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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Honeymoon watch: Do not end it too soon 


There are still three days before Barack Obama actually becomes president, and already there are bloggers linked by Glenn Reynolds (as sure a sign of cred on the thoughtful right-o-sphere as there is) who imagine they can see the end of President Obama's "honeymoon." Well, be careful what you wish for. I am one conservative who hopes it is a long time in coming for at least two reasons. First, circumstances are such that we need a president who can act effectively and with credibility at home and abroad, even if he would not always do so in the way I or other conservatives would prefer. Second, because the Democrats hold such large majorities in the Congress, the weaker Barack Obama is the more he will be pulled to the left. He has been able to move to the center in his cabinet appointments, pronouncements about taxes and entitlements, and national security policy because he is so popular, not in spite of it. If Barack Obama weakens quickly few conservatives (other than rank partisans who simply want Democrats to fail) will like the results.


43 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jan 17, 10:10:00 AM:

Fully agree! Unlike the BDSers, we know we are all in the same boat and an ineffective captain will effect us all.
However, it is one thing to pray and hope for his success and quite another to be prepared for when he fails. Chimpy the Kenyan is lazy and has never accomplished anything on his own. Once the pressures get to him, we will see the stresses as his HIV and substance abuse kick in. We will see him less and less as his handlers try to hide his weaknesses. Even some media will start doing their jobs.
Your words, "...act effectively and with credibility at home and abroad..." are amusing. Do you really believe a no talent thief like Hillary will be effective or creditable in representing the US?
Let's see how he handles the first Muslim terrorist attack.
Let us pray and hope that he does well but us also plan and prepare for when he fails!  

By Anonymous Sally, at Sat Jan 17, 11:08:00 AM:

After 9/11 many of the left felt they were cowed into submission for a time because conventional wisdom held that we needed to pull together and any criticism of Bush might be viewed (fairly or unfairly) as intending to tear the country apart. Supposedly they regretted that, many blaming this enforced silence as directly resulting in Bush's free hand to go to war in Iraq. True? I don't know. Maybe.

But now the same thing is happening to the right. Oh, we have so many problems, everything is so horribly critical, we must pull together and mute our objections so the President can succeed. Succeed at what and how? Who knows? Who cares? as long as he succeeds. This is bizarre. And this is how we will end up with unworkable solutions that might never be undone.

Conservatives (apparently such as yourself) must be intellectually bankrupt or never had the conviction of their principles in the first instance if they are buying into the notion that Obama's "success" is more important than fighting for what is right, even if that means taking on a popular President. We should start with refusing to accept today's conventional wisdom, that all of our current problems are worthy of the crisis label (they're not). This is how government gets away with stuff, they whip some problem up as a crisis and it becomes okay to dispense with oversight and accountability and good sense.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Jan 17, 11:54:00 AM:

Anon 10:10 - Please refrain from smearing the next president, at least on this blog. All substantive criticism is welcome, but do the nasty thing elsewhere, please.

Sally - I am not saying that conservatives should fail to criticize policies with which they disagree. Only today I called for a repeal of the corporate tax. My point is that Obama's popularity allows him to blow off the Congressional Democrats, many of whom are promoting truly destructive policies that Obama will either water down or not enact, more effectively than if he were unpopular. Point is, I think his popularity will lead to results that are less offensive to conservatives and less harmful to the country than otherwise. The reason why the left/Bush analogy does not hold (I would say), is that the Democrats actually controlled the Senate and could have, in fact, blocked lots of things that Bush and Congressional Republicans were pushing. The reverse is not really true today, even if Senate Republicans might be able to sustain the occasional filibuster.  

By Anonymous Syd, at Sat Jan 17, 02:26:00 PM:

Bravo, TH. It's because of posts like this that you continue to attract an intelligent and varied readership.

Sally writes: if [conservatives] are buying into the notion that Obama's "success" is more important than fighting for what is right..."

