 70th birthday, but he was elected November 4, 1980, 104 days before his 70th birthday.

    Sorry, but it’s not close enough when it comes from Walter Russell Mead, supposedly one of America’s bigshot intellectuals.

    Official Internet Data Office (3def0e)

  14. 104 days before his 70th birthday

    Of course, I meant 94 days before his 70th birthday.

    Official Internet Data Office (3def0e)

  15. “They were (to him) a foreign threat.”

    So the code also has a parenthetical that adds “(for whites only)”

    “imdw – How does ObamaCare fit with this code?”

    Jackson would have liked it: It exempts Indians.

    imdw (e66d8d)

  16. Ok, can I say you all look a little lost?

    Here is a direction we can take in California.
    A deliberate, measured, practical, political response.

    Listen up closely DRJ, because it involves Texas too.

    Let us suspend the global warming solutions act of 2006. Right now we need your signature.
    As far as I know we are 400,000 registered voter signatures away from getting on the Nov ballot with an April 15th deadline approaching.

    This would be a direct shot over the bow of the pirate ship Democrat in the state of California.
    Do you want to shake them? Do you?

    Here is a link to my good friend Col. Russel Steele with all the directions you need.
    How to collect California Jobs Initiative petition signatures.

    It is time to crap or get off the pot.

    papertiger (3a3033)

  17. OIDO,

    Mead’s contact information. Go for it.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  18. I don’t see how your link involves Texas, papertiger, unless it helps keep Californians from moving to Texas. But I welcome Californians and anyone who is willing to work.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  19. The fact that he was a hero of two wars, the 1812 and the war for Florida, probably had a little more
    to do with it, than Age, After all who is likely the more Jacksonian of the GOP leadership

    ian cormac (9bc9a9)

  20. imdw’s inner liberal racist shows it’s ugly head!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  21. It involves Texas because Valero, a Texan refinery, which Californians are forced to get much of our gasoline from because of onerous regulations enacted by our legislature, is the principle sponsor of the Anti AB32 initiative.

    papertiger (3a3033)

  22. We do live in the same country, do we not?
    The democrats have set themselves up as Kings.
    When you kill a King you aim for his heart.
    The Democrats heart isn’t in Boston, Texas, or Nebraska.
    It’s in California. That is the base of their power.
    Take out their base. Attack them where they are strongest and the myth that as California goes so goes the country will for the first time become fact.

    papertiger (3a3033)

  23. Texans can’t cure what ails California. Only Californians can.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  24. Pelosi is a menace for the entire country. Try and dodge her, I dare you.

    Having troubles? Other menaces are on the horizon. Soon they’ll be cramming amnesty down your throat.

    So where did that hag Pelosi that’s causing all the trouble come from? And Boxer? And Waxman? And cap and trade?

    We have a common problem.

    Me and my friends (mostly my friends but I like to think I helped a little) have beat the stuffing out of the science part of global warming.

    All that’s left to it is to perform the coupe de gais. We need help. We need advertising.
    It’s not going to come from Arnold.
    It’s not coming from the LA Times.

    The mainstream media will be content to put a blanket over this initiative after all that’s how most democrats get re-elected over and over again.
    The media freeze out of GOP candidates and the non reporting of dem’s indescretions.
    Quick tell me who Nancy ran against last election?

    Anybody? Bueler?

    papertiger (3a3033)

  25. Mead’s contact information. Go for it.

    Mead’s essay was published 25 years ago. If no one has corrected it in all that time, is it considered correct by default? Does it work something like adverse possession? Or should we accept Mead’s version as true because he’s with the Council on Foreign Relations? That wouldn’t be very Jacksonian, would it?

    Official Internet Data Office (3def0e)

  26. @Comment by imdw: Still fits within his philosophy. Whatever happened before he was elected or even born can’t be blamed on him.

    They attacked, he responded. Fits within his philosophy. The fact that 50 years ago someone made some decision that caused some vendetta?

    When I first figured out my own way to live my life, the fact that Mark Anthony killed Caesar is simply not my problem. My focus is on the future righteousness of MY actions.

