Perhaps the one thing which caused me to change my once favorable opinion of Barack Obama was when I realized his notion of a “new kind of politics” was just a slogan, pretense masking an undistinguished record.Â The more familiar I became with Obama’s ideas, the more apparent it became that he was pretty much a standard issue liberal.Â See a social problem, look for a government solution.
He had no record of reaching across the partisan divide to forge a consensus on controversial issues, had never bucked his party leadership on such matters.Â Heck, he hadn’t even stood up to bigots and extremists in his own life.
Two pieces I read in the past twenty-four hours confirm this image of Obama, offering the same kind of politics his party has offered for more than three-quarters of a century.Â Jonah Goldberg contends the Democratic nominee “symbolizes a return to an older vision of the United States that was seen as the ‘wave of the future’ eight decades ago.”
In a more detailed piece, Roger Kimball finds “most depressing . . . is the extent to which [the whole Obama juggernaut] represents a return of bad ideas that have already been tried time and again, have failed and made people poorer and less stalwart, and yet seem poised to make a sorry comeback once again.“Â In listing the taxes Obama plans to raise, Kimball holds that “Obama plans to resuscitate the welfare policies of the Great Society, but by stealth.”
Obama’s promise is all pretense.Â It’s not a new kind of politics, but the same old liberalism.Â The only difference is that when FDR tried these ideas back in the 1930s, he didn’t know they would exacerbate the Great Depression.Â Now, we have a record of their failure, but that’s not deterring Obama from wanting to try them again.