Right? And what pray tell is right? Claiming to be a fiscal conservative while saying yes to every spending bill that crosses your desk? Overseeing the mother of all bailouts? Nationalizing our banks? Squandering the budget surplus and spiking the federal debt by several trillion dollars? WMD? Two recessions? Two unfinished wars? "Stuff Happens?" Encouraging the American people to "Go shopping?" No post-war planning? Body armor? Vehicle armor? Donald Rumsfeld? North Korea? Iran? Putin's soul? Pat Tillman? Torture? Katrina? Heckuva job, Brownie? Rewarding incompetence? Harriet Miers? Alberto Gozales? Disbanding Habeus Corpus? Gutting constitutional checks? Karl Rove? Politicizing every gov't office from NASA to Justice? Weakening emission standards? Medicare reform? Vetoeing the stem cell bill? Twice? Abortions cause breast cancer? Pat Tillman?

Do tell.  

By Blogger Kirk Petersen, at Sat Jan 17, 03:10:00 PM:

TigerHawk, thanks for the link, and the reference to "thoughtful right-o-sphere." BTW, I'm Princeton Class of 1980, and visited my grandparents in Iowa every summer of my childhood.

If the honeymoon ends, it doesn't mean that the marriage is over. Certainly the press is unlikely to ever become as hostile to Obama as it has been to Bush, and I would not want that. All I'm saying is that we will fairly quickly get to the point where the MSM will feel free to criticize The One.

In my post, my main quarrel was with the press, not with Obama. I voted for McCain, but I generally like Obama and certainly feel better about him now than I did on election day. I hope and pray that he will be an effective President [read: Commander in Chief].  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jan 17, 04:03:00 PM:

Hey Syd, you should try life outside the Left wing media bubble, it's a lot healthier.  

By Blogger Viking, at Sat Jan 17, 04:20:00 PM:

Nobody is going to piss on the parade. It's the year of Jubilo in DC on Monday and Tuesday in DC.

And after that there are so many goodies in the bailout and infrastructure packages, and all of it done with out the accountability inherent in increasing taxes because it is borrowed money, that the only fights are likely to be about who didn't get enough. Ray LaHood is the Christmas fairy and the Chicago machine now has the government credit card. It bodes ill for all of us.

Unfortunately what all the brilliant Ivy leaguers in government seem to forget is that borrowed money eventually comes with a price tag.

Don't know if anybody else has noticed but the US currency has been depreciating against most other foreign currencies since the September. The bank bailout is not working, and will continue to suck up everything we can borrow. And the Chinese have stopped buying secondary government instruments indicating that there are limits to their appetite for our debt. For anyone who understands how the over-educated idiots in DC have been balancing the budget, this is not good news.

My prediction is that Obama will be forced into making domestic decisions that are unpopular because he will have no choice because our position internationally will continue to deteriorate. Look for that to be the source of discontent with O and the dems, due to circumstances beyond their control.

Don't know about the rest of you, but I am going to take a double dose of dramamine and unplug the TV on Monday and Tuesday. That's the only way I can stop from being violently ill.  

By Anonymous Syd, at Sat Jan 17, 06:06:00 PM:

Hey, Anonymous at 4:03 pm, you should stop hiding behind your name.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sat Jan 17, 07:44:00 PM:

Lol! As if 'Syd' is any less of an anonymous label.

BTW, where do you get your ideas about conservative beliefs? Alex Jones? Firedoglake? Daily Kos? Stop me if I get warm.

As long as Obama tries to govern from the center (i.e. reigns in the lunatic fringe who seems to think that they are responsible for his election) then I'll likely get along with his administration. When that ends, so does my contentment.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sat Jan 17, 10:24:00 PM:

"Politicizing every gov't office from NASA to Justice?"

LOL, like Obama isn't a stone cold product of the Chicago Dem machine and won't "politicize" everything he gets his hands on. Puh-leeze.

Oops, I'm signing my real name, now you've got to come up with a substantive answer. Damn.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jan 17, 11:08:00 PM:

It's people like syd who make me want Obama to fail just so I can lay as much derision and contempt on him when he does, even if its not his fault. Who cares? Turnaround is fair play after all.

Syd seriously you are a sickening bore and if there's one positive about Bush leaving it's that we no longer have to listen to such insufferable demagogues as you. and don't have to have you and your ilk clog the airwaves and the Internet with you deranged talking points. After poisoning the body politic with your drivel maybe its time to put the BDS aside and celebrate the coming of the one. Because it's awfully tiresome.

