Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


I’m not hanging on every word or speech occuring right now in Denver--neither are most other Americans, if ratings are any guide--but I get the sense that this convention is a letdown. Not a disaster, but a letdown. Having built up these enormous expectations, Obama and his supporting cast can’t deliver. I see hints of Obama trying to dampen expectations for his big stadium speech tomorrow. (See Byron York on this subject.) He may regret having eschewed the traditional convention hall speech.

The basic problem of Democrats is that it is committed to the idea that the Era of Big Government is Back, but when all of the constraints—fiscal and cognitive (see: Hayek)--cannot be overcome, and when the general program is not wildly popular with a majority of the public. (I have long thought that it was only a matter of time and gas prices before Americans swung rapidly to a pro-drilling opinion; that time has arrived, and Democrats will get run over if they really decide to stand with the Greens.) Hence the increasing reliance on shallow slogans and the philosophy of victimhood. Not that Republicans are much better in practice (see: Bush’s spending and regulatory record), but at least a presumption in favor of the private sector and individual initiative is a place that most of the public is more comfortable with.

In retrospect Obama’s European victory tour was a mistake. Suddenly the McCain campaign has its act together, and is hitting Obama daily. Obama’s counterpunches have been few and far between. McCain’s stumbles on the houses may actually work to his advantage if it keeps Romney off the ticket (a weak pick in my mind).

Forget Obama’s half-brother. (I know, I know, I brough it up. . .) The Ayers business is starting to look a lot more interesting to me.

Finally, Obama has been compared to Reagan, in that both emerged as national figures on account of a single speech given at a propitious moment. Both had some dubious alliances from their past to unwind (Reagan and the John Birch Society, for instance). Both faced doubts among voters; Reagan overcame his at the last moment to win decisively. But there is an obvious difference. Reagan at least had run a major state as an executive for two terms. He was actually relieved when his half-hearted run in 1968 ended; he told more than one person that he wasn’t ready to be president yet. I have long thought that had Reagan actually won the nomination and the election in 1968 after just two years as governor, he’d have made a poor president and had an unsuccessful administration. I doubt Obama has any such self-awareness or humble doubts about himself.

Finally, if you hook up the Clintons to a polygraph, I am sure it would reveal they hope for a McCain victory. Does anyone really think otherwise? (P.S. A comment on Peter’s thread below says Hillary’s speech was comparable to Reagan’s impromptu speech for Ford in 1976. Actually, Reagan never even mentioned Ford’s name in his brief remarks--a fact barely noted at the time.)

Discussions - 7 Comments

Finally, if you hook up the Clintons to a polygraph, I am sure it would reveal they hope for a McCain victory. Does anyone really think otherwise?

Yes. I think that they would do anything to keep a Republican out of office, no matter what Democrat wins. Why would you think any differently (especially when you've probably never even met the woman . . . or maybe never even the man)? Are you really THAT desperate for a Clinton conspiracy theory (that is, of course, rhetorical)?

Obama's "Bill Ayers problem" is a potential campaign crusher. Obama knows this which is why his minions have filed campaign finance law challenges against the producer of television ads which mention the Obama-Ayers connection and which are currently airing in limited markets.

It was just a matter of time before this weapon was used. Whether this will be as damaging to Obama as the "Swift Boat Ads" were to Kerry remains to be seen. I would speculate that on a scale of one to ten this is a potential 7.5 for the senator from Illinois.

Mr. Hayward, why does everyone forget that Ronald Reagan was a household word and acknowledged spokesperson for conservative America long before he ran for any public office. As the voice behind "Death Valley Days" in the 1950s, and the front man for GE in the 1960s, Reagan and conservative, fiscally responsible government became synonyous. No way does Obama compare.

Finally, if you hook up the Clintons to a polygraph.... I'm no expert, but I'd bet the device would explode.

The Dem platform has collapsed. Their number one issue - being against the war - is gone! How onconvenient for the US troops to win the war whilst Dems were campaigning to "stop" it. lol.

Second issue, the economy. Green is a loser. Between global warming increasingly being understood as a hoax (McCain didn't get the memo yet either), and Americans being fedup about high prices at the pump, the anti-drill Dems cannot push that issue anymore. ANd while Bush and teh GOP were horrible int erms of spending, this is about the NEXT potus and congress - not past ones. How can the Dems talk about increasing govt and taxes at a time when spending needs to be REDUCED - not increased? As much as people are angry at the GOP for out of control spending, I think it's pretty obvious that the Dems aren't going to be the fiscal conservatives in the future. The last thing the USA needs is MORE big programs and spending. Doesn't that remove the main reason people vote for Dems? America is not in the mood to here about more govt programs or higher taxes. They are worried about THEMSELVES - not those worse off.

A commenter brought up the idea that when economic times are bad, the incumbents are frequently thrown out. This is true. But in this case, the alternative party is worse! Caught between a rock and a hard place. Neither party or candidate is being fiscally responsible. Read WEB's comments on this subject on cnbc's website. They are dead on.

Global warming a "hoax"? Not even Steven Hayward would say that. And I must have missed our "winning" the war.

I completely agree that it is silly and wrong to compare Obama to Reagan. The question about Obama now is whether he is JFK or WJ Bryan.

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