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At the philosophical level, Obama attempts to reconcile the conflict between individualism and collectivism that is at the root of the debate over the role of government by arguing that “our individualism has always been bound by a set of communal values, the glue upon which every healthy society depends.”
In a sense, President Bush has already paved the road for a figure with Obama’s skills to reassert liberalism. Under Bush, the size of government has increased at a faster rate than during any administration since Lyndon Johnson’s, and it has given us the monstrosities of the Medicare prescription drug benefit and No Child Left Behind. Rhetorically, Bush gave away the store by touting “compassionate conservatism “and notoriously uttering, “When somebody hurts, government has got to move.” Considering that this all came from somebody identified as a conservative president, Republicans are left with little leverage to argue against Obama’s “slight change in priorities.”
IN THE 2004 NEW YORKER PIECE, Dan Shoman, Obama’s political director at the time, spoke about people “drinking the juice. “Once volunteers “start drinking the Obama juice, “Shoman said, “you can’t find enough for them to do.”
That was apparent on a rainy Saturday morning in Manchester, New Hampshire, where about 550 supporters gathered to hear Obama speak before departing for a door-to-door canvassing effort to ask New Hampshire residents to urge the state’s Republican senators, Judd Gregg and John Sununu, to change their votes on the Iraq war. Obama has pointed out in recent campaign appearances that, “we are just 16 votes short from bringing this war to a close.” The effort served a dual purpose, as volunteers were also instructed to ask voters which candidates they were leaning toward and what issues were most important to them. Considering it is only May, the turnout was impressive.
“We see him as a bridge to a better vision for the country,” said Kate Singletary, who took a bus in from Cape Cod with about 30 others, including 18 high school students. “Those young people, and their passion for this guy, was really inspiring this morning. They were talking about their need to make a difference, and this is the only guy in a very long time that has sparked their interest.”
None of this is to suggest that conservatives should simply roll over and wait to be devoured by the Obamasaurus Rex. There is still a long way between now and the election. The critics may be right, and he may just be a flash in the pan, too green to survive in a long campaign. Though Americans are unhappy with the Iraq war, it doesn’t mean they are ready to abandon the fight against terrorism. And the American people still value individualism, and remain deeply suspicious about government interference in their lives. However, to counteract Obama, conservatives will have to start by seeing him as a legitimate threat.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?