Richard Miniter over at Forbes:
…The long-term trends are almost all bad news for the left wing of the party.
This week’s fight over raising the federal debt limit exposes a key weakness in the warfare-welfare state that has bestowed power onto the Democratic Party: Without an ever-growing share of the economy, it dies. Every vital element of the Democrats’ coalition — unions, government workers, government contractors, “entitlement” consumers — requires constant increases in payments, grants and consulting contracts. Without those payments, they don’t sign checks to re-elect Democrats.
Like it or not, Obama is not the new FDR, but the new Gorbachev: a man forced to preside over the demise of a political system he desperately wants to save…
The welfare state is unsustainable – eventually, it does collapse upon itself. It must grow larger but it can’t forever grow larger. Eventually, it takes out so much from the productive economy that you don’t have enough of a productive economy to sustain growth. That is, essentially, the condition we are in now – no more than three or four years left of this, good people, and the welfare state goes away.
Better by far, of course, if it goes away via our victory in 2012 – that is better than having Obama re-elected to continue his rear-guard efforts to sustain the failures of liberalism. It will be far less painful, in the long and short run, if we elected a properly conservative/libertarian President and Congress in 2012 who can then carefully inter the welfare state and step by step free up our economy.