by John Hawkins | March 3, 2009 11:08 am
I was wondering how long it would take the squishy Republicans who despised Sarah Palin and cozied up to Barack Obama during the campaign to come to the realization that they had been completely bamboozled by the most radically liberal President in American history.
Well, the scales are finally, at long last, starting to lazily drift off of their eyes. Here’s the housebroken Republican lapdog of the New York Times, David Brooks on Obama,
Those of us who consider ourselves moderates — moderate-conservative, in my case — are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was. His words are responsible; his character is inspiring. But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice. As Clive Crook, an Obama admirer, wrote in The Financial Times, the Obama budget “contains no trace of compromise. It makes no gesture, however small, however costless to its larger agenda, of a bipartisan approach to the great questions it addresses. It is a liberal’s dream of a new New Deal.”
Moderates now find themselves betwixt and between. On the left, there is a president who appears to be, as Crook says, “a conviction politician, a bold progressive liberal.” On the right, there are the Rush Limbaugh brigades. The only thing more scary than Obama’s experiment is the thought that it might fail and the political power will swing over to a Republican Party that is currently unfit to wield it.
Note that the same guy who is saying that the Republican Party is unfit to wield power is a hero of the “moderate reformer” crowd in the GOP that crinkles their nose in disgust at conservatism and the people whom conservatives like, like Sarah Palin.
Then there’s William F. Buckley’s scion, Christopher, who made headlines because he was a Buckley who wrote for National Review and yet he was backing a Democrat. Here we have another fellow, like Brooks, who obviously has an exceedingly high regard for his own intellect and a low opinion of the average conservative — yet Obama managed to easily con him with his happy rhetoric. Now, you can tell that the hamster wheel in poor Christopher’s head is at long last starting to slowly roll to a horrified stop,
The strange thing is that one feels almost unpatriotic, entertaining negative thoughts about Mr. Obama’s grand plan, as if one were indulging in–call it–the audacity of nope. It is on the one hand clear that something must be done about our economic woes. But that is very different from saying that spending these vast, oceanic sums of money is the right corrective to a decade of fiscal incontinence.
One thing is certain, however: Government is getting bigger and will stay bigger. Just remember the apothegm that a government that is big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it all away.And remember what de Tocqueville told us about a bureaucracy that grows so profuse that not even the most original mind can penetrate it.
If this is what the American people want, so be it, but they ought to have no illusions about the perils of this approach. Mr. Obama is proposing among everything else $1 trillion in new entitlements, and entitlement programs never go away, or in the oddly poetic bureaucratic jargon, “sunset.” He is proposing $1.4 trillion in new taxes, an appetite for which was largely was whetted by the shameful excesses of American CEO corporate culture. And finally, he has proposed $5 trillion in new debt, one-half the total accumulated national debt in all US history. All in one fell swoop.
He tells us that all this is going to work because the economy is going to be growing by 3.2 percent a year from now. Do you believe that? Would you take out a loan based on that? And in the three years following, he predicts that our economy will grow by 4 percent a year.
This is nothing if not audacious hope. If he’s right, then looking back, March 2009 will be the dawn of the Age of Stimulation, or whatever elegant phrase Niall Ferguson comes up with. If he turns out to be wrong, then it will look very different, the entrance ramp to the Road to Serfdom, perhaps, and he will reap the whirlwind that follows, along with the rest of us.
That’s quite a change from Christopher’s big column announcing his endorsement of Obama during the campaign, isn’t it? Remember these lines?
I’ve read Obama’s books, and they are first-rate. He is that rara avis, the politician who writes his own books. Imagine. He is also a lefty. I am not. I am a small-government conservative who clings tenaciously and old-fashionedly to the idea that one ought to have balanced budgets. On abortion, gay marriage, et al, I’m libertarian. I believe with my sage and epigrammatic friend P.J. O’Rourke that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it all away.
But having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will (I pray, secularly) surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves. If he raises taxes and throws up tariff walls and opens the coffers of the DNC to bribe-money from the special interest groups against whom he has (somewhat disingenuously) railed during the campaign trail, then he will almost certainly reap a whirlwind that will make Katrina look like a balmy summer zephyr.
First-class temperament and a first-class intellect, harumph, harumph. He wrote a fine book. Lots of big words. Harumph, harumph. I’ll bet you a glass of wine at Martha’s Vineyards next year that he certainly won’t engage in the those ghastly “traditional left-politics,” harumph, harumph.
Yes, what a shocker it is that the most liberal senator in D.C. ended up with a large liberal majority in the Congress and they’ve had an extremely liberal agenda. I’m sure that if you put David Brooks, Christopher Buckley, Kathleen Parker, David Frum, and Peggy Noonan in a room together, they would be completely baffled to by two things: that Barack Obama is much more liberal than they ever thought and that conservatives like that tacky Sarah Palin woman with her horrible accent and all those babies. Did you know she actually hunts? Yes, with a gun!!! Yech!
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