The “Left” has had its fit. It’s fearful freakout that the redneck barbarians have indeed, and finally breached the walls. My God, the Obama “dream” is dead and these bastards are going to pound it into the mud! Obama will be an asterisk president. 2 terms sure. First black president sure. But failed. A failed, 2 term president.
And what has induced the freakout primarily is that there is the very real possibility that even history books will record the first black president, the guy so many thought would herald a new New Deal, who would herald a break from the backward bourgeois sensibilities of white picket fence America, as having fallen short – to be kind. The “liberal” black president – in fairness a corporate “liberal” – that fit the narrative perfectly might indeed be seen as failed even by the official scribes of American history. Scribes who very much would like to write of Obama’s success. Such a fate was almost too much to bear and was wholly unexpected.
Hillary would be the protector of Obama’s legacy. Though the Obamas and the Clintons had and have little love for each other Ms. Clinton would protect the Obama mystique (at least such as it is) and make sure that Obama remained the champion he is or was in the eyes of many. The narrative was clear. First black president. Then the first woman president. The Republicans were washed up. “Demographics are destiny” we were told and the Democrats were going to ride identity politics into a great and shining socially democratic future. The bureaucrats would finally and completely take the reins. The concept of “an American people” defined by a general adherence to liberty and not ethnicity was finished. American exceptionalism was finished. Free enterprise would be finally crushed. “You didn’t build that” and that BS. The Live Free or Die spirit would finally see its end. Those gun toting redneck clingers, with their love of “freedom” would be forever marginalized. The enlightened would finally and irrevocably take control. Brussels on the Potomac and then some.
But then the whole damn thing blew up. Ron Paul mounted the first real assault on the gates of the Imperial City. Before 2008 almost no one knew who he was nor of his libertarian ideology. Flash forward 8 years and Ron Paul is as household a name as Obama practically and everyone knows what libertarianism is. And he was “merely” a Congressman from coastal Texas.
In the face of a massive push from Obama’s state, a state that was empowered by a big government Republican in George W. Bush it must be said, Ron Paul mounted a resistance rhetorically. And it worked.
Sometimes people forget that the TEA Party (Taxed Enough Already) descended in a direct line from the Ron Paul Revolution. Sadly for many of us, and I count myself as one of the disappointed, the TEA Party was soon infused with a type of social conservatism. (But despite what many lefty commentators insisted it was absolutely not a racist conservatism. – I should know. I was there. The guys at The New York Times were not. They wanted desperately for the TEA Party to be racist, but it was not.) However, even with this somewhat socially conservative flavor, and hangers on like Rush Limbaugh trying to make hay from the movement, the TEA Party was obviously a massive success. In 2010 the Congress went to the GOP and a new flavor of actual small government “conservatives” (some with serious libertarian tendencies) came to Washington. (Much to the chagrin of the Bush era Republicans.)
In the ensuing years we’d see Occupy Wall Street which sought to mount a leftist critique of the economic situation even if it knew that it couldn’t go whole hog with Obama in office. And indeed Occupy, in ways similar to the TEA Party, but I’d say more thoroughly, was co opted by the powers that be. The AFL-CIO and George Soros, and Nancy Pelosi all sought to associate themselves with the homeless hipsters living in the Obamavilles. At least for a time. Once the narrative turned and things started to get ugly in the Obamavilles the camps were dismantled.
It should be noted that for a while the committee of folks who claimed responsibility for the first Occupy camp in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan were actually holding daily meetings (with permission) in the lobby of Deutsche Bank. No joke.
It was clear almost right from the start that the country was not happy with Obama even if he fit the official narrative. The BIG narrative. The Left was never going to abandon Obama of course but everyone knew that things weren’t going well. The drone strikes. The illegal war in Libya. The dysfunctional rollout and ongoing dysfunction of Obamacare. Solyndra. The rebuke of the Dems in Congress. “Hope and change” was long gone and very quickly. Eyes shifted nervously around Washington and in the august halls of lefty “intelligentsia.” Obama couldn’t blow up in their faces could he? He was too perfect. It was all too perfect.
Plus Hillary Clinton was waiting in the wings. The entire party apparatus would be behind her in 2016. The lane would be cleared. She, as a woman, with the assembled tribal coalition built by Obama and company, with a media that was completely in the bag, with a corporate aristocracy also largely in the bag, and the banks looking to finally and totally close the door on the bailouts with a Clinton presidency, was about as close to a shoo-in as one could have with the presidency. The dominoes were set and primed. All that was needed was to set them in motion.
But something weird happened. Even with the Clinton machine in full effect. Even with the Clinton machine gaming the primaries for Hillary with a system of “superdelegates.” Even with George Soros’ blessing of HRC and the money that comes with such a blessing. Even with the media completely cowed and compliant. Even with everything, Hillary was not a good candidate.
She was deeply corrupt and everyone knew it. The Book “Clinton Cash” by Peter Schweizer knocked the camp on its heels early and it never really recovered. Bernie Sanders then saw an opening and launched an insurgent campaign to the infuriation of the DNC. Then once the neocon-pro-Clinton group, the folks who wanted desperately to see a Clinton/Bush race, in other words a win/win for the establishment, felt they had taken out the only real agent of change in Rand Paul, a strange champion emerged. Donald Trump.
Trump was written off as a buffoon and a blowhard by most Dems in the gears of Washington. He could not and would not present a credible challenge to Hillary. How could he? Just LOOK at him. How would anyone vote for this guy? Women, who vote more than men would never vote for a guy like this, especially when Hillary Clinton was on offer. No way. And now “The Donald” had the GOP nomination? Holy crap. Cue up “Happy Days are Here Again.” The only question was whether the Dems would challenge for the House. The Senate would fall with the coronation of Hills. The dream was alive again even if Hillary wasn’t likeable.
But the dream wasn’t. It died utterly on Election Night 2016. As my wife and I watched the election results roll in in real time on our computers, states like Rhode Island and Delaware briefly flashed red. Now, no one expected these states to go for Trump but that he appeared at least slightly competitive in places like this was news. This trend only continued on through the night. By midnight Trump had won. Despite everything the deplorables had risen up. Trump had picked the lock of the upper-Midwest. And Democrats across the country sat on their couches into the wee hours, gobsmacked.
The sun had just set on Obama’s America for sure and along with it anything Hillary might have brought. And a new sun, an uncertain sun for everyone, Democrat, Republican, and other had just risen. The next day a Trumpian orange glow spread across the American landscape. It was a new day in America. A “morning in America?”
We’re about to find out.