The Change Some Didn’t Believe In

There are a number of right-of-center Obama supporters from whom I haven’t heard any follow-up regarding their expectation that he would bring fresh air to government and would, actually, be a consummate centrist. Mark Steyn, for one, finds the possibility increasingly dubious:

The “buy American” provisions in the “stimulus” will invite certain retaliation around the world, wrote Jagdish Bhagwati, the Columbia economics prof, in the New York Times. This is presumably the same Jagdish Bhagwati who reassured a Toronto audience last year that he was endorsing Obama despite the senator’s anti-NAFTA, anti-free-trade rhetoric because he didn’t think Obama really believed it. Today it’s even less clear what, if anything, Obama believes — and, even more critically, whether he has the wit or authority to impose those beliefs on a Congress whose operating procedure for the new era seems to be business as usual with three extra zeroes on the end.

Rick Karlgaard turns to his Obamacon Silicon Valley peers for some description of their current feeling:

In the eyes of Silicon Valley, Obama was like the Apple Macintosh. John McCain was like Windows.
Now comes the reckoning. Obama may be the coolest guy ever to hold the office of U.S. president. He may be the personification of an Apple Mac, iPod and iPhone. But this week Obama proved he is a big-state liberal, through and through.
My Silicon Valley friends who supported Obama are weirdly silent about this. I suspect they are in denial, still hoping for the closet libertarian Obama to emerge. Throughout the 2008 campaign, Silicon Valley Obama voters would tell me that Obama was really an economic centrist. Forget his liberal Senate record and Saul Alinsky-conditioned career as a community organizer. Forget the Chicago-style thug politics. That was in the past. Obama did what he had to do to rise. Once in the Oval Office, Obama will really govern more like John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton or Tony Blair.
Say it enough times, and you can almost believe it. Well, sorry about that, you Obamacons. You just got thrown under the bus.

Me, I’ve captured the audio from the “Obama’s gonna spread happiness” song and loaded it onto my non-iPod MP3 player — for use whenever the sour mood about our ever-more-difficult lives settles on the construction site.

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13 years ago

As someone who stands somewhat right of center, I find it hard, very hard to understand how anyone but an ultra left winger to believe ObamaMama was a libertarian.
Maybe if one stood so far left of center, so far left of left of center, so far left of left of left of center that they could circumnavigate our expanding universe, that then, on only then, could they see Obama as a libertarian.
I stand right of center and Obama was so far left in relation to where I plant my feet that I would need the Hubble telescope to even find ‘da hood’ where he bangs the breeze with his peeps.
People who voted for the entitlement program Obama are going to get the government they deserve. The ones who voted for change are going to have to wait for a crowd pleasing Republican.

13 years ago

Yeah. Where’s Greg?

13 years ago

I came across an interesting essay on the subject the other that I’m not sure tells the whole story, but is certainly worth pondering…

During the “long boom” unleashed by the Reagan revolution, it was possible for libertarian intellectuals to believe that the arguments for economic freedom were now so blindingly vindicated that even their progressive peers must admit the obvious truth. All libertarians needed to do, they fancied, was to shed the unfashionable baggage of the GOP coalition — the Falwells and Buchanans and Dobsons and other such lowbrows — and the progressives would eagerly sign up for this new project: Free-market gay marriage! Free-market abortion! Free-market environmentalism! Free-market transhuman biotechnology…[but] all the libertarian intellectuals who’ve been sucking on the Koch tit over the past 25 years [have found is] that their progressive friends are as unpersuaded about the virtues of economic freedom as they ever were…

13 years ago

Justin, I’m waiting for the props to Obama for the multiple Republican (and even more centrist) cabinet appointments. Hmmm. I bet I’ll be waiting a while. That wouldn’t be kosher with the NRO style manual.

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