Friday, February 22, 2008

Barack Is Beatable!

The Democrats are weak in November.

If the nominee is Hillary...well, the reason is obvious. It is seeming ever less likely that she will be, however. People are beginning to emerge from their holes and from behind rocks to announce that Hillary is dead. (E.g., Lawrence Kudlow, "Clinton is Over.")

If the nominee is Barack Obama, it is becoming daily more apparent where the party's vulnerabilities lie with that candidate. For the last week there has been a fast flow of analysis probing the mist surrounding Obamamania and finding nothing inside, or just the same liberal orthodoxy that the Democrats have been shovelling up for more than a generation. Obama hears this, but doesn't see the point.

His message is based on the premise that America is structurally unjust and that it resembles something like Gotham City in Batman Begins (Christian Bale, 2005). Grimy, corrupt and oppressive. Michelle Obama recently confirmed this impression, telling us that for the first time in her adult life she is proud of her country, and that the sole reason for that is that people are looking to her husband in hope. Imagine the pillowtalk that must have generated that and similar remarks. This is not the view of most Americans. Gallup reports that 84% are satisfied with their lives. Obama's dark complaints and his appeals to class divisions play great with the Democratic base who are always angry socialists stuck in 1936, who have nothing to lose but their chains, and who see everyone else the same way. He stands in the tradition of Michael Moore, John Edwards, and Harry Reid, all of whom are either unattractive or downright repulsive to most people.

In "Obama At The Top" (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 14, 2008), Daniel Henninger details the "unremitting bleakeness" of Obama's message, looking at his Potomac Primary victory speech. "At some point in the next 10 months, people will have to square Sen. Obama's Grapes of Wrath message with the reality of their lives. Unease about the economy is real, but Sen. Obama is selling more than that. He is selling deep grievance over the structure of American society." As the Messenger of Hope tells it, America is grimy, hopeless (without him), extremely polarized, an economic tyranny and a political shame. That sold in 1936. It hasn't sold since.

Lawrence Kudlow gave us "Obama's Big-Government Vision" (New York Sun, Feb. 15, 2008). Obama's platform is "old-fashioned-liberal tax and spend and regulate. It's plain ol' big government." He goes over the details.

Finally, the last word on the big-government hard-left liberal in centrist post-partisan clothing has to go to his boygeniusship, Karl Rove -- "Obama's New Vulnerability" (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21).

The Obamamania itself is another matter. In addition to my own posts, "Obama Offers Civil Religion on Steroids," "Adult Advice for Obamamaniacs," and "More Adult Advice for Obamamaniacs," and Harold Kildow's "The Obama Bubble," we have...

Charles Krauthammer, "Obama Casts His Spell" (February 15).

Mark Steyn, "Obama the Muzak-Messiah of the Pseudo-Revolution" (February 16). You know that's gotta be good.

Dean Barnett, "The Magical Democrat" (The Weekly Standard)

David Brooks, "When The Magic Fades" (New York Times, Feb. 19)

Robert Samuelson, "The Obama Delusion" (Newsweek, Feb. 20).

Take some time to read these. Indulge yourself. The whole situation is laughable. Of course, it's all fun and games until someone loses a country.

It may be too soon to be writing Hillary's political obituary, as some were doing last night after the Texas debate. Obama's candidacy may yet evaporate if serious scrutiny and widespread sobriety come sooner than expected.

Otherwise, McCain had better be ready with a plausible conservative domestic agenda for when moderate America sobers up, wises up and turns to the grown-up candidate for serious proposals.

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