CHARLOTTE—What was your favorite unintentionally revealing moment of Tuesday night’s kickoff of the Democratic National Convention? Was it the welcome-to-Charlotte video whose narrator let slip that “government is the only thing that we all belong to“? Perhaps Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s exhortation to “make the will of the people the law of the land”? Or former Ohio gov. Ted Strickland’s thunderous, populist twaddle about “economic patriotism”?
All of these were fun, but for me the biggest direct reveal of how current Democratic rhetoric leads to bad public policy was one of the evening’s honorary former Republicans, Cincinnati firefighter Doug Stern. “The Republican Party left people like me,” Stern complained. “Somewhere along the way, being a public employee—someone who works for my community—made me a scapegoat for the GOP. Thank goodness we have leaders like President Obama and Vice President Biden who still believe that public service is an honorable calling.”
It was classic major-party Manicheasm: Eastasians do bad things for the simple reason that their hearts are bad; Eurasians’ hearts are good, so they don’t do bad things.
In this idyllic landscape of Democratic magical thinking, there is no state and local budget crises, no unaffordable and underfundeddefined-benefit public pension obligations, nothing at all standing in the way of “investing” in our public safety, except (in ex-Republican Stern’s words) “right-wing extremists.” Vallejo, California is not bankruptbecause of public employee pensions, and the rest of the state is not following suit. It’s a hell of a place, this Democrat-land. Wish I could live there.