A farmer once told me he had a donkey that would do anything he said. When I asked for a demonstration, he walked up to the donkey and hit its head a hard blow with an ax handle.
"I thought you said the donkey would do whatever, you asked," I said. "If so, why did you hit it with the ax handle?"
"Well," said the farmer, "first you have to get his attention."
Just like the farmer's donkey, the first thing you have to do with Democrats is get their attention. Unfortunately, that means you have to wait for an election year to roll around before they will listen. The Democrats passed their so-called health care reform even though roughly sixty percent of American voters oppose it, because the Democrats thought the voters would forget about it by election time.
However, while they were trying for a radical makeover of health care, and then settling for a mishmash that no one liked, their ominous Cap and Trade legislation passed by the House just sat there mouldering in the Senate while the bloom was coming off the Obama rose.
Now Democrats are blaming Republicans for the death of Cap and Trade, but truth be known, many Democrats vainly praying for re-election want nothing to do with passing it in the face of high unemployment and persistent recession. Obama is looking ahead to 2012 and wants Congressional Democrats to "win one for the Capper," but those Democrats know a vote for Cap and Trade is their sure ticket out of Congress.
With a Congressional approval rating of 11 percent, many of them are on the way out anyway. Their only hope is a sudden economic turnaround, and that is sure not to happen if they mess up energy and make it more expensive. The recent modest economic improvements we see are rooted in the markets' certainty that Cap and Trade won't happen.
Democrats know that public attention is focused on jobs, jobs, jobs, and that messing up the economy now will prove that they have been ignoring the voters.
Time to get out the ax handle.