And your talking points are about as substantive as a Chuck Norris movie. Pat Tilman, twice? Right because that's Bush's fault. North Korea? Right because there was no issue with North Korea prior to Bush taking office. WMD? Right because no democrat prior to bush nor any administration nor any intelligence agency prior to Bush's term ever uttered the words WMD and Iraq in the same sentence. The Iraq Liberation act of 1998? A fignment of our imaginiation. Two recessions? Clearly all the fault of Bush. A housing crisis and 9/11 had nothing whatsoever do with any of it.  

By Anonymous MarkJ, at Sat Jan 17, 11:23:00 PM:

Well gee, at a minimum, let's hope Obama's inaugural parties don't end up like the ones for that "Notorious" movie:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090118/ap_en_mu/club_stabbing  

By Anonymous DaveinPhoenix, at Sat Jan 17, 11:42:00 PM:

Hey, if good policy is created for the nation, I don't care if a gorilla in a green suit created it. That isn't my expectation though.......but I'll stay hopeful.  

By Blogger BarryD, at Sun Jan 18, 12:11:00 AM:

"First, circumstances are such that we need a president who can act effectively and with credibility at home and abroad, even if he would not always do so in the way I or other conservatives would prefer."

I don't get this.

So you'd rather have a President who does all the wrong things, which have devastating long-term impacts on the future of the country, because for some reason we just need someone to succeed as President?

Where, exactly, do you draw the line?

When "success" means destroying what's left of our medical system?

When "success" means effectively ending entrepeneurship for the next half century?

When "success" means destroying our ability to defend ourselves as a nation?

When "success" means government control over political speech on the airwaves?

When we've officially capitulated to Al Qaeda?

When we've subordinated the Constitution to whatever the kleptocrats running the UN decide is best for America?

When we declare the Democratic Party to be the One True Party?

When we round up all the Jews and gas them?

When?

Unless you're John McCain, you must have SOME notion of how far you are willing to go before you believe you have principles to uphold.

Where's that line?

Why would you want anyone to succeed in doing something that could destroy the country, just to see him succeed at something?

I don't hold my conservative/libertarian principles because I want to pick a side. I hold these principles because I believe that they are the best (or in some cases the only) choices for the United States.

I never "just wanted the Democrats to fail". I'm a patriot, not a partisan, when it comes to that. But I most certainly want the Democrats to fail at doing things I believe to be destructive, even if it costs ME something in the short term.  

By Blogger AST, at Sun Jan 18, 12:20:00 AM:

Honeymoon or no, we're headed for the rocks. I can't stand to watch.

I think that this "stimulus" is as likely to restore the economy as Al Gore is to admit that AGW is a fraud.

Would I like to be proven wrong? Of course, but I don't see the relationship between the press and the president making much difference in whether his program succeeds.

The press already has low approval ratings. Obama's are as high as they're likely to get. Who will the loser be if the media turn on the New Lincoln/Kennedy/FDR?  

By Anonymous North Coast Mike, at Sun Jan 18, 12:22:00 AM:

What makes you think BHO plans to govern from the center? His AG and director of the EPA tell me where he plans to initiate 'Change". The sooner the honeymoon ends the less chance he has to diminish any of my liberties.  

By Anonymous happyfeet, at Sun Jan 18, 12:33:00 AM:

Baracky's honeymoon is just a function of the media. They either do their jobs or they don't. I'm pretty sure we can count on don't. Nothing to worry about I don't think Mr. Tigerhawk.  

By Blogger ljc, at Sun Jan 18, 05:20:00 AM:

Since BO is the New Lincoln, who is going to be BO's Stanton, his Simon Cameron, and his Salmon Chase, or even his McClellan?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 18, 06:51:00 AM:

I hope Obama utterly, absolutely, fails and is quickly revealed to be the charlatan that 47% of the voters already recognize.

I hope the Democrats in Congress are once-and-for-all revealed to the general public to be the utter cretins and thieves that they manifestly are.

This "stimulus" is going to bankrupt the country. It's absolutely insane what is going on. Fortunately, I think it will happen soon, to lessen the pain.

I hope we have a ripping huge depression, so that responsible people like me who have saved money our entire lives are finally able to buy things like houses that have been overpriced for 20 years.

I hope the NY TIMES and similar papers go bankrupt and, should it happen, will be ecstatic beyond belief listening to the squeals of anguish.

I am going John Galt for 4 years and I urge everyone to join me. Figure out every legal deduction, cut back on work, stop spending money, and watch the mayhem unfold.  

