WASHINGTON -- There is an axiom that is adhered to by conservative journalists that explains at least some of what for liberals is this inexplicable election. It is the Taranto Principle. Coined by the inimitable James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal, the Taranto Principle encourages the worst in liberals by reporting politics with a slavish bias. The conservatives can do nothing right. The liberals can do nothing wrong, and besides, they are always more winsome and more intelligent, and moreover they have an aesthetic and philosophical side. Even Vice President Joe Biden has an aesthetic and philosophical side. His malapropisms and goofball pronunciamentos are to be perceived from an artistic and philosophical perspective, as the artiste Chris Ofili's artful uses of elephant dung are to be perceived from an artistic and philosophical perspective.
I am serious. If the art of Ofili, the British-born hustler, were reported as not art but animal waste, he might have learned the rudiments of art a long time ago and become an acceptable street artiste. If Biden were reported to have bungled yet again, he might not say such idiotic things. According to the Taranto Principle, biased liberal reporting brings out the worst in liberals and makes them ridiculous and often unelectable.
Now there has been a huge upsurge of awareness among Americans that we are broke. The president and his Democrats have rung up more debt than all the presidents who came before him. And that debt comes just as the cost of entitlements is coming due for the baby boomers. What has President Barack Obama done about it? He has brought down on the American people Obamacare. He saw how unpopular it was. His favorable ratings in the polls steadily declined, but he went ahead anyway. Now his favorable ratings are down to 37 percent, and he keeps on hollering. Come Tuesday, he will have only the White House staff on his side, and from that staff, there has already departed Rahm Emanuel, Larry Summers, Christina Romer and a handful of others who still can get a job.
The upsurge of awareness is led by the tea party movement. It is composed of fallen-away conservatives and independents, with a smattering of Democrats thrown in. They are a welcome arrival to the conservative movement. The American conservative movement has moved steadily from the outer fringes of American politics in the 1950s to the center. America is now and has been a center-right country. Do you remember but two years back all the talk about conservatism's being dead? At the time, conservatives outnumbered liberals by a 2-1 ratio.