Victor Davis Hanson | Obama Has Exposed Unvarnished Liberalism to the Masses

Barack Obama has done the United States a great, though unforeseen, favor. He has brought to light, as no one else could, many of the pernicious assumptions of our culture from the last half-century. He turned theory and “what ifs” into fact for all America to see, experience, and, yes, suffer through.

The Years of Wandering…

Jimmy Carter tried to enact the therapeutic agenda, but he was inept. Liberals for the last thirty years blamed his failure on incompetence rather than his statist message. Until the Obama meltdown, progressives had faulted Bill Clinton as a wily sell-out who had won an improbable second term only by cynically reforming welfare and balancing budgets. Dick Morris engineered his comeback and now he works for Fox News: enough said. So the complaint was that the messenger was slick, but the noble message was diluted.

But Obama was supposed to be Clintonian in his political charisma and Carteresque in his devotion to liberal causes. When he boasted that he was “The One” we had been waiting for, he was more accurate than he thought in assessing liberal sentiment. You see, as a young, post-racial, first African-American president — glib, hip, cool, charismatic, with unapologetic Chicago hard-core leftist roots and Ivy League certification — Barack Obama was right out of liberal central casting. He would do what no other liberal had done in fifty years: prove to America that it really, really was left-of-center by ramming down its throat both a liberal agenda and thousands of left-wing facilitators. Greek columns, the Victory Monument, talk of a cooling planet, and worry whether the country would survive from December 2008 to January 2009 heralded His coming. We forget now that Obama arrived with a super-majority in the Senate, and a large majority in the House: anything was now possible and almost everything was thus tried.

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