By Blogger Kirk Petersen, at Sun Jan 18, 07:12:00 AM:

Anonymous 6:51 (geez, people, make up a name, will ya?), do you hope we snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq, and that al Qaeda and the Taliban drive us out of Afghanistan?

The idea that 47% of the voters think Obama is a "charlatan" is a false premise. I'm one of the 47% of voters who did not back Obama, but I don't think he's a charlatan.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 18, 07:24:00 AM:

Kirk Peterson:

Amazingly, I am also a 1980 alumnus of Princeton. Small world. Elm Club. Brown Hall for 2 years. Nov. 1, 1978 (I think) Springsteen concert at Jadwin (greatest ever). Knowing Eliot Spitzer a little bit (he was a complete jackass at age 18 and what happened to him did not surprise me). Jimmy Carter's economy where no one could get jobs unless they were petroleum engineers. (I feel a resurgence of that last one.)

Good times.

OK, 46.99999% of us think Obama is a charlatan. I happen to have had him as a State Senator for a while, so I KNOW he's a charlatan.

Iraq is already practically won; it will be fully won a couple weeks after Obama is sworn in. The homeless problem will be solved also.

I separate Obama's success from that of our military. Others don't.

I'm bored of this now. Bye.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jan 18, 07:29:00 AM:

You mean a charlatan like a famous Compassionate Conservative that we all know? Promise fiscal and monetary conservativism in the campaign (remember the line ...its your money), then give $9T to idiots on wall street.

I welcome President Obama. I'm tired of justifying and beind disappointed in the actions of a fake Conservative.

I couldn't take another 4 years of justifying the socialist actions of McAmensty. I just didn't have energy.

So I wish President Obama well and remind him that true conservatives want his success, as that means the country does well.

Mike123  

By Blogger Denny, Alaska, at Sun Jan 18, 08:39:00 AM:

Wait a minute! Did someone post that global warming is a, a...fraud? Good thing I was sitting down when reading that. The horror! (Where's Big Al been lately? Off sulking since not being offered a position in the Obama administration?)  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sun Jan 18, 08:47:00 AM:

Few of the commenters have actually responded to my point, which is that if Obama weakens the Democrats in Congress will pull him to the left and the substantive results will get worse from a conservative perspective. Anybody think that's incorrect? I'm genuinely interested in the contrary point of view.  

By Blogger BarryD, at Sun Jan 18, 09:06:00 AM:

"if Obama weakens the Democrats in Congress will pull him to the left and the substantive results will get worse from a conservative perspective"

I do believe this is incorrect.

There is no evidence for it from recent history. Clinton's early weakness, and yes, failures to implement left-wing agenda items, led to his being pulled to the right, not the left, and really soon. Bush was ground down, and moved left.

There is no indication that Obama intends to succeed in any way other than implementing left-wing priorities, either. He knows he can't just forget about Iraq, for example, but I don't expect any leadership from him in that area. He'll leave that to "his people."

His leadership will be found when he tries to sell nationalized medicine, unchecked union power, a massive further expansion of government payrolls, etc. Any failure would be a de facto move to the right; any success would be success only in implementing left-wing programs.

If he is weakened, he will have to look to the opposition for support -- like Clinton.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Jan 18, 09:27:00 AM:

Clinton moved right when Republicans took over the Congressional majority. As far as I can tell, Bush never tacked left after the Democrats took over in 06, but he sure started to veto a lot more items.

A leftist President + a leftist Congress = leftist policies. It's that simple. The question is how far left (considering how much backtracking and 'oh this is more nuanced than we thought' has gone on so far) Obama intends to go. Or how soon before he needs favors from Congress and get drug their direction regardless of his personal beliefs.

As I've said repeatedly, give it 6 months.  

By Blogger Cato Renasci, at Sun Jan 18, 10:02:00 AM:

I understand your point that Obama's strength could enable him to resist pressure from Congressional Democrats to move further to the left. However, that assumes that he is actually a center pragmatist rather than a leftist ideologue.

Unfortunately, based on his history, I think he is a leftist ideologue who uses centrist rhetoric as a 'spoonful of sugar' to make the socialist medicine go down. And, therefore, he wants to appear to be pulled left - which gives him ground to backpedal slightly (the old 'two steps forward, one back) as tactically prudent.

