The Conservative Case for Obama
A nice piece today on how in every aspect, Barack Obama is more conservative than Mitt Romney could ever dream of being, and how Romney will not make the GOP any less reckless than it’s been since it’s last administration was in power.
On issue after issue, Burke would be with Obama and against Rommey’s theo-political radicalism. The idea that Obama has somehow let down those conservatives who supported him over the McCain-Palin ticket therefore seems absurd to me. Obama has done all he said he intended to do, and almost all of it is a pragmatic response to America’s emergent and growing problems. On almost every question - a stimulus one-third tax cuts, a healthcare reform based on the Heritage Foundation model, cap-and-trade for carbon, and solid support for Israel while trying to nudge it away from self-destruction - Obama is in a right-of-center consensus as of a decade ago. It is his opponent who has twisted himself into a screaming radical dedicated to changing America much more profoundly - largely because Fox Nation is experiencing a cultural panic. As for temperament, the GOP is too consumed with cultural hatred to acknowledge the grace and calm of a man forced to grapple with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression with no help whatsoever from his opponents, a black man who has buried identity politics and remains a family man Republicans would fawn over if he were one of them.
Alas, the GOP is stuck in the 1984 of its own fetid imagination, incapable of acknowledging the real failures of the last Republican administration or the new, actual, vital questions we have to answer in this millennium: How do we make our healthcare system much more efficient? How do we best mitigate climate change? How do we tackle the problem of economic hyper-inequality? How do we advance US interests in a time of upheaval and revolution in the Arab world? How do we make government solvent?
The reason Romney’s campaign is vague on so many of these questions is that it has little to offer on these practical issues but ideological stridency. It is brain-dead. And zombie-conservatism is not conservatism. It is the violent twitching of a political corpse. This election is a chance to bury that corpse and start over. We should be grateful a de facto moderate Republican is president while conservatism has a chance to regroup.