Flat-Footed Conservatives - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Flat-Footed Conservatives

Jonathan Martin reports that despite Barack Obama playing the victim card to justify his reversal on public financing, there actually isn’t any sort of large-scale anti-Obama 527 effort. One of the major reasons is that large donors don’t want to spend millions of dollars to go after Obama only to be publicly denounced by John McCain.

But another key reason is that conservatives were simply caught off guard because they were overly focused on the Clintons:

Richard Collins, a wealthy Dallas-based entrepreneur, bankrolled “StopHerNow,” an entity set up to defeat the former First Lady. “For six months, it’s been do we stop her, stop him or stop somebody else?” he notes.

“We spent 18 months and millions of dollars making ‘Hillary The Movie,'” laments David Bossie, head of Citizens United and a longtime Clinton tormentor. “We’re incredibly proud, but the problem is the film has no relevance anymore.”

This is something I warned about in a cover story for our summer issue a year ago:

Many conservatives have a difficult time believing that at a critical time in the nation’s history, in the midst of the War on Terror, the country would choose a novice like Barack Obama to serve as their commander in chief. For years, the right has been gearing up for another epic confrontation with the Clinton machine, and it’s hard to imagine Hillary would allow a political neophyte to squash her White House ambitions.

But at a moment in history when Americans are war-weary and eager for change, the optimistic, fresh-faced Obama should at the very least be considered a formidable candidate. To those who care about limiting the size and scope of government, the threat of Obama goes deeper than his potential to capture the presidency. In the Illinois senator, Democrats may have finally found a political figure capable not only of winning an election, but of advancing liberalism.

Here’s how I concluded my piece:

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.

Is it now too late?

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