July 1, 2008

CHANGE INTO WHAT?:

Obama's real patriotism problem (Jonah Goldberg, 7/01/08, USA Today)

Like so much else about Obama, his position on the lapel flag changes with the needs of the moment. After 9/11, he wore it. During the debates over the Iraq war, he stopped because he saw the flag as a sign of support for President Bush. (He started wearing it again in May.) "I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest," he added in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great and, hopefully, that will be a testimony to my patriotism."

Read that line again: "What I believe will make this country great."

Not to sound too much like a Jewish mother, but some might respond, "What? It's not great now?"

This sense that America is in need of fixing in order to be a great country points to Obama's real patriotism problem. And it's not Obama's alone.


When Republicans run as agents of change, they vow to make America more like itself, like it was: Harding, Ike, Nixon, Reagan, Dole... Democrats threaten to make it more like Sweden, France or Canada.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 1, 2008 6:44 PM

All true and good, but you misapprehend the growing number of people who want America to become Sweden.

That number may or may not yet be enough to elect an Obama, but absent a strong push to reverse the gains the left has made, they will eventually succeed.

Posted by: Bruno at July 1, 2008 8:53 PM

Bruno, where's the data to support that contention?

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at July 1, 2008 9:18 PM

"....but absent a strong push to reverse the gains the left has made...."

One little problem, Bruno: The American people do not tolerate rollback. The American people EXPECT that a political party, combined with its ideological movement, will put its own stamp on previously enacted policies.

Harping on "earmarks" is rollback. Beating up on Hispanics is rollback. Engaging in a "principles" fetish IS ROLLBACK. This, more than anything else, is why the Right has tarnished its own brand.

Posted by: Brad S at July 1, 2008 11:07 PM

Jorge, it's the message taught in every public school and vast areas of the popular culture.

Brad S., I see your point. but Reagan was partly elected on his promises of rollback, and even Carter ran as a deregulator.

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 1, 2008 11:39 PM

PapayaSF,

Deregulation is often interpreted as making things easier for the public when it comes to dealing with government. This can, and should be, interpreted as "putting your own stamp" on leadership. And please note that Reagan never achieved anything that can be construed as rollback (Dept. of Ed, anyone?), and the Right tends not to tolerate anyone who points this out. In fact, the Right promoted this false memory of Reagan so that they can beat up on their own when they allegedly "fall short."

Posted by: Brad S at July 2, 2008 6:49 AM

Jorge,

I live in a town that was 60/40 R 10 years ago and 55/45 Kerry in 04. It will be 75/25 for Obama.

92% white, upper income brackets, some $2-3 million homes.

I talk to these folks, and they have, for the most part, they've bought the left agenda. What's another 2-3% in taxes? The schools are gay this and Gore that, and it is much the same in the rich white suburbs surrounding Chicago.

As some point, you become so wealthy that you just don't care that your votes are bankrupting the working middle class by voting for piggish pensions for corrupt teacher's unions.

I know IL is worse off than most, but it is only a matter of time before it metastasizes to NH, GA and FL.

Brad,

You may be correct, but it is my position that "rollback" will be the only thing that fixes state & municipal budgets, as well as the federal.

This rollback MAY WELL take the form of individualizing the welfare state along "ownership society" guide lines, but only if some one makes the case that it can be done.

My biggest beef with the happy talk here at Judd Central is that it presumes that our opponents have no chance, when in fact they are indoctrinating our kids, building pickets around internet and radio information outlets, and invest huge sums of money in organizing and network building.

As some one who has Euro-relatives, I've experienced what happens when the 'right' becomes such a disorganized band of Bozos that they are no longer even takes seriously.

You may argue that I'm jaundiced by what is happening in IL, but the east coast (NY, CT, VT, NJ, RI, MA, DE) has gone totally "dark" for the right.

Sooner or later, there is no coming back. 4 years of Obama (not a likelihood, but certainly more of a possibility than OJ allows), and even more bad policy will be cemented in place.

Talk radio can be "silenced" with an executive order reinstating the "fairness doctrine" (I predict it's Obama's 1st).

Google, Gore and a "doctrine" for the web, and 1000s of sites can disappear off of search engines.

Dem Prez and both houses, and the speed at which negative change can be passed and ratcheted into place will surprise many.

But hey! Net worth is still at $56 trillion!!! So what if its concentrated in the hands of people who genuflect for public schools. Life is good! Go shopping!

Posted by: Bruno at July 2, 2008 8:36 PM

Bruno,

The idea that Obama will sign an executive order reinstating the Fairness Doctrine is laughable, especially when Rush Limbaugh just signed a $400 million dollar contract.

Sooner or later, Bruno, you have to stop this "Horatio at the bridge" talk. And you REALLY must stop vocalizing this notion that GOP politicians/voters/volunteers can't find their rear end with a flashlight without the "power of ideas."

BTW, I've already stated I believe Obama will win this year.

Posted by: Brad S at July 2, 2008 10:32 PM

Brad,

It's a bet then. (first, I still think McCain is the likely winner)

Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine will be one of Obama's earliest executive orders.

Rush's contract amount has exactly nothing to do with it.

I don't necessarily speak for the voters or volunteers, but I feel quite comfortable critiquing the idiocracy of the Rep. party and their leaders. Speaking as you do after they just lost 3 "Republican Seats" in a row indicates that you haven't been paying attention to the organizing or the turnout on the left. 3 for 3 is more than a fluke.

OTOH, I just heard an ad today extolling the wonders of opening up the Gulf and West shelf for drilling, citing polling data that virtually everyone thinks it's a good idea.

If the gas price run up provides the "stupid party" with an issue even they feel comfortable running on, we all just may luck out.

Posted by: Bruno at July 2, 2008 11:15 PM
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