Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Dec/10

7

Obama hysteria: The enemy of my enemy is still the enemy

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So how will the right-wing conceit that Obama represents an eruption of radicalism so alien and extreme as to lie outside of any American political tradition survive the left-wing attack on Obama for preserving the Bush tax cuts and other betrayals of the left’s agenda?   Easily.  By ignoring the contradiction.  Rush Limbaugh today gloatingly read from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s op-ed in the Washington Post blasting Obama for his compromises with Republicans.  Limbaugh noted that Obama appears committed to winning in Afghanistan and that he has yet to close Gitmo, then added: And of course the Right criticizes Obama for trying to destroy America with his left-wing agenda.   If Limbaugh discerned any tension between these two positions, he did not let on.

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11 comments

  • Stephen · December 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    What tension? My take on the issues:
    Afghanistan -> good war, Iraq -> bad war
    The prez is stuck with Afghanistan. He clearly wants out, but cannot let the Taliban regain control.

    On closing Gitmo, he clearly wants to do that also, but cannot find anywhere to put the inmates. He cannot just let them go either.

    I consider Obama to be a committed left-wing radical who has discovered that politics is the art of the possible, and one can only do so much.

    Two steps forward, one step back.

    As far as the left-wing attacks, do you consider those people to be rational?

  • Kevin Lawrence · December 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    I have had a similar question for you, Heather, bubbling deep inside for a good long while now. Everything that you write, whether I agree with it or disagree (and I mostly disagree) is powerfully argued, backed up by facts and reason, and most of all compelling.

    Sometime I hold my nose and venture over to The Corner at National Review. The stench is consistently unbearable -limbaugh in print – and I feel dirty for days afterwards. But I am always surprised to see you – and Bradlaugh – posting there. It seems so completely beneath you.

    You are so obviously a person of ideas and of reason and the contrast with the other posters in The Corner is dramatic.

    Is that an enemy of my enemy thing?

    Are there not enough venues for non-crazy people of the right to write?

  • Clark · December 8, 2010 at 2:30 am

    I always took the radical label as silly (as I’ve mentioned in the comments before) All that said I think it quite coherent for conservatives to significantly worry about some of the things Obama is setting up, just as it was coherent to worry about liberal policies by Clinton even if he was a blue dog Democrat. I mean say what one will about Obamacare but there is a lot of dangerous precedence set by it. What’s more unfortunate is that Republicans, instead of being the voice of constraining Medicare costs were the voice of no limits, no panels deciding coverage — effectively attacking Obamacare for not being radical enough in its coverage but just being upset that it covered too many people!

  • Randall Parker · December 8, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Obviously Bush and Obama are allies in America’s destruction. Ignore their stated motivations or allegiances and look at their policies: Massive deficits, wars contrary to the good of the commonwealth, importation of a large lower class thru legal and illegal immigration, huge increases in spending. What will these policies lead to? A much diminished nation.

  • Joyce · December 8, 2010 at 4:29 am

    As usual, Heather’s comments are insightful and REALLY “common sense”(which these days is mostly uncommon). I appreciate them.

  • Snippet · December 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I think Obama’s opinions have always been breezily held, and rarely, if ever challenged.

    The cool kids he hung out with, and who constantly told him how wonderful he was were basically leftists for socialists.

    Everything I have seen or heard from him before he reached the point where he decided he was serious about wanting to be president was reflexively “leftish.” (“Enemy Lines,” “Bitter Clinging” Jeremy Wright’s diatribes. The whole incredibely condescending tone. The reference to the “real bad guys” in the loan crisis – of course, profit seekers, NOT, do-gooders forcing banks to give bad loans the the unqualified, etc……..).

    I think the discovery that there is another America that doesn’t think that way was a genuine shock to the guy. I remember in college, the horrified, almost whispered discussions about what “they believe out there.” “Out there,” being, it turns out, the real world inhabitated by those who were paying the bills of the students who couldn’t believe how stupid they were.

    Anyhoo, reality has intruded and Obama is responding to it in a way that doesn’t have this particular semi-conservative too worked up.

  • Mike H · December 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Or one could simply say that Obama has done enough in his first term to steer the country in his preferred direction, so now he can use the rest of it to give the appearance of moderation in order to win a second term.

    Obamacare sans repeal is irreversibly going to lead towards some kind of nationalized healthcare system. The writing is on the wall with regards to that.

    The American system does not really allow for a Lenin or Hugo Chavez, it seldom allows even for a Clement Attlee. America’s system is protracted by design, hence why the rhetoric of American politics always outdoes its actions. Obama could be everything his critics charge him to be (and he is probably some of them) but he wouldn’t have the chance to do much about it. Much like a Reagan was quite a few of the things the Left feared him to be but his overall impact was stunted by institutional design.

    There are very few points in American history where a President has had a strong mandate, a compliant congress and an allied Supreme Court. Obama had two of them, almost, for the last 2 years and he gave it a bit of a push, but the system reined him in and then punished him. Re-election and some consolidation on a congressional level may give him enough political capital for some more measures but it will likely be the job of a future leader to give it the next push in their direction.

    That doesn’t mean you should be happy with Obama or not try to get rid of him, it also doesn’t mean he isn’t a socialist etc. The changes Obama and his like advocate and implement are fundamentally detrimental to America so even if they are implemented gradually and stealthily they are to be fought with vigor.

  • cynthia curran · December 9, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Well, Obama was the darling of the left, and of course his biggest critics right on are the left not the right. he was suppose to continue the class warfare but it didn’t work or he is not strong enough, the right still doesn’t like him, but that’s life.

  • Madison · December 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    George W. Bush is much as of a conservative as Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are which is nothing at all. They are all pretty much superficial. Many conservatives disliked George W. Bush’s open borders policy, his grave expansion of the government, his wars, non-discriminate policy towards Muslims because of PC and other things.

  • Bob_R · December 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    This is a truly terrible argument. Obama accepts a compromise on tax cuts after one of the worst midterm losses in a century and that somehow “contradicts” the right’s assessment of his political philosophy and ambitions. Which are you having trouble understanding, electoral politics or the English language?

  • pangloss · December 12, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    “So how will the right-wing …survive the left-wing attack on Obama…?

    Very well, I would imagine?

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