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Rich Lowry makes the case that Barack Obama will be able to triangulate, contrary to conservative conventional wisdom. The federal employee pay freeze is a good example that Obama will at least try. But the question has never been whether Obama will attempt to do what is in his political interest. The question is whether he’ll be able to do so — in this case, triangulate — effectively.
Bill Clinton had governed in Arkansas, a relatively conservative state. He had been rebuked by the electorate for lurching too far to the left once before, when he lost a reelection bid to Republican Frank White in 1980. And he had traveled in circles that thought triangulation was the key to Democratic success since at least the 1984 presidential election. Obama does not have the experience, ideology, or temperament for this. He won’t be satisfied pushing small-ball initiatives like the pay freeze for the remainder of his term. So far he lacks a big initiative like welfare reform or the capital gains tax cut on which to meet the GOP at least halfway.
A big test will be the extension of the Bush tax cuts, an issue on which Obama clearly does want to find a resolution somewhere between the congressional Republicans and the congressional Democrats. Tapping Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and OMB Director Jack Lew to negotiate the tax cuts gives him a way to bypass those in the Democratic leadership who oppose any extension of the cuts for those making $250,000 and up. We’ll see what the administration does with this opportunity to triangulate on an issue much bigger than V-chips.
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