If this analysis is correct, then one can only wish that his honeymoon end yesterday and that he becomes an exceptionally weak and ineffectual president. At least domestically. I think the logic of the world will prevent him from going full Carter, but that's an open question.

In any event, even if Congressional Democratic majorities are strong, the House is up in two years, and, if the majorities grossly overreach -- and Obama is perceived as weak and ineffective -- there is a much better chance of retaking the House and beginning the road to stopping the march to the left.  

By Anonymous Eric the Red, at Sun Jan 18, 11:11:00 AM:

Would someone mind planting the goalposts for being a pragmatic centrist? When Obama volunteered US drilling as part of a comprehensive package, he was a (spineless) liberal ideologue. When he made tax cuts a huge part of the stimulus, and sought 70+ votes, he was a liberal elitist. When he kept Gates on, he was pandering.

At some point, a lie that is stretch has to snap.  

By Blogger PD Quig, at Sun Jan 18, 11:12:00 AM:

Bravo DaveinPhoenix. Enough of this ludicrous, false equanimity. Although Obama sold himself, and not his policy ideas, they were right out there for anyone with eyes to see. Having suffered through the disaster of Bush big government 'conservatism,' I am now supposed to give Obama a grace period in which to wreck havoc on what is left of our Constitution and founding principles? For what? So the rest of the world retains respect for the office of the presidency when we Americans ourselves evidently do not? When we were willing to let a glib, neophyte, Chicago thugland pol smooth talk his way past the most basic job description prerequisites?

Tigerhawk, your post is most disappointing. It is my fervent hope that the Obama presidency is a teachable moment for Americans. Instead of congratulating ourselves for electing the first black guy (let's pat ourselves on the back, let's have an orgy of happy reaching across the racial divide), I would like to see a new generation of Americans educated as to the dire ramifications of electing a weakling who was unprepared for the challenges of office he sought. Evidently further pain is what is required to wake up the other half of the nation. We're about to see if we can keep our republic.  

By Anonymous brian, at Sun Jan 18, 11:13:00 AM:

What strength? Obama has no strength beyond his media presence.

Pelosi has already told Obama how things are going to be.

This country is going to be dragged left at a violent pace.

Wishing for Obama's "success" is to wish for the destruction of America, as "success" for Obama means socialized medicine, AGW abatement enshrined in law, and a collapse of the economy.

Unless by "success" you mean he's going to suddenly decide to do what conservatives and libertarians think is good for America.

In which case I have this Unicorn that farts rainbows I'd like to sell you.  

By Anonymous Augustus, at Sun Jan 18, 11:38:00 AM:

"Right? And what pray tell is right? Claiming to be a fiscal conservative while saying yes to every spending bill that crosses your desk? Overseeing the mother of all bailouts?...."

While I am 100% simpatico on the importance to the country of avoiding Obama Derangement Syndrome, I first want to comment on how it is astounding to me to see jut how effective the Democrat's strategy of comparing Obama to Bush continues to be. Bush wasn't going to be president any longer no matter what happened. No matter what. Yet, still, the mantra of "Obama will be better than Bush" persists, despite the total irrelevancy of the comparison.

Further, the extent to which that list chronicles Bush's failures (and much of it is simply the opposition's talking points and invalid) is largely to the extent to which Bush behaved like a liberal. Obama is going to INTENTIONALLY pursue many of those same "failures". Greatly increasing the national budget and the degree to which government impinges on the daily lives of citizens is NOT failure to Democrats. That IS their goal.

My hope for Obama's success is only there because it is underpinned my by hope for the success of America. This contrasts with the DU/Kos/HuffPo crowd's greater allegiance to ideology than country. I have no illusions about the efficacy of his stated policy goals, and I expect many of them to create a much weaker nation if enacted, but on issues of foreign policy in particular, I hope his cockamamie plans pan out. Again, I don't think they will. I think the best we can hope for is that he abandons much of his core liberal philosophy the way Clinton did.

I will be as loud a critic as I possibly can be for the next 4 years, but with a reasoned and rational tone rather than insane hatred so characteristic of the last 8. There are far more dangerous monsters than Obama, both in our government and in the world, and I hope he is able to stay between them and us.

