The Coming Post-Obama Renaissance

Brighter Days

I, like many, am worried about the Republican field — as is the custom at this early stage. There is more to be endured in 2012. The Obama decline will spark venomous politics of the sort we haven’t seen in years. This time hope and change will be even more “Bush did it!/’You’re all racists!/“They” will take your Social Security.” The financial crisis is not over. We are not yet at the beginning of the end for statism, but the Churchillian end of its new beginning.

Still, let us cheer up a bit. The country always knew, but for just a bit forgot, that you cannot print money and borrow endlessly. It always knew that bureaucrats were less efficient than employers. It knew that Guantanamo was not a gulag and Iraq was not "lost." But given the anguish over Iraq, the anger at Bush, the Obama postracial novelty and “centrist” façade, and the Freddie/Fannie/Wall Street collapse, it wanted to believe what it knew might not be true. Now three years of Obama have slapped voters out of their collective trance.

The spell has now passed; and we are stronger for its passing. There is going to be soon a sense of relief that we have not experienced in decades. In short, sadder but wiser Americans will soon be turned loose with a vigor unseen in decades.

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*The president — with ratings diving — is now on the attack against Republican candidates, who, he alleges, were quiet (and thus dishonored a U.S. soldier) when some members of the crowd booed a gay soldier.

Yet it is unclear from the audio whether the crowd, or just one or two booers, was jeering — as it is unknown the degree to which the candidates on the stage could hear the booer[s].** If the crowd collectively booed the soldier, and if the candidates heard that, then, of course, their silence was telling. But if the boo came from an isolated heckler or two, and if the candidates either did not hear him, or realized that he was just a lone wolf without crowd support, then once again Obama is demagoguing.

Yet Barack Obama should be reluctant to charge one with guilt by silence, especially in a military context. For example, by his own admission, he attended Trinity Church “every week” (Chicago Sun-Times [11/08/2004]: “Yep. Every week. 11 o’clock service”) and so must have heard — and so kept silent about — the racist hatred of his own pastor.

And, in regards to a presidential candidate’s tolerance for slights against military personnel, more hypocrisy still: when lecturing Gen. Petraeus in September 2008 during the Senate hearings, Sen. Obama took no opportunity to criticize the MoveOn.org ad that had just appeared (“General Betray Us”) or to disassociate himself from fellow senator and rival presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton’s charge that Petraeus was essentially a liar (“the reports that you provide to us really require a willing suspension of disbelief”).

Obama’s latest charge is perhaps a preview of the campaign to come: he apparently won’t be running on food prices, the housing market, gas prices, unemployment numbers, GDP, the present stock market, the numbers on food stamps and unemployment insurance, the deficit, aggregate new debt, government borrowing, or consumer or business confidence.

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** Barack Obama: “We don't believe in standing silent when that happens. We don't believe in them being silent since. You want to be Commander-in-Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it's not politically convenient.”

I have read this a dozen times and have no idea what it means. Is the transcript wrongly transmitted? E.g., He meant to say something like, “We don’t [agree with] [those] being silent, since [it begs the question], 'You want to be Commander-in-Chief'"?, or “We don’t believe in [tolerating] those who are silent, since they want to be Commander-in-Chief]." Again, presidents have to speak constantly and under trying circumstances, so they deserve some exemption from grammatical nitpicking; but when on the attack and questioning the character of others, their charges should be unambiguous.

(Image composited using an element from Shutterstock.com.)