Posts Tagged ‘Liberalism’
June 21st, 2010 at 6:24 pm
This Was Obama Being Pragmatic?
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The press is abuzz today with rumors that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will be leaving his West Wing post in the near future, likely after the midterm elections. While the White House denies the allegations, the UK Telegraph lays out the following rationale:

It is well known in Washington that arguments have developed between pragmatic Mr Emanuel, a veteran in Congress where he was known for driving through compromises, and the idealistic inner circle who followed Mr Obama to the White House.

And it’s equally well known that Rahmbo has consistently lost. As Jonathan Alter relates in his new book “The Promise” (which, in its lust for Obama, would be better titled “The Gospel According to Jon”), Emanuel vigorously fought the Administration’s plan for a comprehensive transformation of health care in favor of smaller, more incremental victories. For all of his bravado, Emanuel — who, along with Chuck Schumer, engineered his party’s takeover of Congress by embracing moderate and conservative Democrats — is indeed a pragmatist, not a liberal True Believer unable to brook compromise.

This staff shakeup, should it happen, will put the White House on a dangerous trajectory. Emanuel’s incrementalist views have been steamrolled during most of his tenure in the administration. If, even in that position of weakened power, he can’t be accomodated in the halls of the West Wing, then we can expect the “idealists” to be running the show in the second half of Obama’s term. That means that in the aftermath of what will likely be at least a partial Republican takeover of Congress, Obama will be moving further and further towards liberal purity.

If you think the administration is out of touch now, wait until they banish even internal dissent.

February 13th, 2010 at 2:12 pm
Imagining Obama as Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Over at the Weekly Standard, the Pacific Research Institute‘s Jeffrey Anderson has a very sharp piece on how President Obama’s self-designated role as philosopher king is (a) antithetical to the American system and (b) impeding his legislative agenda. A sample:

In a moment of candor, [Obama] essentially said [he embraced the philosopher-king role] to [CBS News’ Katie] Couric:

“Look, I would have loved nothing better than to simply come up with some very elegant, you know, academically approved approach to health care [that] didn’t have any kinds of legislative fingerprints on it, and just go ahead and have that passed. But that’s not how it works in our democracy. Unfortunately what we end up having to do is to do a lot of negotiations with a lot of different people.”

With the possible exception of Woodrow Wilson, can you imagine any of our prior presidents having said that?

Our democratic process, our separation of powers, and our federalist design frustrate Obama. But, far from being unfortunate, the negotiations and multiple levels of approval that they require, from a myriad of different citizens, is largely what secures our liberty—protecting it from those who would otherwise impose their own comprehensive goals from their lofty theoretical perches. The Founders were surely not Obama’s intellectual inferiors, but they were practical men. The Constitutional Convention was nothing if not high-level give-and-take, tinkering and refining. One imagines Obama showing up at Independence Hall with his own plan in hand (probably adapted from Rousseau’s in The Social Contract, with Obama cast in the role of the Legislator) and being surprised when the other delegates resisted his eloquence and, correspondingly, his proposal.

A great piece. Read the whole thing here.

January 19th, 2010 at 1:48 am
It’s Official … Barack Obama is Insane
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I try to resist the temptation to overstate my opposition to President Obama’s agenda. I don’t think the president’s a bad man, a crypto-communist, or a self-hating American. I think he’s an extraordinarily conventional (and mostly doctrinaire) liberal who got a lot further than most people who share his worldview could have because he has some rather pronounced political gifts. What he clearly lacks, however, is any real skill at governing in a sustainable way.

Thus, do we get the President, on the eve of what will either be a devastating defeat or a too-narrow win in the Massachusetts senate race waxing defiant. According to a story from tonight’s edition of Politico:

An upset by Republican Scott Brown would be covered in many quarters as a repudiation of Obama, especially after Obama’s last-ditch campaign appearance with Coakley 36 hours before the polls opened.

But the president’s advisers plan to spin it as a validation of the underdog arguments that fueled Obama’s insurgent candidacy.

“The painstaking campaign for change over two years in 2007 and 2008 has become a painstaking effort in the White House, too,” the official said. “The old habits of Washington aren’t going away easy.”

The White House rallying cry, according to one Obama confidant, will be, “Buckle up — let’s get some stuff done.”

There’s always been a hint of wishful thinking in the Obama as Jimmy Carter meme on the right … until now. If the White House’s response to the loss of what should be one of their safest seats in the entire nation is to go gung-ho, then Democrats will learn by November that the president’s forward march is a kamikaze mission. Read the whole piece on Politico for a disturbing look into how deeply the administration is embracing court sycophancy.