Democrats Lose Their Grip on Reality

Apparently, America was an awful place before Obama showed up.

Government is the only thing we all belong to—but, don't worry, you won't have to pay for any of it. That about sums up the Democratic National Convention's case to America, a place where whatever isn't handed to you is actually just being taken away.

Democrats like to claim that Ronald Reagan and William Buckley would be simply horrified if they saw the modern-day GOP; but please take a moment to ponder the spectacular display of bonkers in Charlotte, N.C., this week.

Here you're free to imply or even say that a Republican is unpatriotic (I'm old enough to remember when that sort of thing was frowned upon) for conducting business outside the country. Here politicians celebrate the president's courageous ability to use taxpayer funds to bail out a company that can only avoid another bankruptcy (barely) on the strength of foreign sales. This is called "economic patriotism" or, more familiarly, protectionism or, maybe, Hooverism—the kind of ism Democrats once rejected. Forward!

At the DNC, the head of NARAL argues that being allowed to have free abortions on demand is the high point of the American dream. And a woman whose only claim to fame is demanding free condoms is celebrated as a hero. Julian Castro, who I am assured is the charismatic mayor of San Antonio and a serious person, mocks the "magical" free markets that gave Bill Clinton the soaring economy he bragged about Wednesday night and America 25 years of unmatched prosperity.

Fortunately, Barack Obama evolved on gay marriage a couple of weeks back, or a slew of enlightened speakers would have seemed less so.

But we know that Democrats have a monopoly on caring and a solid grip on a larger moral truth. It frees them up to offer some, um, poetic truths. You know, like, Mitt Romney opposes poor people's owning homes or Paul Ryan wants seniors to be denied medical care and he's all for allowing pregnant women to die in the emergency room. In your hearts, you know it's true.

Outright lies? There were many. For example, the claim that the auto bailout was paid back. Or the claim that Romney-Ryan's Medicare plan would cost seniors $6,400 per year and force them into voucher programs. There is no study—not even one authored by an Obama aide—that backs such an assertion. Ryan's plan allows seniors to stay on the traditional Medicare program if they choose—but we all know that choice only works in tandem with government guidance.

And when Castro, Michelle Obama, Deval Patrick, and Rahm Emanuel assert that the president created 4.5 million new jobs...also not true. If a person were to be extremely generous and pretend that government created productive jobs, he'd still be hard-pressed to avoid the very real fact that though 4.5 million new jobs have been created during the Obama administration, 5.1 million jobs have been lost. As Clinton told us Wednesday night, sometimes we have to use arithmetic.

You know the other accusations: Republicans want to privatize, deregulate, voucherize, embrace unfettered free markets, and cut government down to the bone. And boy, do I wish any of that were actually true.

Democrats say that things are a lot better than they used to be. And if you believe all the things we're hearing, you might wonder: How did we survive in this Godforsaken place before 2008? Were children really left to die on the slab? Were college kids forced to pay for their own journalism degrees? Were people expected to head over to the CVS and buy their own condoms? Did we really suffer through year after year of 5 percent unemployment?

Were we really so immoral before He showed up? Apparently.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Mike M.||

    The left didn't just lose their grip on reality a couple of days ago. It started some time within about the last ten years or so, but they are now indeed completely over the edge.

  • Hyperion||

    Leftism can only remain a good thing, this utopian ideal, when it is still only an idea, when it has not yet been implemented to a substantial degree. Once leftist policies start to actually be implemented, that is when things start to go horribly wrong. Then you see the bafoons who promoted it scrambling around to defend the indefensible. That is what you are seeing right now.

  • ||

    "....scrambling around to defend the indefensible."

    I believe the technical term for that is 'polishing a turd'.

  • Brandybuck||

    Mythbusters showed that if you get a turd of the proper consistency, and dry it out, and are really really careful, you can put some sort of half-ass gloss on it.

    Liberals, on the other hand, are trying to polish a wet and loose turd with a belt sander.

  • $park¥||

    sort of half-ass gloss on it

    I see what you did there.

  • ||

    That must be the new term for jumping the shark. If they are polishing turds on that show then they are out of material.

  • BarryD||

    Reagan may be horrified by today's GOP, but he'd fucking RUN AND HIDE if he saw today's DNC...

  • Ice Nine||

    I have a new "Most Punchable Face" nominee.

  • geo1113||

    Face or faces?

  • tarran||

    I think this is what the early stages of a libertarian victory looks like.

    Essentially, the deviant subculture of politicians is driving out the sane, normal people from the government, like oil and vinegar separating in the bottle.

