Over in a Barrel, Democrats Hurtle Toward the Rocks Below

A few months ago, the Democrat-Media Complex was brimming with bravado: this fall’s congressional elections, the story went, were sure to rebuke the gauche interloper Donald Trump and swamp him and his minions in a giant “Blue Wave” that would restore Democrats’ control of the legislative branch, launch impeachment proceedings in the House, convict him in the Senate, and drive him from office as the wronged Dowager Empress of Chappaqua resumed her rightful place in the People’s House. Et voila! The restoration of the old order and a new tsunami of “progressive” regulations would ensure nothing like Trump would ever happen again.


Far from believing in the coming restoration of the Democratic Party, the donkeys find themselves adrift in Lake Ontario, having gone over Niagara Falls in a barrel in a burst of high animal spirits and are now clinging to what’s left of the staves and wondering what the hell happened.

Gone is the cocksure attitude that victory rightfully would be theirs because they are on the “right side of history.” In its place has come a series of Trump Administration Supreme Court victories (putting paid to the forced financing of public unions, upholding the Muslim travel ban in the teeth of lower-court judicial activism, and handing religious freedom a couple of major wins that have shaken the Dems to their core.)

Lastly, earlier this week, came the unkindest cut of all: still smarting from the GOP’s refusal to give judge Merrick Garland a hearing for the Supreme Court vacancy occasioned by the sudden death of Antonin Scalia in 2016, the Democrats could only look on haplessly as Anthony Kennedy (one of their relative darlings, thanks to his tie-breaking gay-marriage vote) announced his retirement. This paved the way for Trump’s nomination of D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to cement a solid 5-4 conservative majority on the court, with the possibility of still more vacancies to come in Trump’s first term alone: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and Stephen Breyer is 79.

The Left vs. the Constitution
And so, after less than two years of the Trump Administration, the eight long years of Barack Obama are already being relegated to the ash heap of history. Obamacare is enduring a slow
dismantling, bit by bit, rather than an outright repeal and some of Obama’s race-based policies regarding education are being rolled back as well. In a way, this death by a thousand cuts is a more fitting demise for the Obama “fundamental transformation,” since its prescripts were largely instituted by stealth, accretion, strictly by fiat, and wholly untethered in constitutional principles.

And that’s the problem—the modern American Left has no faith in the Constitution (in fact, it loathes it), and on its long march through the institutions it has sought to diminish our founding document via emanations and penumbras of phantom “rights” whose existence, like that of Planet X, can only be inferred but not proven. What the panicking Democrats see as a hijacking of their country is, in fact, a restoration of basic American principles that have been nearly Alinskyed to death via the practical application of critical theory—a cultural battering-ram that has been used to lethal effect against such institutions as the family, religion, and patriotism.

At the root of the cultural-Marxist panic is the fear of rollback, which displays weakness, which they cannot afford. As I’ve long observed, the American Left essentially subscribes to the Brezhnev Doctrine, which stated that once a country had gone Communist, it could never go back, and would be prevented from doing so by force (e.g., Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968) if necessary. Never mind that most of the legislative victories of the leftist manifesto since the mid-‘60s have come via the courts, not the ballot box; the fate of “progressivism” is too important to be left the will of the grubby Little People in whose name the Left insists it acts but for whom it holds nothing but contempt. For them, to lose even an inch is tantamount to losing not just a mile, but the whole race.

For years, the Left was used to getting its own way in the federal courts, including the Supreme Court. Their tools included offense—the discovery of hidden rights nowhere mentioned in the Constitution but simply willed into existence—and defense, such as whenever a lone federal judge decides to issue a nationwide injunction against the president. The notion that a single, unelected member of the judicial branch (which in the case of the lower courts, Congress actually controls) can overturn the policies, duties, and bailiwicks of a duly elected Congress or president is so fundamentally undemocratic as to be breathtaking in its effrontery; each judge a potential petty dictator unconcerned with the will of the people.

But so effectively has the Left implanted the notion of “higher loyalties” and of an abstract “rule of law,” that it was simply accepted instead of laughed out of, well, court. No longer. In the travel ban opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas took note of the absurdity of such injunctions and gave the Progs fair warning that the days of bowing before their gods are coming to an end.

Overturning Roe and the Myth of Unfettered Abortion
What’s really got their knickers in a twist, however, is the suddenly looming prospect that one of the Court’s worst decisions ever, 
Roe v. Wade, is now a 5-4 vote away from extinction, which is why they have gone to the mattresses in order to derail the Kavanaugh nomination. So crazed have the Democrats become at this prospect that they’re even willing to sacrifice some of their red-state Senators (who might be tempted to vote for Kavanaugh to hold onto their seats) on the abortion altar, even if it costs them the Senate and results in an even more contracted minority. Why?

The answer is psychological. If and when the Supreme Court overturns Roe abortion will remain legal in all 50 states until such time as some state legislatures begin crafting restrictions and even outright bans. That’s not likely to happen in places where Democrats congregate; if Alabama wants to ban abortion, what skin is it off the liberals’ noses? They don’t want to live there anyway.

But the Democrats have largely built their base—and the myth of “progressive” inevitability—on the issue of unfettered abortion, thus revealing their true selves and the future they have in mind for America. A revocation of Roe would be like the scene in The Wizard of Oz when the curtain is pulled back on the great and powerful Oz and the entire Democratic project of the past 75 years is finally seen clearly as the inimical fraud that it is and always has been.

So over the side they go, taking their pipe dream of 16 years of malevolent progressive with them. There’s no chance they’re going to stop Kavanaugh, and they know it. The noise you hear is not shouts of triumph but screams of horror from the Democrats as, too late, they realize that the mighty river of American exceptionalism is now hurling them over the cliffs, and will pound them to pieces on the rocks below.

Have a nice trip.

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About Michael Walsh

Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and foreign correspondent for Time Magazine, for which he covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints (winner, 2004 American Book Award for fiction), and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the recent nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace. A sequel, The Fiery Angel, was published by Encounter in May 2018. Follow him on Twitter at @dkahanerules (Photo credit: Peter Duke Photo)