Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Fine, I admit it: I’ve been giving Obama a free pass on his outlandish liberalism, which, as a conservative, I normally would hammer such ideologies with glee. But these are not normal times. We could use a little hope, a little lofty rhetoric. I also admit that this blog is Right-Wing Obama Fan Central, and in the end, I may conclude that he’s another hopeless statist, liberal dreamer who’s completely undeserving of the high compliments I’ve paid him. (I could not disagree more on issues than I do with him; I will not vote for him.) But I appreciate above all the tone he is setting; by sheer force of personality and (apparent) character, he does indeed have a chance to be a liberal Reagan, because a president Americans like and trust is one who can shift the terms of debate with less effort. As correct as I may perceive Reaganism to be ideologically, I’d be a fool to deny that some portion of its acceptance owes to Reagan himself, not some seismic shift in the intelligentsia’s evaluation of the merits of free-market capitalism. Maybe a good portion of the electorate only remembers that he gave them hope; is that enough? I don’t know. But Hillary Clinton is in the fight of her political life with a rival whose only real virtue is the uncanny ability to inspire. Go ahead, ask conservative Republicans if they like Obama. You know the answer. And the affection for Hillary Clinton in the GOP? Quite a difference!

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