Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Random Observations

1. David Brooks explains in his new column that nobody is going to get anywhere claiming that McCain is too cozy with the lobbyists. Nobody has a more consistent record of taking on the special interests, the earmarks, the clever legislative insulations from competition and all that. Someone might say he’s too comtemptuous, in a warrior’s way, of ordinary democratic interest-group politics.

2. Stephen Hayes has a thoughtful comparison of Obama with Reagan in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Anyone who listens closely notices that Barack doesn’t just speak in platitudes, but has a complex and nuanced grasp of very liberal positions on policy issues. He’s careful to express his extreme views without being strident, and while always showing respect for the other side. So he might have what it takes to mainstream liberalism--to make it young and beautiful--again, just like Reagan mainstreamed conservatism in many ways.

3. Brooks concludes his column by claiming that we really do have two extraordinary candidates this year.

Discussions - 6 Comments

The warrior analogy is becoming tiresome. Not every position the McCain has can or should be stereotyped into the fact that he is a "warrior."

What does the "warrior" McCain propose to do about the "war" on drugs? Go after pro-sports?

"...nobody is going to get anywhere claiming that McCain is too cozy with the lobbyists."

Well, I wouldn't be too sure about that. It might have helped someone before, someone that I'd guess most everyone here voted for, and not just in 2000.

Someone didn't get the memo on Obama:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/02/019891.php

On 2: Hayes presents a very thought-out, and extremely disconcerting, analysis of Obama in the piece. Obama is, however, at best, an "effective" communicator. Whereas Reagan had significant experience under his belt running for office, Obama is simply the tabula rasa candidate. The experience of Reagan, in both his triumphs and failures, politically, allowed for a certain sense of comfort among voters and the party-insiders. Obama does not have this luxury. As per Richard's poignant link, there are certain dark aspects to Obama which have really yet to reveal themselves. However, thanks to "America's Next Top Leader," these concerns will be, hopefully, vetted before the election.

Reagan successfully used a rhetoric that was hopeful, optimistic, and rehabilitated what many saw as a decaying American exceptionalism but it was far from messianic; if anything, Reagan's criticims of big government and communism were grounded on a recognition of the profound limitations that necessarily attach to human nature and therefore to politics itself. He certainly never saw government as an instrument for repairing our defective souls.

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