May 02, 2009

Your Weekend Assignment

Steyn on the first hundred days of guv'mint-mandated hopiness:

The theater of thoughtfulness is critical to the president’s success. He has the knack of appearing moderate while acting radical, which is a lethal skill. The thoughtful look suckered many of my more impressionable conservative comrades last fall, when David Brooks and Christopher Buckley were cranking out gushing paeans to Obama’s “first-class temperament” — temperament being to the Obamacons what Nick Jonas’s hair is to a Tiger Beat reporter. But the drab reality is that the man they hail — Brooks & Buckley, I mean; not the Tiger Beat crowd — is a fantasy projection. There is no Obama The Sober Centrist, although it might make a good holiday song:

“Obama The Sober Centrist
Had a very thoughtful mien
And if you ever saw it
You would say it’s peachy keen . . . ”

And it is. But underneath the thoughtful look is a transformative domestic agenda that represents a huge annexation of American life by an ever-more intrusive federal government. One cannot but admire the singleminded ruthlessness with which Obama is getting on with it, even as he hones his contemplative, unhurried, moderate routine on primetime press conferences. On foreign affairs, the shtick is less effective, but mainly because he’s not so engaged by the issues: He’s got big plans for health care, and federalized education, and an eco-friendly government-run automobile industry — and Iran’s nuclear program just gets in the way. He’d rather not think about it, and his multicontinental apology tours are his way of kicking the can down the road until that blessed day when America is just another sclerotic Euro-style social democracy and even your more excitable jihadi won’t be able to jump up and down chanting, “Death to the Great Satan!” with a straight face.

Go read it all.

I believe a lot of people don't really appreciate what it is they've wished on themselves yet, as witnessed by all those polls that show high approval ratings for teh Prez himself but not so much for his policies. Certainly those who have so much invested in the Unicorn Express will do everything they can to keep this from happening, but sooner or later the penny is going to drop.

Then it will get interesting. Steyn notes the Brit post-WWII slide into socialism and the reaction that led to the rise of Maggie Thatcher. He further notes that the Thatcher Revolution, in the long run, was really nothing more than a temporary respite, a bump in the road down into the abyss. I still believe that in this country there is nothing inevitable about such a slide, but I confess that I am growing increasingly nervous about it.

Posted by Robert at May 2, 2009 08:23 AM | TrackBack