The liberal project appears to be ripping apart at the seams in several areas. Some are occasions for rejoicing, while others are not.

That’s not an expression of sympathy in the latter case, but of apprehension. After giving the liberal party control of Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008, the electorate awoke with regard to the House in 2010 (falling just short in the Senate). But left-wing hands remain firmly on the tiller in 50 percent of the legislative branch and 100 percent of the executive. Somehow, though, it’s still George Bush’s fault …

Sorry, couldn’t help that. The reason for apprehension is that as liberal economic schemes collapse, it’s not just those who supported them who get hurt. The nation as a whole suffers.

I’m not echoing Rush Limbaugh’s exhortation of “I hope Obama fails,” but in truth, he meant he hoped the statist prescriptions of the president and his ideological and political allies failed, not the nation.

Still, his wish was actually an accurate prediction, because the goal of an efficient centralized economy has always been illusory — as fully socialist states have shown in the past, and as quasi-socialist states are showing today in the European Union and elsewhere.

But, there are good signs, too, both here and abroad. Let’s consider three recent cases.

While off-cycle congressional races are not bellwethers, two that took place Tuesday indicate the liberal project may be in a bit of a bind with voters.

It was no surprise that a Nevada seat that had been firmly in Republican hands stayed that way, but because the Democrats played the “save our entitlements” card hard, it showed that argument isn’t a slam-dunk way to turn voters to the so-called “saviors” of Medicare and Social Security.

They aren’t, but that’s another column. What’s important here is that there may finally be a chance to talk realistically about those programs without the demonizing tactics of the defenders of the unsustainable status quo having any effect.

The real shock was in New York’s 9th District, once held by Geraldine Ferraro and Charles Schumer and last controlled by the GOP in 1923.

The most recent incumbent, Anthony Weiner, fell afoul of an inability to focus on anything more interesting than his underwear. A Republican Catholic businessman took the seat from a Democratic state legislator who was Jewish and a supporter of same-sex marriage in a strongly Orthodox Jewish area. Thus, SSM was an issue, as was the Obama administration’s lack of support for Israel against a Palestinian push for unilateral statehood.

While NY 9 now becomes the chief candidate to be merged with another district next year, at least Bob Turner will be running as an incumbent in 2012.

People are focusing on GOP candidates duking it out in debates, but substantive arguments over real issues are a sign of health in a political party, not illness. It’s when everybody has to hew to the party line, even when it’s a demonstrated loser, that trouble looms. What party matches which description more?

A couple of new things have happened to damage the alarmist position in the “climate change” debate since I last wrote about it.

First, a group of Swiss scientists working on the CERN particle accelerator project found evidence that the sun’s influence on the Earth’s climate (via how well or poorly it blocked cosmic rays that affect cloud cover) could be much stronger than the so-called ‘majority” position figured when it ran its computer models predicting disaster.

If the models are wrong about that, they are wrong in their overall predictions. So when those who depend on them demand we destroy our economy to “save the planet,” we can now defend ourselves better against their self-aggrandizing statist prescriptions.

Meanwhile, another of those well-credential objectors we are continually told do not exist surfaced this week in Norway, where a Nobel Prize-winning physicist resigned as a Fellow of the American Physical Society over the group’s formal stand that human activity contributed to “global warming” and that strong action needed to be taken to counter it.

Ivar Giaever, 82, a professor emeritus at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and a professor at large at the University of Oslo, said the APS stand was contrary to observed fact.

On Thursday, the International Business Times quoted him as saying he “cannot live” with the APS position statement” on global warming, and he said that global temperatures had been “amazingly stable.”

And Giaever added, “Moreover, global warming has become a new religion. We frequently hear about the number of scientists who support it. But the number is not important: only whether they are correct is important. We don’t really know what the actual effect on the global temperature is. There are better ways to spend the money.”

As the IBT said, “He was also one of more than 100 co-signers in a March 30, 2009, letter to President Barack Obama which criticized his stance on global warming,” and he is one of 700 scientists (more experts who “don’t exist”) who signed a report to the U.S. Senate dissenting from alarmist views.

So, while the economy trembles on the brink of another recession and our leaders continues to press big-government remedies like deficit spending and harsh regulations that will only make things worse, remember there is light in the darkness, too.

M.D. Harmon is an editorial writer. He can be contacted at 791-6482 or at:

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