When one declares oneself to be a conservative, one is not, unfortunately, thereupon visited by tongues of fire that leave one omniscient. The acceptance of a series of premises is just the beginning. After that, we need constantly to inform ourselves, to analyze and to think through our premises and their ramifications. We need to ponder, in the light of the evidence, the strengths and the weaknesses, the consistencies and the inconsistencies, the glory and the frailty of our position, week in and week out. Otherwise, we will not hold our own in a world where informed dedication, not just dedication, is necessary for survival and growth.

William F. Buckley Jr., Feb 8, 1956, NR

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

From Another Perspective.....Guest Post from TAO

I have read an article on Shaw’s blog at Progressive Eruptions and it triggered some thoughts to come back to me that I had lost over the last few months. We get so wrapped up in the moment that we lose sight of the bigger picture from time to time and I realize that I lost sight of how I saw the election of Barack Obama earlier on.

I know most people still see this election as a fluke; that somehow Americans became infatuated with false hopes from a messiah or it was just a guilt trip over race; that would be fine if we just viewed the voting as only a political act. Most elections are just political events and that is what they will remain.

But every now and then you have an election that is transformational; it represents more than just a political vote, much more.

Think back to 1960 when Kennedy beat Nixon. Kennedy, much like Obama, was a political newcomer who ran in against some pretty established Democratic political warhorses in the primary (Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Adlai Stevenson, and Stuart Symington) and he came out the winner and let’s not forget that he was a Catholic.

Which back in those days was about as foreign of a concept as electing a half black man to the Presidency is today.

Then JFK runs against Richard Nixon, who at the time was Vice President to a very highly respected and popular President and wins. Nixon, in those days was just about as popular with the Republican base as John McCain was to conservatives today. There is no way to compare Eisenhower to George Bush; other than they both served two terms.

Kennedy represented change, he represented about as much to that generation as Obama represented in this election to a whole new generation. Did Kennedy live up to the expectations that his supporters had for him? No, not at all because he actually didn’t accomplish all that much during his short time as President. But we just might have to realize that he represented the ‘first wave’ of the social change that racked this country during the 1960’s and represented a societal transformation.

Transformations, which usually are defined by historians, but realistically, they should be obvious to us, much like recessions and economic experts; historians should only confirm what we already know. Was Kennedy a transformation? Obviously, having been a child during the 60’s it was a totally different society and I would argue that Reagan represented a transformation, but it was less social and more economic; his transformation involved our views of the military, international intervention, and the beginning of the concept of government deficits don’t matter.

Kennedy changed a whole generation and their concept of themselves, society, and government. Reagan did the same. I venture that Obama represents now what those two did then. Of course, back then I am sure that quite a few scoffed at the idea of JFK amounting to anything long term, even within the Democratic Party and lets not forget that George H. W. Bush called Reagan’s economic plans, “Voodoo Economics.”

So, what does that mean? Very simply, it means that besides the Republicans some of the old time Democrats, such as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, are going to have trouble adapting.

The Republicans picked Barry Goldwater as their 1964 candidate, a real conservative in the very true sense of the word and Lyndon Johnson basically ended any future that the conservative wing of the Republican party may have had of recapturing control of the party until Ronald Reagan in 1980. If history repeats its self then that translates into the re emergence of conservatism in….2028!

Sometimes elections are a lot more than just elections. Sometimes they represent a fundamental change in society that slowly but surely manifests its self on a much broader scale as time goes on.

It might be best to see Obama in this light and deal with that as a potential reality then it is to just consider him a one term fluke.

19 comments:

Patrick M said...

Tao: If this is a transformative election, then the only question, is it the butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, or that moment in Alien where the chest-burster comes out and runs off to grow and start killing?

(might just be something I ate.)

TAO said...

I don't know Patrick....

But the Republicans and conservatives are tired and out of ideas...

Seen how well Hillary did so went out and got themselves a female VP. Now have decided that black is "in" so they go off and get themselves a black RNC Chairman...

Got dinosaur Pelosi and Reid and all their stupidity then we got all the crap about tax cut.

So they all cobble together a one trillion job/infrastructure bill together for a total of 40 billion dollars for infrastructure.

Not real sure anyone in Washington really understands that the mood is different out on Main Street...

But as far as your question goes it depends on how bad the economy gets....

