We on the Right joke about Obama-worshippers a lot. It’s everywhere, from Chris Matthews’ tingling leg to the often dramatic and pretentious photos on the White House Flickr page. While the whole notion of Obama-worship has been a fairly easy and obvious joke, there’s a certain segment of leftists who are so enamored with President Obama that they have become blinded by Obama’s messianic aural glow. These leftists’ full-fledged love affair with him have led to their refusal to see Obama as anything but a mainstream, pragmatic, and even centrist, leader.
The poster child of this political disease is former conservative Andrew Sullivan. Though Sullivan still considers himself a conservative and denies any leftist tendencies, it’s abundantly clear that he has imbibed his share of the Obama Kool-Aid and made the transition to full-fledged member of the Left. Just this week, Sullivan managed to try to paint Obama as some sort of reasonable centrist and slam those who consider Obama to be a radical as extremists.
In his “Daily Dish” column at The Atlantic, Sullivan writes:
I suffer, it seems, from an affliction that bedevils many. I now find myself largely opposed to most Republicans and in favor of a Democratic president as an even tempered pragmatist. But I have not reimagined myself as a leftist. Others have, of course, but I wince a little every time.
See what I mean?
Take the issue of taxes – and you see where the right-left paradigm is totally insufficient to the occasion.
Income tax rates are now lower than they were under Ronald Reagan and far lower than they were under Eisenhower… Someone advocating what Eisenhower was perfectly comfortable with would be regarded by the Republican right today as a communist. And yet…[i]n retrospect, he might even be seen as the most successful small-c conservative of the 20th century.
Wait a second. When did Eisenhower become the standard-bearer for the Right? I’ve never heard anyone refer to himself as an “Eisenhower conservative.” Anyway, Sullivan goes on:
Similarly, those who view Obama as some kind of radical have to come to terms with what Glenn Greenwald spells out here:
“Since Obama was inaugurated, the Dow Jones has increased more than 50% — from 8,000 to more than 12,000; the wealthiest recieved [sic] a massive tax cut; the top marginal tax rate was three times less than during the Eisenhower years and substantially lower than during the Reagan years…”
Conservatism cannot be defined as whatever is the most extreme right-wing narrative of the moment. Time matters. Conservatism needs to be flexible enough a governing philosophy to be able to correct for conservative ideology itself.
Beyond the fact that it’s downright deceptive to call a refusal (or does the Left see it as a failure?) to increase taxes a “tax cut,” Sullivan and his ilk are woefully and radically wrong, or at the very least misguided.
Next: Sullivan’s unhinged cartoon vision of the Right…