- - Monday, December 30, 2013

The year 2013 ends with higher taxes, more spending and a stagnant economy. The promise of “hope and change” remains as elusive as ever and likely will stay that way until voters give Washington new marching orders in the 2014 midterm elections.

A poll for CNN, released last week, gives Republicans a 5-point edge against Democrats in a generic ballot. Surveys that don’t include the names of actual candidates aren’t worth a lot, particularly 10 months before an election. Voters’ moods and attitudes change quickly. In October, the Democrats were crowing about a 12-point advantage during the government shutdown squabble. But what the latest poll shows is that change lies within the grasp of Republicans — providing they don’t blow it.

We shouldn’t hold our breath. Republicans end 2013 on a high note not because of anything they have done, but because Americans have recognized the lethal side effects of liberal nostrums. What more appropriate image could there be for the global-warming movement than a ship full of climate scientists stranded by the very Antarctic ice those scientists said would soon be melted by global warming. These passengers on the MV Akademik Schokalskiy have awaited rescue since Christmas, yet the icebreaker ships sent to rescue them have also become entangled in the ice.

The foolish scientists predicted that the polar ice caps would melt, forests would catch fire and tornadoes and hurricanes would level cities and flood towns. None of this happened, and 2013 proved to be remarkably mild. If 2013 had an overall theme, it would have been promises made, promises broken. President Obama came into office as a champion of civil liberties who would end torture and close Guantanamo. Guantanamo is still open, and the revelations of Edward Snowden show that the federal government’s unconstitutional snooping on the emails and phone calls of Americans has accelerated on Mr. Obama’s watch. The public is not amused. A Rasmussen poll earlier this year found 57 percent of respondents thought the spy agency fully intended to harass political opponents.

That’s hardly a far-fetched concern, considering the Internal Revenue Service was caught red-handed abusing Tea Party groups because of their political views. When confronted with evidence of abuse by the IRS and the National Security Agency, Mr. Obama has done everything in his power to stifle the investigation, and now everyone notices that the “most transparent administration in history” is actually clouded by mud, fog and whitewash.

The White House sells more Whoppers than Burger King. The one Mr. Obama can’t evade responsibility for is “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan — period.” Everyone knows that’s a lie, served with neither pickles nor tomatoes. Coverage is less affordable. Millions are booted from their health care plans. The website that was supposed to make buying insurance easy doesn’t work. If it weren’t a matter of life and death for so many people, Obamacare would be a comedy.

Perhaps the best news for 2014 is that the nation’s humorless nanny, Michael R. Bloomberg, has turned in his sash and will no longer hold sway over the people of New York City. Hizzoner can no longer use the force of government to fulfill his personal crusades against salt, guns, electronic cigarettes, Styrofoam, trans fats and soda.

When liberals achieve positions of power, they become their own worst enemy because the stuff they sell simply doesn’t work. The common sense and good cheer of the American people is our reliable and constant hope, and we’re counting on it, big time, as we head toward November.

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