The Economist sorta kinda admits that they misread Barack Obama when they endorsed him as a presidential candidate. Jennifer Rubin adds:
Yes, there is an element of managerial incompetence, but the real issue is that the Right was correct about Obama: he’s an ultra-liberal at least on domestic policy, not a pragmatic centrist either on policy or in style. His mode of governance — denigrate the opposition, engage in ad hominem attacks, refuse to compromise on substantive policy, disguise radical policy intentions with a haze of meaningless rhetoric — bespeaks someone supremely confident in his ideological views and undaunted by fears (which are slowly creeping up on his Red state colleagues) of having overshot his mandate.
It is therefore unlikely that Obama will change course unless forced by electoral realities or external events. If the next several bond auctions are a bust perhaps then the spend-a-thon will slow. If unemployment rises and his poll numbers fall, perhaps he’ll hold off on burdening employers for just a bit. If he loses 30 or 40 House seats in 2010 he won’t have the legislative latitude to throw up whatever legislation he wants (or to defer to Nancy Pelosi).
But barring these developments it appears we are in for more of the same for the remainder of his term. It’s not what the Economist expected, but it is pretty much what most conservatives did.
Update: Further thoughts from Mark Steyn:
This is the point: The nuancey boys were wrong on Obama, and the knuckledragging morons were right. There is no post-partisan centrist “grappling” with the economy, only a transformative radical willing to make Americans poorer in the cause of massive government expansion. At some point, The Economist, Messrs Brooks, Buckley & Co are going to have to acknowledge this. If they’re planning on spending the rest of his term tutting that his management style is obstructing the effective implementation of his centrist agenda, it’s going to be a long four years.
And how about this?
In an accomplished press conference this week, Mr Obama reminded the world what an impressive politician he can be. He has a capacity to inspire that is unmatched abroad or at home.
Oh, dear. That’s so January 20th it makes these toffee-nosed Brits sound like straw-sucking hayseeds.