Joe Klein Takes a Road Trip, and Partially Gets It!
What Krauthammer writes is just the remedy he needs. The president’s obsession with fairness, he writes, and his desire to propose new tax hikes in a time of recession, including raising capital gains taxes, is a case of “Fairness trumps growth. Fairness trumps revenue. Fairness trumps economic logic.”
What Obama is engaging, Krauthammer writes, is a campaign manifesto based on “anti-millionaire populism,” which he hopes will take effect, mobilize his base, and allow him to win in 2012. Krauthammer writes:
Obama’s Democratic base is electrified. On the left, the new message is playing to rave reviews. It has rekindled the enthusiasm of his core constituency — the MoveOn, Hollywood liberal, Upper West Side precincts best described years ago by John Updike: “Like most of the neighborhood, she was a fighting liberal, fighting to have her money taken from her.”
So the new Obama, the soak-the-rich proud class warrior, is precisely the old Obama of 2008 and the man who began his political career in the precincts of left-wing Chicago politics----the arena of CP fellow-travelers, bona-fide leftists, old Marxists and “democratic socialists” of all sorts. Now, his preferred policies, Krauthammer notes, are those of a “conviction politician, one deeply committed to his own social-democratic vision.” He explains here:
But this is more than a political calculation. It is more than just a pander to his base. It is a pander to himself: Obama is a member of his base. He believes this stuff. It is an easy and comfortable political shift for him, because it’s a shift from a phony centrism back to his social-democratic core, from positioning to authenticity.
The authentic Obama is a leveler, a committed social democrat, a staunch believer in the redistributionist state, a tribune, above all, of “fairness” — understood as government-imposed and government-enforced equality.
To become excited, Obama needs to campaign in a comfortable mode, that based on his core real beliefs---not on a phony orchestrated centrism that excites no one, provides anger from the left-wing base, and doesn’t satisfy the independent swing voters who are moving away from him anyway.
Obama, Krauthammer truthfully writes, has decided to say what he believes, which is obvious to anyone who watched his Rose Garden comments a few days ago. He is not just talking left for the benefit of MoveOn.org, but because he is finally freeing himself from what his political minded advisors recommend he do, and saying what he believes. He has returned to the authenticity of his 2009 remarks about our being close to creating a “fundamental transformation of America” into his true goal: a leftist and statist regime in which the experts who believe in legislating fairness gain control, and implement America on the road to becoming Greece.
So returning to Joe Klein, who probably hasn’t had time to read much as he drives from the East Coast to the West, to see that it’s not only the Tea Party people in Texarkana who understand our President’s true goals; it is an intellectual like Charles Krauthammer, whose understanding trumps that of Klein’s any day of the week. Maybe, just maybe, Klein will reconsider, and come to see that regular people like those he has found on the road hold more wisdom that a representative of the leftist New York media such as himself.