Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why Obama is "Even Close"

Columnist David Brooks was well chosen to be the gentle voice of conservatism for The New York Times.  He's careful to write in a way that makes his ideas at least acceptable to his knee-jerk liberal readers.

So when he asks the rhetorical question: why is Obama even close in the  presidential opinion polls, he provides comfortable words for the NYT faithful.   After backing and filling for 700 words he leaves them with this fudge.
I’d say that Obama is a slight underdog this year: the scuffling economy will grind away at voters. But his leadership style is keeping him afloat. He has defined a version of manliness that is postboomer in policy but preboomer in manners and reticence.
But the best thing to do when thinking about Obama is to do the Bush substitution.  Imagine that President Bush was presiding over 8 percent unemployment and sluggish 2 percent growth.

Exactly.  Back in 2002 the Democrats and their willing accomplices in the media were screaming blue murder about 3 percent growth and 6 percent unemployment.  Imagine what they would be doing if a Republican president had President Obama's numbers.  They would be pulling the place down.

The reason that President Obama is even close is not that he has defined a "new version of manliness" but that up to now he hasn't really experienced any serious opposition.  That's the way with US politics.  Republicans only get to talk to the moderates and independents for about six months before an election, when they pay for the privilege.  The rest of the time the MSM is pushing its liberal agenda from the horrors of climate change to the cruelty of budget cuts and the mean-spirited policies of eevil Republicans.  That's all that non-political people get to see on their TV news.

Guess what.  Here we are, about six months out from the November election and the Republicans have selected a candidate and his campaign is starting to get into gear.  That means that the independents and moderates are finally beginning to get a message from the Republicans.

Guess what his campaign theme is.  "Believe in America."  It's as gauzy as "Hope and Change," but you can see the difference.  "Believe in America" is a direct appeal to American nationalism, the American idea, and American exceptionalism.

It suggests that the Obamis don't believe in America (Ya think?).

David Brooks is right.  Right now the election is pretty close, and it's pretty remarkable.  But I don't think things are going to stay that way.  Watch when the needle starts to move.  Then the wailing and gnashing of teeth will start in earnest.

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