    Eventually, like in the Soviet Union, the normal people stop viewing the govt as being representative of their interests.

    And then comes the retrenchment.

    I imagine we are feeling the same horror that someone living in Russia in the late 60's was feeling.

  • Tman||

    I've been reading some interesting theories about an optimistic shift in political parties where the left eventually becomes the fringe, and the two parties fighting for control are the libertarians and the conservatives.

    I realize that it's a pipe dream, but I prefer to remain optimistic.

  • Hyperion||

    I see the progs finally taking over the dems completely. It is almost complete now. Then the Libertarians do the same with the GOP. Then can begin the final armageddon of good vs. evil.

  • $park¥||

    Will we have to go to Israel or could we just do it here?

  • Randian||

    You have to go to Megiddo, IIRC.

  • $park¥||

    Well count me out then. I'd hate to go all that way just to watch.

  • JW||

    Essentially, the deviant subculture of politicians is driving out the sane, normal people from the government, like oil and vinegar separating in the bottle.

    I have exactly zero faith in the veracity of that statement.

    If anything, it's a retrenchment of the status quo that learned it can vote themselves new ponies and an affirmation of just how boned we really are.

  • Hyperion||

    We have some plains in the midwest where we can do battle. Megiddo, Kansas. I think that is the place where we bring about the final destruction of the proglodytes.

  • Calidissident||

    If libertarianism ever becomes one of the two mainstream movements in the US, I think the other will be progressivism. Modern conservatism is essentially diluted progressivism with an extra dose of religion

  • Hyperion||

    It is either that or a mix of neocon/socon. That won't save the GOP either. The only hope of the GOP is Libertarians.

    Then we get down to the real battle, the progressives(totalitarians) vs. Liberty. That is what it comes down to, so let's get it on already.

  • aelhues||

    That (Libertarian GOP), is what I think is happening at times, then I talk to friends about the WOD, or simpler things like helmet laws, and I get a lot of push back. It does seem a lot better overall than even just 5 years ago.

  • Calidissident||

    "It is either that or a mix of neocon/socon."

    I think we're saying the same thing. Neoconservatism is basically watered down progressivism and the soconism is the extra bit of religion

  • Rhino||

    more likely the Dems and Repubs join forces to stamp out any sane, liberty minded, opposition to their ideas of centralized control.

  • $park¥||

    You and I may be feeling that horror, but I could pretty much guarantee that we are in the most minor of minorities there. I hate to be the one to break this to you, there aren't many sane people left around here.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

  • $park¥||

    "Every species can smell its own extinction. The last ones left won't have a pretty time with it. In ten years, maybe less, the human race will just be a bedtime story for their children. A myth, nothing more."

  • sarcasmic||

    People view freedom as being free from responsibility, free from consequence, and free from anything that might offend them.

    The idea of liberty is scary and offensive.

    How will you know what to do without someone in government issuing you orders?

    Why would you want to allow people to do things without someone in government giving them permission?

    Anarchy! Somalia! Eleventeen!!!!

  • rts||

    The idea of liberty is scary and offensive.

    "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -- George Bernard Shaw. (Yes, I realise the irony of using a socialist to decry socialist ideas, so don't bother pointing that out).


    This quote is why I'm not as optimistic as tarran seems to be. Liberty will always be dreaded by most, and it isn't until the alternatives become even more dreadful that liberty will prevail. And I believe we're a long way off from that.

    Which is why I secretly wish for progressive and socialist victory everywhere: the faster they get what they want, good and hard, the sooner it will become the more dreadful option.


  • sarcasmic||

    Which is why I secretly wish for progressive and socialist victory everywhere: the faster they get what they want, good and hard, the sooner it will become the more dreadful option.

    I must disagree. The problem with that is that once power is centralized, it doesn't go away. Not until the parasite (government) bleeds the host (society) to death.

    That's the cycle of history. Society rises up from the ashes to become prosperous, as the host grows so does the parasite, until the parasite cripples (which is where we are now) the host before killing it.

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • rts||

    Not until the parasite (government) bleeds the host (society) to death.

    I agree. I don't *want* that to happen, but I believe it is inevitable, so I'd rather it come sooner rather later.

  • ||

    "People view freedom as being free from responsibility, free from consequence, and free from anything that might offend them."

    Sadly you are correct. Freedom is, in fact, the exact opposite of that.

  • Harvard||

    "People view atheism as being free from responsibility, free from consequence, and free from anything that might offend them."


