Governor Dannel Malloy has more or less appointed himself as a national progressive Democratic attack dog, according to an interview with Time magazine: “Seizing an opportunity in a party depleted of household names not Clinton or Obama, Malloy is rising to the occasion, positioning himself as one of the party’s top attack dogs as the 2016 cycle approaches.”
Hailing from Connecticut, where much of the media has placidly accepted Mr. Malloy’s progressive tax and spend program, there are no attack dogs on the left, and so Mr. Malloy has been permitted to range freely, biting whomever he chooses.
Time mentions a few of his victims: Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is one of Mr. Malloy’s favorite Kong toys. “Such a charitable man,” Malloy said of Christie, his tongue tucked in his cheek. “He has spread goodwill to so many places. He’s really quite remarkable, isn’t he?” Once having described a remark made by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as “the most insane statement I’ve ever heard,” Mr. Malloy was barely able to contain himself as he said Mr. Jindal would be the “toughest one to beat in the Republican field.”
In the face of rather astounding losses – the Republican Party in the last national elections captured the U.S. Senate, having previously captured the US House. Republicans now command 31 of the country’s state houses, “near a high water mark in the modern era,” said the Washington Post in an after-election analysis. Republicans now also control 67 partisan legislative chambers across the country, "five more than their previous record in the modern era, set after special elections in 2011 and 2012."
Mr. Malloy fears Democrats might become a “Republican lite” party. Addressing the winter meeting of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, the chair-designate of the Democratic Governors Association hectored his audience: “When we run as Republican-lite we lose; let us be Democrats once again,” a call to arms that produced a standing ovation.
It must be obvious to everyone but Mr. Malloy that Republicans running as “Republicans lite” in the last election made remarkable forward progress. They beat, for the most part, Democrats who had supported Barack Obama, the most progressive Democrat in living memory whose watchword was “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” Mr. Malloy greeted the arrival of the progressive future with loud and continuing hosannas.
Mr. Malloy, who marches in strike lines and who imposed on Connecticut the largest tax increase in state history, certainly is no shrinking moderate. In Connecticut, what used to be called the vital moderate center of the Democratic Party has all but disappeared. Democrats in the Nutmeg State are all progressives now. The state Republican Party continues to flirt with moderation -- the head honchos at the state central have now assigned a committee the onerous task of reviewing the possibility of opening Republican Party primaries to unaffiliateds -- now that all of its grey-haired moderates have fallen to the hob-nailed boots of progressives.
Mr. Malloy’s admissions to Time are the exact opposite of the truth. Nationally, Democrats fell to Republicans in the last election because they had eagerly embraced Mr. Obama’s progressive programs. In his own state, weak-tea Republican fell to progressive Democrats -- to be sure by slim margins, but it only takes one vote beyond fifty percent to make a governor.
Conservatism in Connecticut is not a doctrine that has been tried and found wanting; it has never been tried, which is why the state is in dismal condition. High taxes transfer entrepreneurial capital from businesses to government functionaries who seriously suppose they can “invest” capital more profitably than the capitalists. Connecticut's crony capitalist governor already has thrown away a good deal of the state’s tax haul bribing national and international business to remain in a state that will flog them with high taxes and burdensome regulations.
Surely the Republican Party in Connecticut can convince everyone – students who will leave the state in search of greener pastures elsewhere, carrying with them their very expensive sheepskins, businesses that reflexively contribute to the winning campaigns of the floggers, the employees of small businesses shuttered because the progressive Democratic dominated General Assembly is adamantly unwilling to entertain real spending cuts, the poor in Connecticut whose vital programs will be shaved by a government desperate to survive yet another fiscal year without alienating state employees -- that conservative prescriptions will work as well in Connecticut as they have in, just to mention one burgeoning state, Texas, whose governor, Rick Perry, Mr. Malloy has often held up to ridicule. But the state Republican Party would have to move off its “moderate” political dime to do this.
And, mired in moderation, it won’t. It just won’t.