Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Does Obama Offers No New Approach To Governing?

A Portion of opinion piece from GOP Viewpoint: We Got The Thumping We Deserve, Rod Dreher, posted on NPR website.

Unlike Ronald Reagan in 1980, though, Obama didn't run on an ideologically distinct platform — which makes it hard to claim his victory as a mandate for a new era of vigorous liberalism.

Think about it: the most left-wing presidential candidate since George McGovern ran on tax cuts! Yes, he was against the war, but he did not campaign on taking U.S. foreign policy in a dramatic new direction — he has been as hawkish as John McCain on Russia, for example — nor did he stump for bold new social initiatives. Nor did he propose an audacious new philosophical approach to governing, unless you consider basic competence to be revolutionary (on the other hand, given the Bush administration's record, I concede the point).

This election represents not an affirmative embrace of neoliberalism but rather a repudiation of the Republican Party and a certain kind of conservatism. It's important for the left to recognize this in order to avoid the temptation to overreach in the heady Democratic days to come. One-party government didn't work out so well for the Republicans during the Bush years — and going further back, Bill Clinton's misreading of the meaning of his 1992 victory caused him to make several key political errors that Democrats paid dearly for in the 1994 midterm election. To be sure, Obama has an opening now to move the country to the left, but it's not clear that that's where we want to go.

Rod Dreher is a columnist and online editorial page editor for The Dallas Morning News and writes the Crunchy Con blog for

Text Source: Several paragraphs of longer NPR column

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