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December 04, 2008

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Nato

It always seemed to me that the 'change' Obama was talking about was about that "There is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America" quote, variations of which were the exclamation points of his speeches. He made speeches about closing the divide and, despite his party have vastly more congressional control than the GOP did in 2000, he's still taking a very centrist line in a way that a number of conservative commentators can scarcely believe. I guess maybe he just meant what he said. That's change I didn't fully believe in, but am starting to.

As for dissing foreign leaders, well, that's no good at all. Of course, Cameron isn't PM just yet.

Nato

also:
http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2008/12/did-obama-reall.html

Nathan Smith

re: "He made speeches about closing the divide and, despite his party have vastly more congressional control than the GOP did in 2000, he's still taking a very centrist line in a way that a number of conservative commentators can scarcely believe."

If Obama can "close the divide" by maintaining continuity with the general policy direction the Bush administration took, that's an interesting revelation. What it will show is what I've sort of suspected for some time: that Bush's somewhat artificial unpopularity has no coherent, substantive case underlying it, and is just a hate-fetish on the part of a lot of liberal elites and some paleocons and libertarians. Of course, it might be good for the country if a different party label in the White House can unwind some of that hatred. But it does very little credit to Obama, who fuelled the Bush-is-bad myth and rode it to the White House. He may want to close the divide, now that he's in charge, but he exploited and encouraged it in order to *get* in charge.

If the economic appointments are an indicator of what an Obama presidency will be like, the country may do just fine by him, but his campaign will have been even more of a travesty than it seemed at the time. "Change" will turn out to have meant nothing but one more job title for the world-champion resume-padder, Barack Obama, with the added bonus that maybe fewer Americans will decide to hate him. I guess the idea that politicians are contemptible opportunists should be commonplace; but the Bush administration has got me used to the idea that politicians can actually think big and have ideals and do something to bring them about, taking risks and facing hard choices and unpleasantness. It will take me a little while to lower my expectations again.

Cameron is not PM. He's the leader-- that, I believe, is the term generally used-- of the British opposition.

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