Having said all that, if such things as a new AWB and a reinstatement of the draft happen, look, look for me to become completely unhinged to such a degree that will make even Cindy Sheehan appear a calm voice of reason :)  

By Anonymous El Cid, at Sun Jan 18, 12:44:00 PM:

If Obama sets out to destroy the energy infrastructure of the US then he should be made to fail. If Obama sets out to destroy the US military while setting up a civilian corps of similar size and funding meant to support his own aims right or wrong, then he should be made to fail.

There are many reasons why good people whether conservative moderate libertarian or socialist would want Obama to fail, justifiably.

This is the real world where actions have consequences, not a namby pamby panglossian polyanna world.  

By Blogger Robohobo, at Sun Jan 18, 12:51:00 PM:

TiggerHawk, you said:

"Anon 10:10 - Please refrain from smearing the next president, at least on this blog. All substantive criticism is welcome, but do the nasty thing elsewhere, please."

I will post once here. (BTW, I thought this was a conservative house.) I will give PEBO all the respect the Leftists gave my POTUS, GWB. In other words, none.

Have a nice day!  

By Blogger Mimi, at Sun Jan 18, 01:03:00 PM:

"Chimpy the Kenyan" (Anonymous 10:10)- IMHO, that should have been flagged and removed by the host.

Just sayin.

.  

By Blogger johnsal, at Sun Jan 18, 01:15:00 PM:

We know nothing about Obama. His associates speak of his familiarity and comfort with Chicago corruption, racial demogoguery, and radical left political philosphy. He has made statements supporting a left-leaning policies, all the way up to a "dissatisfaction" with the original, and only, version of the U.S. Constitution. This history, accumulated over a couple of decades, points in one direction only for his decision making.

Now, on the other side, there are conservative/libertarians whose core beliefts are freedom to conduct private affairs privately, a Constitution which includes the IXth and Xth Amendments, and "free" market economics. Presumably, those who hold these beliefs hold them for a reason, that in the real world, this way of thinking has led to positive outcomes, in contrast to the hard left governments, from pre-Thatcher Britain to Pol Pot, have been uniform failures, often with deadly results.

This kind of thinking seems to be at odds with Obama's history and rhetoric. However, so far, as President-elect, he has not shown a decidedly hard leftist set of policy prescriptions. His rhetoric has been mostly center-left and his Cabinet selections have been decidedly practical, given the inherently corrupt nature of Democrat politics. The question, then, is how will he govern? It seems to me an early indicator of where we are headed will be his relationship to the hard left dominated Congress.

If we have the strength of our convictions and can see through the media spin and perpetual campaign mode that Obama will try to take advantage of from day one, all policies which we know will have negative short, medium and long term consequences must be vociferously and cogently opposed tactically and strategically from the outset. A "honeymoon" will last as long as Obama's willingness do what is right. How long will that last? I'll be watching the second hand on my watch.  

By Blogger BarryD, at Sun Jan 18, 01:31:00 PM:

I have only one thing to add, in full agreement with johnsal:

Thomas Jefferson didn't say, "The price of freedom is giving each new President a nice long honeymoon period, regardless of his character, beliefs, or goals."  

By Blogger halojones-fan, at Sun Jan 18, 03:41:00 PM:

HURR DURR HUSSEIN OBAMA

Okay, can I join the club now? Thanks.

I agree with what Tigerhawk says in his essay. The last eight years, for whatever reason, have severely undermined the authority of the POTUS position. I think that it's important that there be a President who we can all at least agree A: is worthy of respect, B: is geniunely working in the country's best interests in an open and honest manner, and C: understands that this is not the US Air Force and we all aren't going to just shut up and soldier.

Hate is addictive, and the country has been on eight years of a hate-the-President bender. We need to get that monkey off our backs, and Barack Obama is our rehab counselor.  

By Blogger Seerak, at Sun Jan 18, 03:54:00 PM:

After 9/11 many of the left felt they were cowed into submission for a time because conventional wisdom held that we needed to pull together and any criticism of Bush might be viewed (fairly or unfairly) as intending to tear the country apart.

Bullship. The Left were afraid that the stark light of 9/11 would reveal the essentially anti-American nature of their core philosophy, in a manner that might re-awaken latent Americanism in the mainstream -- a development that would set them back decades. So they hid.

