The guy delivers a decent speech at the DNC and now he’s all over the place. Isn’t this sudden excitement sign that the Democratic ticket is desperately boring? It’s just a speech people, it’s not like Obama has invented the cure for cancer. I’m sorry but I’m not excited by people whose major achievements are rethoric and pushing more legislation. The guy went to law school for chrissakes, that should tell you something (for one, that might get him a VP job one of those days!).
One can always hope the US will shake up from its current drift ever closer to Euro-like over-regulated nanny state. The difference between Bush’s "compassionate conservatism" and social democracy is thin — it’s just that the former doesn’t even pretend to balance its outrageous expenditures with enough taxes. But getting back to core American values of freedom, responsibility, openness and opportunity is not going to happen with creeping statism. Go ahead, impoverish people with high taxes, waste most of it and give some targeted "relief" back to buy some love (wait a minute, wasn’t this my money in the first place?). How about getting out of the way instead, big daddy? Have you seen how every American politician is sold to you as a great father and spouse? How telling, how patronizing.
Anyway, whether Barack Obama is the new Doctor General Howard Clark is an irrelevant detail (it’s funny though how the Democrats get excited by a new guy every quarter). At least he’s good looking and articulate and he blinks like a real human being. No, the big story is the zombification of the GOP. The fact Bush has not been challenged through Republican primaries is a disaster, the unraveling of the Reagan legacy. Now we have a competition between two flavors of protectionists and big spenders who want the federal state to have a finger in every pie because someone has to think of the children in the name of God.
What a waste of opportunity. I’m left (bad pun intended) with rooting for a Kerry victory so that the GOP kicks the religious nuts and prescription drugs collectivists out and reinvents itself into something finally palatable to fiscal conservatives and libertarians. Much like in Europe, it needs to get worse before it can get better.
09/02/04 update: Ken Layne: What Conservatives?.
08/22/05 update: I miss Republicans; The Gingrich Legacy.