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  27. After healthcare, Obama allies xero in on climate

    Senator John Kerry, who has spearheaded climate legislation, said that White House officials can now “pour their energy and attention” into the issue after Sunday’s down-to-the-wire vote on expanding health care coverage.

    “In the wake of health care’s passage, we have a strong case to make that this can be the next breakthrough legislative fight,” the Massachusetts Democrat argued.

    “Climate legislation is the single best opportunity we have to create jobs, reduce pollution and stop sending billions overseas for foreign oil from countries that would do us harm,” Kerry said.

    “If we sell those arguments we’ve got a winning issue on jobs, on security and on public health. This can happen.”

    papertiger (3a3033)

  28. @Comment by DRJ: I think you should reconsider. Or did keeping the Internet open by those who cared, without use of weapons or anything other than outrage at the rapes and murders, have no effect in Iran?

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  29. @Mead’s essay was published 25 years ago: Post dox to dispute it then. Or are you just trying to sow discord by posing questions that have no bearing on the accuracy of said information? Again, post dox.

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  30. Are you talking about my comment regarding California, Jeff, or something in the post itself?

    DRJ (daa62a)

  31. Someone appears to be punching at air, eh?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  32. #23 Texans can’t cure what ails California. Only Californians can.

    Comment by DRJ — 3/22/2010 @ 8:15 pm

    We live in a magical age nowadays.

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  33. Re; #31: Not talking about myself, in case that comes across as vain.

    If Californians only bought products manufactured in California, then only the people in California could affect their representatives is really how I wanted to say that.

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  34. OIDO,

    I’m sorry if I seemed to slight your point because you are correct. I gave you Mead’s contact information because, if it were me, I would welcome hearing from you. At the very least, it would be interesting to see what he says.

    My guess is Mead is aware of this error but even if he has corrected it, he can’t control or correct every place it shows up in reprints. Or it could be he was approximating. If so, it reminds me of the way I felt when my oldest, at the age of 2 or 3, pointed out every time I drove 41 in a 40-mph zone. I wasn’t happy, but I always slowed down.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  35. #23 Texans can’t cure what ails California. Only Californians can.

    Comment by DRJ — 3/22/2010 @ 8:15 pm

    That’s the spirit…

    that got us Obamacare.

    papertiger (3a3033)

  36. Jeff and papertiger,

    My comment involved papertiger’s request that people sign a California Jobs Initiative petition. I hope California voters will check it out but I don’t see how it helps to get people from other States to sign.

    In addition, I really don’t see how Texas or Texans can solve California’s budget problems. The problem isn’t that we’re not buying enough California wines. The problem is Californians spend too much.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  37. I disagree, papertiger. What got us ObamaCare is Democrats thinking there is an endless supply of money, and voters who want to believe them.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  38. Jeff and papertiger: Ewwww, never use my name in conjunction with anyone else. LOL.

    As to the point you raise, think mobility. While some may put roots down in an overpriced house and worry about the carpet bunnies, the political class is used to moving from place to place – Ask Morton Blackwell about how that works.

    That affects local politics more than may be evident.

    As to how Texas screwed California’s budget all to hell for years, I can only throw out my trump card “Enron.”

    You guys bought energy for years from people who, because of the commoditization of energy was passed around dozens, at least, of times to jack the price up until every governmental entity was paying or cutting off power.

    Theft. From Texas. From Houston.

    California’s budget woes may be because of laziness by California’s state employees but…the money left to other places. It’s not just entitlements we should worry about.

    Ain’t globalization fun?

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  39. Ah we have a failure of understanding.

    I feel better.

    No, I don’t expect Texans signing Suspend AB32 would be very helpful.

    But advertizing it on one of the widest reaching California blogs – that could make a difference.

    papertiger (3a3033)

  40. Jeff, is there an english translation of your comments?

    By the way, California’s energy woes had almost nothing to do with Enron. Enron’s trading represented a tiny fraction of California’s out of state energy purchases. California’s energy woes came from price fixing at the retail end that took no account of the wholesale price of power.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  41. “Texans can’t cure what ails California. Only Californians can.”

    That means we’re screwed, though.

    lee (cae7a3)

  42. Look we had climategate, copenhagen and a cold damn winter (did you get snow yesterday? I heard it snowed in Dallas.)

