Barack Obama has been generating a lot of buzz for noting that Ronald Reagan was a transformational president (video here).
A point I’ve been making for over a year, and one that I emphasized in my cover story on Obama for our July/August issue, is that conservatives should be worried about Obama because he has the potential to advance liberalism in a way that Reagan advanced conservatism, given his charisma and optimism. Hillary Clinton, as much of a nightmare as she would be, would be too polarizing to win over any people who weren’t already on her side.
Yesterday, Dave Weigel noted that there is no appetite on the angry left for winning converts. The mere act of Obama making an historical point that “Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America” was enought to get the liberal rage machine pumping.
And right out of the gate came the pugilistic populist himself, John Edwards, who issued the following statement yesterday:
“Senator Obama was wrong — frightfully so — in using Ronald Reagan as an example of voters reaching for change. The breadth of change Ronald Reagan brought was crippling for millions of Americans with the two worst recessions since the Depression, a complete disregard for the rights of American labor, and tax cuts that lined the pockets of the richest Americans at the expense of fiscal sanity and the well-being of the most vulnerable in our society.”
Today, I got an email that the Clinton campaign is hosting a conference call feauturing Barney Frank to counter Obama’s other comments that the Republican Party was the party of ideas for 10 to 15 years.
This is utter sillyness. As a conservative, I can acknowledge the fact that FDR was an historically significant president who changed the nation dramatically, even though I think that those changes had disasterous implications for our nation (see here).
But if liberals cannot understand the fact that to change the nation, they’ll have to sell Americans on their vision for government, that’s great news for conservatives. Let them nominate Clinton, because even if she wins the presidency, 50 percent of the country will automatically be against anything she tries to accomplish.
UPDATE: Weigel was on the Clinton conference call.
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?
H/T to National Review Online