Sadly, Americanism did not undergo that revival; what we heard in the aftermath was not the rediscovery of what Americanism actually is, but merely the empty "Country first" sort of ersatz "patriotism" that conservatives embrace.

Once it was clear, after a few days, that the media had successfully damped and misdirected America's anger and the real danger had been averted, the Left came back out from under the rocks, bolder than before, and here we are.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Jan 18, 04:57:00 PM:

"Few of the commenters have actually responded to my point, which is that if Obama weakens the Democrats in Congress will pull him to the left and the substantive results will get worse from a conservative perspective."

OK. That's a reasonable counterintuitive thought, but I think the (non-counter) intuition is correct. The stronger Obama is the more of his leftist agenda will be enacted, even it isn't quite as leftist as some conservatives fear. A weak Obama would mean more Congressional gridlock, and less being "accomplished". Also (related to the last point) if Obama weakens Republicans may rediscover their spine. Right now even most conservative Republicans in Congress don't want to rain on the coronation, I mean parade...  

By Blogger BarryD, at Sun Jan 18, 06:59:00 PM:

"I think that it's important that there be a President who we can all at least agree A: is worthy of respect, B: is geniunely working in the country's best interests in an open and honest manner, and C: understands that this is not the US Air Force and we all aren't going to just shut up and soldier."

I fully agree.

That's why I most certainly can't agree that we should all fall in line behind Obama.  

By Blogger halojones-fan, at Mon Jan 19, 01:24:00 AM:

Gary: Obama's Presidency is going to be a repeat of Bush's Presidency. This is because the current state of affairs is entirely reactive; the President will mostly be dealing with pre-existing situations, as opposed to having to invent new ones. And Bush's actions were the same way; anyone with even a basic security clearance could find intelligence that justifies everything Bush has done. Bush is Eisenhower; everyone thought Ike was a flake, but fifty years on we're suddenly learning that he was right all along but it was all secret. Once it's acceptable to admit the extent of Iranian and Syrian involvement in Iraq, people will recognize that Bush wasn't wrong about much of anything.

BarryD: HUSSEIN OBAMA! HUSSEEEEEIN OBAAAAAAMAAAAAA!!! Do you actually have anything to say, here, other than "nawt mah prezzydent"? Any proof, any hard evidence or clear direction? Anything other than sour-grapes pissing-in-the-neighbor's-pool? Look, McCain lost, and he deserved to lose. GET PAST IT. You are acting in exactly the way that Tigerhawk says is a bad idea, and from what I see you have no justification for it other than "well they did it to me, so I'm gonna do it to them now, NYAH!"  

By Blogger North Dallas Thirty, at Mon Jan 19, 02:05:00 AM:

"Few of the commenters have actually responded to my point, which is that if Obama weakens the Democrats in Congress will pull him to the left and the substantive results will get worse from a conservative perspective."

That, in my opinion, is dependent on the belief that Obama is not a lefty in the first place. Given his past record of talking pragmatism and voting leftism, it's simply not a good gamble, in my opinion.

The key here is remembering three facts:

1) Democrats' control of Congress is based on the so-called "Blue Dogs".

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123214833023191881.html

2) The farther left the Obama-Pelosi-Reid axis goes, the more stark the choice these "Blue Dogs" face: buck your own party or lie to your constituency

3) These "Blue Dogs" are less than two years away from having their constituency vote on their continued existence in office.

By and large, the Congressional Democrats who have been able to gain seats in the past two elections have been doing so, not by running on what Pelosi, Reid, and Obama want to push, but by running on the exact opposite. The faster Pelosi, Reid, and Obama start running left, the more obvious it will be to the American public how much of a bill of goods they've been sold -- and we can get a repeat of 1994.  

By Blogger DEC, at Mon Jan 19, 04:01:00 PM:

"everyone thought Ike was a flake"

Everyone?

I never met anyone who did. And I had Democratic politicians in my family. Ike was a father figure to many Americans--especially many WWII vets. He was a poor public speaker. Some people said he played golf too much. Some people said he delegated too much to underlings like John Foster Dulles. But I never heard anyone say Ike was flaky.

Yes, some center-left historians have changed their opinion of Ike in recent years, giving him more credit for his achievements than they had in past years. But a majority of Americans in the 1950s liked Ike.  

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