This is your Congress on Hope

Rep. Maxine Waters is on the House Financial Services Committee — and clearly doesn’t know the first thing about the banking industry.

Moe Lane asks, “How’s that Libertarians for Obama thing working out for people?” He has in mind Megan McArdle, who (a) voted for Obama, and (b) has belatedly realized that her vote has empowered the likes of “Kerosene Maxine”:

[S]he clearly doesn’t have the first shred of an inkling of a clue of how said financial system works. Her questions had the air of someone who couldn’t quite wrap her mind around the complexities of the E-Z Reader consumer activist pamphlets from which she had presumably cribbed them. . . . This is the crack talent that’s supposed to reform the banking system into something more robust?

Waters got the nickname “Kerosene Maxine” (so dubbed by Larry Elder) for her inflammatory rhetoric during the Rodney King/L.A. riots episode 17 years ago, when McArdle was still a teenager.

This goes to show one reason I’ve been amused by the entire “Obamatarian” phenomenon. Most of the libertarian types who supported Obama are impossibly young. McArdle is 36 and probably ought to know better. If you’re under 30, you weren’t even in high school the last time Democrats controlled both the White House and Congress. And Bush totally sucked, dude. So you think, “Hey, let’s let the other guys have their turn.” Only later do you realize who the Democrats actually are, and it ain’t pretty.

I’ve gotten some grief for my “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Bob Barr” T-shirts (only $9.99!), but it wasn’t because I wanted Obama to win. It was a protest against the tone-deaf stupidity of a Republican Party that thinks it can nominate a 73-year-old short, grumpy, bald RINO for president and expect anything except complete embarrassment. Say what you will about Sarah Palin, she is (a) attractive and (b) an actual Republican.

I’d been a yellow-dog Democrat my whole life and proudly plastered a Clinton-Gore bumper sticker on my car in 1992. But from Day One, Bill Clinton and the Democrats set out to make fools of us “Sam Nunn Democrats,” and the 1994 “assault weapons” ban was the straw that broke the backs of a lot of us yellow dogs. I wouldn’t vote Democrat again if you put a gun to my head, but after the experience of being screwed over by the Democrats, I’m not going to be a doormat for the GOP.

The Jellyfish Caucus — spineless worms like Arlen Specters and Susan Collinses — are not the kind of Republicans an ex-Democrat can support. If we were OK with Big Government liberalism, we’d still be voting Democrat. This is the heart of my grievance against David Brooks and his “national greatness” idiocy. The constituency for “national greatness” could meet in phone booth, whereas the potential constituency for libertarian populism is enormous.

Ronald Reagan was an ex-Democrat, too, which was why he understood the importance of offering a real alternative to Big Government liberalism. The future ex-Democrats are not going to vote for a watered-down Liberalism Lite, and some of the effete elitist intellectuals in the GOP orbit are going to have to get over their craving for a Republican Party that’s “respectable” by the standards of Manhattan, Georgetown and Brentwood.

If the GOP is ever going to recapture power, it will first have to capture the rowdy, hell-raising “Spirit of ’94,” channeling the populist rage of Ordinary Americans whose interests aren’t being served by Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Maxine Waters. And if David Brooks doesn’t like it, to hell with David Brooks.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. (He must have noticed the inclusion of Chris Dodd on that list. Insty hates Chris Dodd.)
UPDATE II: Now, Megan McArdle finds herself having to fight the Arnold-Kling-Is-a-Racist meme stirred up by Adam Serwer. We have arrived in The Progressive Future, where there are exactly two kinds of people: socialists and racists. Dissent = hate. Get used to it.

UPDATE III: Headlined at AOSHQ.

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