Posted by Brad @ 2:32 pm on July 28th 2009

Quote of the Day

“Its despotism when we lose, freedom when we win. We should have more confidence in Tcs2 the people and the country than this. We should also have more charity to our political opponents who after all are contending with hideous problems bequeathed to them by by well suddenly we Republicans cannot seem to remember who preceded Barack Obama in office. To listen to us, youd think that the bailouts and takeovers started on January 20, 2009, not the previous March. Youd never know that TARP was supported by almost every Republican commentator, including the editors of National Review. Or that Vice President Cheney argued urgently in favor of the rescue of the Detroit automakers. Or that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac enjoyed the backing of Republican as well as Democratic lawmakers.

One bad election converts us from ardent admirers of the American people to glum declinists who can see only a miserable moldering of a once great nation. I should have thought that conservative patriotism was made of stronger stuff.”

David Frum

I don’t think saying “it was Bush’s fault” is a very effective way in dealing with the inadequacies or oversights of the current President. But that does not stop it from being, in many cases, true. Nor is it pedantic and irrelevant, particularly when many leaders of the conservative movement are actively throwing around phrases like tyranny and socialism and what have you and acting as if the sky has fallen on free America because voters got sick of a purportedly conservative president creating conservative problems and trying to append half-ass liberal solutions to them, and instead elected a purportedly liberal president in the hopes that he can append at least three-quarters-ass liberal solutions to the explicit conservative problems created by his predecessor.

But it does strike me, often, when otherwise intelligent conservative commentators (and then the rest, who are at the very least reportedly sentient) disregard this point. One would think that Barack Obama just appeared in a poof of smoke and brimstone to take over the country in the name of INSERT SCAREMONGERING ABSTRACTION HERE. And not, in fact, because those riding under the banner of conservatism screwed the nation in almost every conceivable way, to the point where the people they spent 80% of their governing time defining in opposition to them might start looking pretty good.

To put that another way, even if one were to think that voters chose Obama, offering socialism and tyranny, if the Bush years were conservatism and freedom, who can blame them?


  1. Hey, Bush drove me away on the war alone.

    The awful economics was just an extra kick in the ass on my way out the door.

    Comment by daveg — 7/28/2009 @ 5:06 pm

  2. Well, Brad, you’ve kicked the crap out of the strawman that Obama is totalitarian.

    My objection to him was always that he was interested primarily in a specific economic agenda, and that he would throw anything and everything else overboard in order to achieve it. If there’s anybody interested in arguing the converse on that claim, based on Obama’s first six months in office, I’ll gladly engage them.

    This Presidency has been a success on foreign policy primarily by virtue of the President’s charm and his willingness to do nothing at the right time. By every other standard, this has been a failed administration to this point.

    I have no interest in the unhinged critiques of Obama. The hinged ones are plenty persuasive at this point. Which is why Obama and his supporters spend as much time on the unhinged criticisms as possible.

    Comment by Rojas — 7/28/2009 @ 8:59 pm

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