Jennifer said...

What worries me about being transformational is what exactly is getting transformed. It was definitely a history making election I just don't think it is a positive one if his actions of the last week are any indication.

TAO said...

Jennifer,

Don't focus on just one week of politics...

Study economics for a while and realize that the recession is getting worse and it will last longer than anything you have seen.

Come March the automakers are to have a plan and did you see their sales numbers for December.

Just wait two years and see what the mood of the country is....

The mill where I have gotten fabric for 20 years always closes for 2 weeks for Christmas. This year they decided to close for 4 weeks...and today I call on my order of fabric that was to ship last week and I find out that they are closed till at least feb 15....which means the sewing factories will be out of work for at least two weeks and possibly up to six weeks and on and on it goes...my business is actually good right now but this is a very bad sign...because there is no way I can find our fabric in our colors anywhere else....in any time frame. If they shut down I actually have to just about start all over.

Obama and his politics are the least of our worries....there is something rotten in our economy and it has been festering a long time...

CB said...

Patrick,

I see an alien bursting from the chest. This is not just one week by the way TAO, he's been campaigning for 3 years. In his first weeks, he dashed straight left. He sees a fundamental flaw in America, it's not communist! He's trying to change it by hook or crook (not just a play on words about his nominees).

I plan to be on the Sigourney Weaver part of this battle, I'm gearing up early.

Jennifer said...

I see your point regarding the economy. I understand the importance of success in this area. My husband's company took a 10% cut rate and he has been given days off for the last 3 months. It's hitting home very hard. I think without a doubt this is the most important issue right now and the pork bill is a complete disaster!!

TAO said...

CB...

plant your garden early, might want to find a generator, and have all your bills paid because that is your real foe....

It is a matter of time before Citibank and Bank of America are begging for more funds....and we cannot print enough money to feed the beast.

For every percentage increase in unemployment you lose about 2 to 3 percent GDP growth in a year. So 2009 will be negative GDP growth and most likely 2010 will be too...

In a few years when we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel we then will realize that the light is a train rushing at us full speed which will be the government debt that we are currently buried under....and is the result of your buddies, the Republicans....

CB said...

TAO,

I agree with all of your last statements including the part about Republicans.

Ron said...

these DEMOCRAT thieves like Daschleare so blatant that I can’t believe it.
And obama wanted to "stand behind him"

My Self said...

Obama says that he really understands going on here. How could he when iust the day before yesterday when Obama already knew the facts about Daschle , Obama was "standing by" Daschle. Now, after Daschle is out, he is worried about sending mixed messages? Understand this, America: Obama has offered nothing but mixed messages since taking his oath of office as junior senator from Illinois. Remember when he told us he wouldn't run for president, that he was committed to being Illinois' senator? Or how about when he said he'd have no lobbyists in his campaign/administration? Or when he said he backed up Rev. Wright? That's just the tip of the iceberg. With Obama, it's always been about fake leadership: Take a stand. Claim you will never waiver. Then, when the people decide you are wrong, quickly run to the front of the moving pack and claim that you were there all along. It's a pattern. It's disturbing. And we've got four more years of this garbage to deal with. I do not see this as a "screw up" I see it as a "Gotchcha"
And you ask us to SUPPORT this fake, phony and fraud?
No sir, not this gal.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

"But the Republicans and conservatives are tired and out of ideas..."

TAO - This statement is actually misleading. While the GOP may have run out of ideas it is not because conservatives have or that conservatism has failed.

The GOP moved away from conservatism years ago and that is when they began thier downfall. The last two elections were not failures of conservatism or conservative ideas, but the failure of Republicanism which abandoned conservative ideas.

As far as Obama's election being transformational, I disagree. All polling shows that the country is still a center-right majority. Especially on the moral issues.

Obama is NOT center right or even center left. He seems to try to avoid being extreme left but then does not reign in the extreme left when he has the chance but rather tries to convince moderates and conservative that they need to change their thinking to line up with his and the liberal ideas he proposes.

This "stimulus," is an example. He has not tried in the least to curb the massive spednign agenda of Pelosi and Reid in this package which shows he truly does not see things from the center.

Obama's election happened because he touted chnage from politics as ususal and now that he governs he governs politics as usual with even more cornyism than his predecessors.