    Man the stars are aligned.

    Nancy already has cap and tax passed in the House. The only thing standing between you and all of us living under California style energy austerity, is the US Senate, which is a vote shy of two thirds majority Democrat.

    You trust them to do the right thing?

    papertiger (3a3033)

  43. papertiger,

    It was a misunderstanding, and I think you’re right that it would be interesting to many readers here.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  44. #36 “I disagree, papertiger. What got us ObamaCare is Democrats thinking there is an endless supply of money, and voters who want to believe them.”

    Comment by DRJ — 3/22/2010 @ 10:05 pm

    I’m a fan of K.I.S.S. too. The people who voted the President into office wanted to believe his rhetoric about hopey changey stuff after years of war and the outrageous money grabs during the Bush (Full disclosure, I have fought the Bush family since the Reagan years) regime.

    Obamacare was simply a result of corrupt Democrats in office, since they couldn’t achieve it right away with supermajorities all around, so don’t blame voters.

    It’s also very easy for people who believe in the goodness of man to make the mistake that Pelosi is unaware of economic constraints. There are some people who, as we saw through the mortgage crisis who care less about long term viability as about how much money they can steal until everything collapses.

    Sorry for the long explanation.

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  45. Now you’re talkin baby.

    Big kiss.

    papertiger (3a3033)

  46. #39. That’s so cute. You think wholesale is the price the original person is selling it for. Retail is what you pay for it. How many layers before that? Yeah, that’s the part you ignore.

    Also, I speak Internet.

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  47. Jeff, you really don’t have any idea how California got itself into an energy shortage evidently.

    And thanks for confirming that there was no english version of your comments.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  48. SPQR – this one and his unique form of gibberish has wandered ’round these parts before.

    JD (f086e6)

  49. #41: Just being specific to the topic at hand. The Texas Rangers are always working 24/7 now that they joined the Union.

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  50. #47 & #48: You can’t understand the words I use?

    Renter of this domain, Patterico, am I not welcome? Make a definitive judgment and I will move on, with my friends and allies…

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  51. Thanks, Dr. J.

    I found the full article particularly interesting. That must be due to my Scots-Irish border reiver heritage many of whom have been “American” before there was an “America”, one of whom laid his sacred honor on the line with his signature on a very important document defining this land.

    The only place I fail to match his description is in “racism”. I cannot, possibly, see any logic to “racism” when you are judging a person on his honor, industry, and self-reliance.


    JD (f3a33a)

  52. One of the side effects if suspend AB32 reaches the ballot, Jerry Brown will be forced to campaign on it.
    He doesn’t want to do that – believe me.

    He’ll get his ass handed to him by the Ebay girl if it comes down to that.

    papertiger (74c635)

  53. Well, papertiger, oddly enough Jerry Brown has been showing more signs of sanity lately than during his last period as Governor. Its not impossible that Brown might want to opine on AB32. Running as more sane than the California legislature might be a winnin strategy for him.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  54. #51: What’s the Gaelic word for Boy? I have wanted to tattoo that on my right leg since I was 12…

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  55. Or guy or man or whatever… I was twelve and a boy already… geez… sucks I have to post this to justify wanting a childhood dream to come true…

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  56. Last part of the trainwreck trying to speak anything other than Internet…

    I have always wanted a tattoo in Gaelic (which itself makes me giggle – can we butch up our ancestral language a bit?), any suggested cool Gaelic words?

    Jeff Barea (eff5e1)

  57. February 4, 2010 | 12:02 am
    Jerry Brown’s global warming revenge

    Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to suspend AB 32 California’s landmark global warming initiative are threatening to sue Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown over the cumbersome title and summary his office attached to their “California Jobs Initiative,” reports our sister blog, PolitiCal.

    Rather than adopt the sponsor’s catchy title, Brown has dubbed it: “Suspends air pollution control laws requiring major polluters to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming initiative.

    A report by the state’s legislative analyst last week described the measure, designed for the November ballot, as crippling, but not completely dismantling the state’s efforts to slash its carbon footprint.

    –Margot Roosevelt

    SPQR, I’ll go by what Jerry Brown does, rather then what he says when there’s a microphone in his face.

    papertiger (cd2d67)

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