Most substance abusers eventually hit bottom—usually an embarrassing and humiliating postbinge episode indicative of a life out of control. Many ignore the wake-up call, but others seek help, often finding it in the form of the 12-step program laid out in 1939 by Bill Wilson in “Alcoholics Anonymous.” The book’s dozen core principles have since been adapted to treat a variety of ruinous addictions.
So why not a 12-step program for Democrats of the 114th Congress? Surely the party’s defeat in November qualifies as an epic bottoming event. Democrats had been on a six-year bender, a progressive bacchanalia of fiscal mismanagement, job-stifling regulation, harmful foreign policy, heightened racial tensions and executive-branch overreach. On Nov. 5 they awoke with a pounding headache, looked groggily in the mirror and saw the smallest congressional minority in nearly a century.
When Congress convenes this week, chastened Democrats will have the opportunity to start afresh. Bill Wilson’s 12 steps seem ideal to free them of the ideological obsessions that have brought them so low:
1: Democrats must first admit that they are powerless over their addictions to spending other people’s money and to imposing more government as the answer to every problem.