Saturday, March 7, 2009

Go Back To School, Old Man

The speed and trajectory of events is surely one of the marvels of the Age of Obama. The pace of events has already caused many of the so-called Obamacons who supported Obama (and who often did so after making sure we all knew they thought Sarah Palin was an idiot) to regret their loud advocacy last fall. Peter Robinson rightfully flagellates them for their foolishness
Congratulations this week to three journalists who have finally taken up that constant struggle: Christopher Buckley, David Gergen and David Brooks. All three used to insist that Obama was some species of centrist or moderate. Now that Obama has proposed the most massive expansion of government in the history of the republic, each has recognized that just conceivably he might have been mistaken.
and then he accurately prescribes the problem
A deep, recurring pattern of American life has asserted itself yet again: the cluelessness of the elite.

Buckley, Gergen and Brooks all attended expensive private universities, then spent their careers moving among the wealthy and powerful who inhabit the seaboard corridor running from Washington to Boston. If any of the three strolled uninvited into a cocktail party in Georgetown, Cambridge or New Haven, the hostess would emit yelps of delight. Yet all three originally got Obama wrong.

Contrast Buckley, Gergen and Brooks with, let us say, Rush Limbaugh, whose appearance at any chic cocktail party would cause the hostess to faint dead away, or with Thomas Sowell, who occupies probably the most unfashionable position in the country, that of a black conservative.

Limbaugh and Sowell both got Obama right from the very get-go. "Just what evidence do you have," Sowell replied when I asked, shortly before the election, whether he considered Obama a centrist, "that he's anything but a hard-left ideologue?"

The elite journalists, I repeat, got Obama wrong. The troglodytes got him right. As our national drama continues to unfold, bear that in mind.

On that last point, I think a lot of folks will endure the labors of Hercules to make sure that "we" are unable to "bear in mind" that the troglodytes were right. 

I could care less about C. Buckley or David Gergen, but David Brooks is one of my literary heroes and one of the rare straight shooters on either side of the intellectual aisle. In his defense, I will say that his disenchantment with the GOP/Bush began terminal in the aftermath of Katrina. I well remember the disgust he exhibited in his TV appearances in those sad weeks. The struggles of Alberto Gonzalez, Scott McClellan, Harriet Miers, etc. didn't help, to put it mildly. 

But these were not a failure of conservatism. These were a failure of competence. Being true to conservatism means being true to your side, not supporting a guy everyone was calling the reincarnation of FDR and JFK. Liberals don't help conservatives get elected. Quite the opposite! Why should ostensible conservatives return this non-favor?

No comments:

Post a Comment