Save for those feeding from the federal trough (and the interest groups who support them), few people are backing the president’s budget, including one of his most enthusiastic cheerleaders, the once- (and perhaps future) insightful Andrew Sullivan. That left-leaning formerly conservative blogger has taken his one-time golden boy to the woodshed for his spendthrift spending plan.
How times have changed. Barely two-and-one-half years ago, just after the then-Democratic nominee’s speech to his party’s national convention, Sullivan reminded us of his enthusiasm for the Chicago politician:
I’ve said it before – months and months ago. I should say it again tonight. This is a remarkable man at a vital moment. America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away. America must not throw this opportunity away.
It seems that hope has turned to despair. At the time of that speech, I wonder what justified the “googly-eyed accolades of such supporters as Sullivan“. Now, Andrew seems shocked, ***SHOCKED***, at the Democrat’s spendthrift ways:
The crisis is the cost of future entitlements and defense, about which Obama proposes nothing. Yes, there’s some blather. But Obama will not risk in any way any vulnerability on taxes to his right or entitlement spending to his left. He convened a deficit commission in order to throw it in the trash. If I were Alan Simpson or Erskine Bowles, I’d feel duped. And they wereduped. All of us who took Obama’s pitch as fiscally responsible were duped.”
“Yes,” Jim Geraghty quips, “you were duped.” The real issue here is not just that Sullivan got duped, but also how and why he let himself get duped. It is one thing for the average American who does not follow politics on a daily basis to take a charismatic candidate at his word that he is offering a “net spending cut,” but quite another for someone who follows politics day in and day out.
The only evidence we had that Obama favored smaller government was rhetorical. His voting record — and political alliances — showed a man committed to the big-government ways of his political party.