The Banality of Liberal Rhetoric

One way to tell that progressivism is a weary, used-up creed, sustained only by raw power, resentment, and dreamy grasp of reality, is to listen to their increasingly banal cliches.

Yesterday Rick Caruso ran ten points ahead of his pre-election polls to finish  about six points ahead of leftist Karen Bass to be the next mayor of Los Angeles. (Pre-election polls had Bass around 36-37 percent, and Caruso around 32. They’re still counting, but it looks like it will come out something like Caruso 43, Bass 37.  If Caruso in November gets half of the vote that went to other candidates, he’ll win.

But of more interest is Bass’s spin. Here’s the New York Times account:

Ms. Bass’s campaign has sought to address with urgency the fear and anger animating many voters while acknowledging that fixing the city’s deeply rooted problems will take systemic change — and, crucially, time. She has highlighted her connections to the state and federal governments and has said she would leverage those ties to bring more aid to help move people off the streets.

You can come at this in a superficial way,” Ms. Bass said of addressing homelessness. “That is not going to address the problem unless we align all of the resources that this country has to offer and certainly that our city has to offer.”

Gosh. Using your connections to other nodes of government (and pick their pockets as much as possible)! Making better use of the resources of Los Angeles! Such innovation! Why didn’t the current progressive Democrat mayor, Eric Garcetti, think of any of this? Why didn’t the progressive Democrat mayor before him, Antonio Villaraigosa, think of this? Or the liberal Democrat before both of them? They must have all been really dumb and/or incompetent.

Chaser: One of the other telling comments in the Times story is from a Bass ally on LA City Council, Mike Bonin:

“She and I share the same values about what government should be doing to help people and share the same perspective that it’s vitally important to address the structural root causes of problems, even when that doesn’t have immediate political payoff,” he said.

Translation: we’re not going to do anything serious to reduce homelessness or crime. Because that’s what talk about “root causes” always means. Angelinos: get ready for more tax increases if Bass wins. Like “root cause” liberalism, when someone like Bass says “We can’t come at this in a superficial way,” it means that her administration will only come at the problems in a superficial way, with “more spending” on the problem being the chief metric of “success.”

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