Only last September, Sam Tanenhaus – editor of The New York Times Book Review – published a book entitled The Death of Conservatism. I didn’t read it. Having heard the author briefly on talk radio, it sounded tendentious and, worse, boring. His thesis, I take it, is that today’s conservatives (Limbaugh, etc.) define themselves by what they are against, rather than “conserving” the best of society in the traditional sense as conservatives once did. The true value of “conserving” he ascribes to, wait for it, Barack Obama.
Well, that’s the danger of topical political books. I feel sorry for Tanenhaus, in a way. How could he have known (well, maybe he should have) when writing his book nine or ten months ago that Barack Obama would now be manufacturing conservatives at a clip unparalleled in history? Our President is a veritable conservative mass production factory. And those conservatives, despite what Tanenhaus wrote, are Hell bent on conserving the traditional values of our society, including taxation with representation (thanks!), a common sense health care system, some modicum of transparency, and, now most clearly, honesty in national defense. (Treating Islamic radicalism as if it were house breaking is moronic behavior verging on national and cultural suicide. You don’t need to be “conservative” to see that.).
Perhaps Tanenhaus should have written “The Death of Liberalism,” because that is what is going on all around us. And it is his own media that is creating its death, their own death, because it is they that created Barack Obama, bringing out of obscurity a man less qualified to be president than the proverbial “my dead grandmother.” Dick Cheney’s blast at Obama yesterday definitely rang true, just as the response from an unnamed (for sure!) “senior Democrat,”quoted in the same Politico article rang especially hollow: “It’s telling that in attacking the president and the administration, that Vice President Cheney did not condemn the attack against our nation on Christmas Day.”
Yeah, right. I wouldn’t put my name to that drivel either. I don’t know if the terms conservative and liberal in general are useful anymore, but Obama is certainly simplifying that conundrum but destroying the latter.