I can’t imagine how you can think philosophy and wine are similar—except in this one respect, that philosophers sell their learning as shopkeepers their wares; and most of them dilute it, too, and defraud customers — Lucian, “The Sale Of Philosophers”
The Democrats' problem in Connecticut is simple: you can’t sell a failure to someone who has experienced the failure. Working class citizens in Connecticut are poorer now than they were before Dannel Malloy became governor in 2011 and after more pending tax increases, they will be poorer still. The assets sunk in their property have been devalued; workers in the private marketplace haven’t had raises in years; college tuition for their children has increased, along with their inability to pay metastasizing tax increases; despite the insistence of reigning politicians that the future will be rosy under an enlightened, progressive administration, their recent, remembered past has been a nightmare. The clunker doesn’t move forward or backwards, and the guy and gal yelling in the front seat – buy, buy – have by now lost all credibility. Promises have become pretentions – diluted wine, false philosophies.
This roiling discontent lies just under the surface of Connecticut politics. It is only a matter of time before the general unease blossoms into a quiet rebellion, except in places like Hartford, where despair has murdered hope. Hartford, Connecticut’s Capital City, is on the point of bankruptcy, economically, politically and spiritually. So are the state’s other large cities, most of which, for the past half century, have languished in the iron grip of a Democratic hegemony.
Malloy’s progressive administration has now become a tar pit over which should be hung the motto “abandon hope all ye who enter here.” As a practical matter, this means that no Democrat directly associated with the dying, problem infested, progressive regime of Malloy will have an unquestioned chance of being elected governor. The spoils that went to victor Malloy in the 2011 gubernatorial race have now been spoiled by Malloy and a tax hungry Democrat dominated General Assembly.
Increasing taxes during a national recession has had the effect in Connecticut prophesied in 1990 by soon to be Governor Lowell Weicker. Increasing taxes during a recession, said Weicker, would be tantamount to pouring gas on a fire. His prophecy, which Weicker quickly discounted once he became governor and found he needed an income tax to spare a largely Democrat General Assembly the necessity of cutting spending, has been borne out by progressive Governor Malloy, who twice imposed crushing taxes on Connecticut’s real working party, Connecticut’s taxpaying middle class that has, so far, shouldered rising expenses, even as the state has suffered from two major recessions prolonged by politicians averse to long term, permanent spending cuts. This overburdened proletariat is now poised on the edge of a quiet rebellion that may not be detected by the usual polls. Connecticut’s cities, long the political preserves of ruling class Democrats, also are restive.
A candidate for governor on the Democratic ticket who has not been directly involved with the dystopian Malloy regime probably would stand an even chance of retaining the governor’s office for Democrats. Most gainfully employed state Democrats in Connecticut have been soiled, in one way of another, by attempting to sell clunkers to an awakening voter base. The progressive tar staining their politics -- when in doubt, tax; resist permanent, long term spending cuts; eat the rich -- has become glaringly obvious.
The question arises, where can such a champion – economically and socially moderate, as are most Connecticut voters, and detached from the ruinous policies of the Malloy administration – be found within Democratic Party ranks?
One obvious answer is – outside the magic circle of those Democrats directly implicated in active state politics. A strong, moderate Democratic mayor might do, distance and separation from the architects of Connecticut’s long winter of discontent being a plus. Any moderate member of Connecticut’s all-Democrat U.S. Congressional Delegation might turn the trick. Recruitment could be a problem. Connecticut U.S. Senators Dick Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both unrepentant progressives, appear to be enjoying themselves obstructing the Trump regime. And Democrat king-makers will remember how long it took to dislodge Blumenthal from his plush, status driven position as Attorney General.
Three U.S. Representative in the state’s Washington delegation – Elizabeth Esty, Joe Courtney and Jim Himes – find it useful on occasion to affect moderation. All have the requisite experience and brains to guide the state in a non-progressive direction. But there is a problem; politicians so comfortably situated are unwilling, as a general rule, to leave distant, quiet waters and bravely engage the stormy tempest at home.
It is sad but true that Connecticut’s politicians have little in common with the state’s hero, Nathan Hale, who regretted that he had but one life to give for his country, and then surrendered it up for posterity. The number of Connecticut politicians willing to die politically so their state might survive and prosper is disappointingly small. Too many fraudulently dilute both their wares and themselves.