Monday, August 17, 2009

VDH has a good article today

What Went Wrong.

Among his points:

[M]any voters really believed in the “no more red/blue state America” healing rhetoric. Instead, polls show they got the most polarizing president in recent history — both in his radical programs and in the manner in which he has demonized the opposition to ram them through without bipartisan support. “Punch back harder” has replaced “Yes, we can.”

A point I've been making for a while. It's hard to even remember that Obama ran as a "new" politician, who was going to bring us together. When is that going to happen?

And, related:

[E]ven skeptics are surprised at the partisan cynicism. A year ago, Democratic leaders such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama praised organizing, dissidents, and protest. Today they have become near-Nixonian in demonizing popular resistance to their collectivized health-care plans as mob-like, inauthentic, scripted, Nazi-like, and un-American. There are still ex-lobbyists in the government. High officials still cheat on their taxes. Hacks in the Congress still profit from their office. The public is sensing not only that Obama has failed to run the most ethically clean government, as promised, but indeed that he is not running as ethically clean a government as the predecessor who he so assiduously ridiculed.

Only the most partisian Obamabots could believe the smear that the opposition to Obamacare is Astroturf. And speaking of Obamabots ...

Sixth, there is a growing fear that Obamism is becoming cult-like and Orwellian. Almost on script, Hollywood ceased all its Rendition/Redacted–style films. Iraq — once the new Vietnam — is out of the news. Afghanistan is “problematic,” not a “blunder.” Tribunals, renditions, the Patriot Act, and Predators are no longer proof of a Seven Days in May coup, but legitimate tools to keep us safe. Words change meanings as acts of terror become “man-caused disasters.” Hunting down jihadists is really an “overseas contingency operation.” Media sycophants do not merely parrot Obama, but now proclaim him a “god.” New York Times columnists who once assured us that Bush’s dastardly behavior was proof of American pathology now sound like Pravda apologists in explaining the “real” Obama is not what he is beginning to seem like.

The only bit I have a quibble with is the word "becoming."

One more:

Ninth, Democratic populism turned out to be largely aristocratic elitism. Obama spends more money on himself than did Bush. The liberal Congress has a strange fondness for pricy private jets. Those environmentalists and racialists who lecture us about our ecological and ethical shortcomings prefer Martha’s Vineyard and country estates to Dayton and Bakersfield. Offering left-wing populist sermonizing for others while enjoying the high life oneself is never a winning combination.

Let them eat cake.