Will Obama do to conservatism what Reagan did to liberalism? Conservative Andrew Sullivan, believes that maybe he will. On attending an Obama appearance in Washington last night, Sullivan writes:
The overwhelming first impression that you get - from the exhausted but vibrant stump speech, the diverse nature of the crowd, the swell of the various applause lines - is that this is the candidate for real change. He has what Reagan had in 1980 and Clinton had in 1992: the wind at his back. Sometimes, elections really do come down to a simple choice: change or more of the same?
From the content and structure of Obama's pitch to the base, it's also clear to me that whatever illusions I had about his small-c conservatism, he's a big government liberal with - for a liberal - the most attractive persona and best-developed arguments since JFK.
I fear he could do to conservatism what Reagan did to liberalism. And just as liberals deserved a shellacking in 1980, so do "conservatives" today. In the Bush era, they have shown their own contempt for their own tradition. Who can blame Obama for exploiting the big government arguments Bush has already conceded?