  • jb4479||

    How in the wild world of sports is this a fix, dumbass. The original statement is true

  • Pro Libertate||

    The Democrats seem particularly disconnected from reality these days. In the past, they seemed to understand that the marketplace had to be preserved to fund their socialistic programs. Now, they seem almost completely detached from any meaningful perception of reality.

    I don't think this can last. We still have some remnants of a cultural bias towards the pragmatic in this country that makes it hard to totally ignore reality to the extent the party is today. At least, I think that's true.

    I expect the Democrats to lose pretty big in November, which will make the aftermath interesting. They still have the "not-GOP" position, which means they'll be back in power at some point, but if the GOP actually reduces government spending and presides over an economic lift, that could be a while. Though they're dumb enough to blow even that kind of advantage, in the unlikely case that they do something to fix our many problems.

  • ChrisO||

    if the GOP actually reduces government spending

    That's a pretty big "if."

    There's approximately a smidgeon of difference between Romney and Obama on the things that matter, so a lot of the political hot air over the last two weeks is really more a matter of branding than substance.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The only reason I think it's a possibility is that they can't hold the Congress for more than two years without an economic recovery. There are some actual pro-market elements in the GOP--unlike their opponents--which makes some significant action an outside possibility.

    I don't think they'll do it; it's just possible. It's not if Obama wins, even with a GOP Congress.

    Still voting Johnson in case this clouds where I stand.

  • Hyperion||

    I don't think this can last

    It can't. The Dems have no limit to their gluttony for more 'revenue'. That combined with their no limit for increasing the welfare state to buy votes is sure economic suicide.

    When you have the top people in your party screaming and ranting about the evil rich and swiss bank accounts and even proposing to ban people from ever returning to the US if they don't turn over even more of their money, you are on your way to a disaster.

    The writing is on the wall, but yet they can't change their direction. Clinton saved them once. There is no one to save them from themselves now. Their dear leader is fully ready to march them right off the cliff.

  • sarcasmic||

    Without an incentive to repeal shitty laws and shitty regulation, it is only going to get worse.

    Since no such incentive exists, it is going to get worse.

    Even when the economy completely collapses, no one from either party will admit that dismantling their power is the answer.

    It's going to get really bad before it gets even worse.

  • Hyperion||

    Can't disagree with you. It's going to get a whole lot worse, bar the Libertarians actually taking over the GOP. Even that will take time, so yeah, it's going to get worse.

    And of course, the progressives, who caused all of this to start with, will do what commies always do. They will say they just didn't do enough. We needed MOAR revenue, MOAR welfare, MOAR regulations. If only...

  • sarcasmic||

    They will say they just didn't do enough. We needed MOAR revenue, MOAR welfare, MOAR regulations. If only...

    And they'll get away with it as well. The average sheeple wants government to save them. They don't realize that it's the evil wealth generating corporations that keep society afloat.

    It's disgusting, really. In the name of envy they'd rather everyone live in poverty than allow one person to get rich.
    To them equal poverty is preferable to an unequal distribution of wealth, even if it means a higher standard of living for everyone, because inequality makes them feel bad.

  • aelhues||

    Another thing that makes me hopeful, is the public evidence of party strong arm tactics. The rule change at the RNC, and the late failed vote on adding the god and Jeruselem language, are pretty glaring examples.

    The parties are feeling the pressure of participants that are no longer willing to just tow the lion...

  • Brandybuck||

    Late 60s? Dear God, that mean we still have two more decades to go!

  • $park¥||

    I didn't watch that guy's speech, but every time I see that picture now all I hear is Big Gay Al's voice saying "HI! It's so super to see you."

  • o3||

    castro gave a good speech but my gaydar was in double secret alarm mode

  • kinnath||

    A huge chunk of the general population believe with all their bleeding hearts that society cannot function without government and that government must equalize all members of society.

  • The Hammer||

    No, a small but loud chunk of the general population believe that.

  • kinnath||

    It's a lot closer to 50% than 25%. It is not a small group of people.

  • Rhino||

    Did you see the Peter Schiff DNC ban profits video?

  • Michael||

    And a woman whose only claim to fame is demanding free condoms is celebrated as a hero.

    Harsanyi is being far too kind. As I recall, she wasn't demanding condoms but one of the most expensive forms of birth control available.

  • Jeff||

    What kind of birth control costs $9,000 a year? Monthly abortions?

  • BarryD||

    Weekly abortions, I think.


    $300 x 52 = $15,600

    But I'm sure they have a frequent flyer card or something.

    Or 2500 extra calories per day, over and above one's baseline intake requirement, consisting entirely of Godiva Chocolates. This would be delicious and, most likely, a very effective birth control method, at least after the first month or so. It would gain effectiveness over time, also.