He is running a, " don't do as I do but do as I say," administration. That is not transformational.

Kennedy's transformation was that he portrayed a young energetic image as opposed to the older Eisenhower, which appealed to a younger America. His assasination was actually what transformed the country more than his administration. The shock and sadness of his senseless murder ended the innocence of the fiftes and the air of royalty in the White House which was the Kennedy style.

Transforming this Nation from innocence to utter chaos throughout the LBJ administration and much of Nixon.

Obama is not transformational like Kennedy because he brings more questions that answers with him. He has shown to this point that he is truly lost as to how to handle many situations. Even ignoring a disaster in the KY and ARK which demands a disater declaration and FEMA intervention.

He is in way over his head and it shows more everyday.

Dan Trabue said...

And we've got four more years of this garbage to deal with.

If conservatives continue to think that the Palin-types are the solution and run them in 2012, 2016, etc, you've got WAY more than four years to deal with.

Gayle said...

We have a generator here and the onions and broccoli are already planted. Have to wait until there is no danger of a freeze to plant the rest.

As for Obama, I believe the Office of the President to be above his pay grade, but I'm trying to be patient and give him a chance to prove me wrong. I pray that he does.

TAO said...

I think what everyone is forgetting is that Obama is the candidate to initiate change.

It has been obvious for some of us for years that Congress and the bureaucracy was the issue. Its the same old politics on both the Republican and the Democratic side and those old politics do not work.

The Congress could come together and slap together a bailout in a week for Wall Street and not have any issues about wasting money. They did not come together because GWB put together a brillant plan or anything.

Basically they came together to cobble together a plan that does nothing to solve any problems or changes the way we do business. They just threw money at their buddies on Wall Street without a second guess, guestion, or thought about the costs. Conservatives and Liberals, Republicans and Democrats...all supported THAT bailout and it cost alot more than the current bailout does. Then the Federal Reserve was given all sorts of power to guarantee debt, pump money, and print money....all by a conservative president and not one oink from Congress.

Now, we are dealing with our old and crumbling ingrastructure, and a massive personal castrophy of an economy and all of the sudden its politics as usual for both sides....

I think it is funny that Obama raises the bar on standards for appointments to his administration and look who gets caught...a Fed Member appointed by Clinton and reappointed by GWB then the majority leader of the senate for a while...kind of makes you wonder what would happen if every congress member would have to go through the same process.

Oh Obama is hated by so many of you....and there is no doubt he has a lot of learning to do and some growing up on the job to do...that is normal for any President

I think all of us need to realize that the mood of the country is too quite and has been for too long....Obama just represents the beginning.

It is true that most Americans are center/right...which makes them much more liberal than conservatives. As far as moral issues just look at the issue of abortion...lots of talk but no action in over 30 years.

In Kentucky where McCain won by 57% in the last election most of the folks I run into are saying "Give em hell Obama" and these were loyal Bush supporters in 2000 and 2004...and I wouldn't be surprised if they voted for McCain in 2008 but now the mood is changing and the hurt is getting closer to home....

Patrick M said...

Tao: I think what everyone is forgetting is that Obama is the candidate to initiate change.

And when will he be initiating this change? We're all still waiting...

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

I don't consider him a fluke, I consider him an empty suit stuffed with the mantra of HOPE and CHANGE but nothing to show for it.

All the Libs having a great big emotional high does not representative substantive change.

We'll know that when we see it. So far, nothing.

Shaw Kenawe said...

And when will he be initiating this change? We're all still waiting...

All the Libs having a great big emotional high does not representative substantive change.

We'll know that when we see it. So far, nothing.



You haven't seen change yet and it's been what? 15 days!!!

Hang in there everyone. And understand that we had 8 years to get into this mess. It isn't going to get resolved in 15 days.

Your criticisms are sounding a bit premature. No. Make that HUGELY premature.

I detect a bit of hope for failure in all of this. And I understand it's some folk's way of getting even with what they perceive as unfair treatment of GWB.

This is a strange and self-destructive hope.

I can't understand how it will solve our problems.

Patrick M said...

Shaw: The pint is, on the things he has done, he really hasn't changed Washington.

This is a strange and self-destructive hope.

That's what we've been saying for the last year. :)

Toad734 said...

And we haven't seen an Irish Catholic President sense.