Obama The (non)Radical
Charles Kesler has written a new book explaining how President Obama is fulfilling a radical plan to remake America. I was reading a review by Mark Lilla when I ran across the following passage that hit home:
Whenever conservatives talk to me about Barack Obama, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. But what exactly? The anger, the suspicion, the freestyle fantasizing have no perceptible object in the space-time continuum that centrist Democrats like me inhabit. What are we missing? Seen from our perspective, the country elected a moderate and cautious straight shooter committed to getting things right and giving the United States its self-respect back after the Bush-Cheney years. Unlike the crybabies at MSNBC and Harper’s Magazine, we never bought into the campaign’s hollow “hope and change” rhetoric, so aren’t crushed that, well, life got in the way. At most we hoped for a sensible health care program to end the scandal of America’s uninsured, and were relieved that Obama proposed no other grand schemes of Nixonian scale. We liked him for his political liberalism and instinctual conservatism. And we still like him.
Lilla goes on to write about how Ronald Reagan managed to pull the Democrats back to the center and conservatives find it impossible to admit that he succeeded. The big question if Obama wins re-election (particularly if it is lopsided), is will he pull Republicans back to the center? Or are they too far gone to ever return?