  • OldMexican||

    Democrats Lose Their Grip on Reality

    What do you mean "lose"???

    They were out there along with Voyager 1! Past fucking Pluto.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    No, they're orbiting a certain winged planet whose name I forbear to mention.

  • jb4479||

    No, they're orbiting a certain ringed planet whose name I forbear to mention.


  • Sevo||

    sarcasmic| 9.6.12 @ 12:28PM |#
    ..."The idea of liberty is scary and offensive."

    This is exactly the point; liberty requires that you become, and act as, a moral agent. To become an adult.
    It requires you to make decisions based on the imperfect data which is all we ever have. As such, it requires that you admit that you're mistaken from time to time. It does not allow you to constantly shift the blame to others.
    Quite a few people find that terrifying.
    Shithead, among others, will go to any lengths of dishonesty to avoid that sort of responsibility


    Democrats say that things are a lot better than they used to be


  • BarryD||

    Or worse.

    The "Bush did it first..." canard is everywhere, particularly with the deficit.

  • Randian||

    It is as if they took all of the grossest caricatures of themselves and instead of rejecting them, embraced them.

    Alan Grayson literally said that Republicans want people to die. A DNC primetime speaker said a Republican president would mean "an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms."

    They have lost their minds.

  • Hyperion||

    They have lost their minds

    Their core ideology, everything that they believe in, is a total failure, and they can't let go of it. Losing mind is a natural progression.

  • sarcasmic||

    They never used their minds.

    All they know is emotion, and on an emotional level their arguments make sense to them.

  • Pip||

    "I am Barry's Vagina"

  • Pip||

    I like how the God vote was handled. A perfect example (and televised and recorded for all-time) of it's not who vote but rather who counts the votes. Yes, Dems are that stupid.

  • ||

    I'm leaning more and more towards the parliamentary system. Then the libertarian and green party could be in coalition with either the dems or reps for single-issue resolutions like ending the drug war and/or restoring the fourth amendment etc.

  • Mensan||

    Ending prohibition II would be libertarians versus a coalition of dems and reps.

  • SIV||

    Remember that whole "fusionism" thing?

    The main pushers of the monicker liberaltarian are Reason contributors Brink Lindsey and Will Wilkinson, who are writing a book on the subject titled The Free-Market Progressive: How We Can Use Capitalist Acts Between Consenting Adults to Create Justice, Peace, and Prosperity.

    How'd that work out for ya?

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Finding two progressive consenting adults is the challenge. We're dealing with squalling babies here.

  • SFC B||

    How'd that work out for ya?

    Poorly?!?! Is that the answer? I think the answer is poorly. Can I phone a friend?

  • Paul.||

    The thing that saddens me the most is how readily rank and file democrats are willing to accept that Romney is a gay-bashing right-wing fanatic who's going to install an American Taliban in Washington.

    Imagine if anyone proposing real hope and change were to run. A real l(small el)ibertarian wouldn't stand a fucking chance.

    The reduction of the power and scope of government is tantamount to murder.

    I have a gay family member who came very close to suggesting that homosexuality would be made illegal under a Romney presidency.

    No one hates Romney more than I do, and I was forced into a position where I felt like I was defending him.

    The whole thing makes me sick.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I don't care if you use me again
    I don't care if you abuse me again
    Now you can tax me - I don't care -
    You can Barack me - I don't care
    And you can regulate me
    And spend all you want
    You're all I've got tonight
    You're all I've got tonight
    You're all I've got tonight
    I'll vote for you

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    They really went to shit after Candy-O.

  • ant1sthenes||

    They lost their minds when they thought letting Castro speak at their convention was a good idea. What's a politically apathetic swing voter going to think when he hears that? "Shit, I guess they actually are Communists".

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    They've long since given up on trying to appeal to the swing voter. It's full on base appeal.
    Gotta get that gay sex/abortion/free shit demographic to the polls.

  • ||

    I have a gay family member who came very close to suggesting that homosexuality would be made illegal under a Romney presidency.

    No one hates Romney more than I do, and I was forced into a position where I felt like I was defending him.

    I think your gay family member hates Romney more than you do.

    I prolly hate Romney more than you do, or at least tie.

  • ||

    Were we really so immoral before He showed up?

    Now I understand the true meaning of The Second Coming.

  • Superdaclown||

    Do something about it then and stop talking about it. People these days act like the government actually has control screw both parties stand up and say we don't like this. We the people outnumber them. They are nothing without the power you hand to them on a silver platter.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties