Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama as Reaganite?

I somehow (OK, I bit a Bushie lure, mea culpa) got embroiled in a small Facebook tiff (to which it is I think impossible to link directly): a commentator suggested that Obama would be likely to govern a la Ronald Reagan. As I noted there:

From the Guardian today:
"Obama's conservative style – the fact that he invented a new tradition this year, by speaking at inauguration eve dinners in honour of Colin Powell and John McCain – gives him the space to act differently where it matters, on the substance.

There is a precedent, albeit indirect, for this trick. It comes from the man Obama hailed during the 2008 campaign as a "transformational" president: ­Ronald Reagan. Once elected, Reagan did not look over his shoulder at the previous consensus. Instead he seized the moment to drive through his own small government agenda, assuming the ­public would soon come around. He did not feel obliged to meet the centre-left halfway. And yet he wrapped it all in a warmth and charm that ensured it was not threatening. He too was a radical on substance, no matter how cosily traditional his style."

I think that's about right. Any admiration of Reagan will be of the style tricks, not - thankfully! - the policies that brought deficits, inequality, and military adventureship. Hmm. That would be a subset of the farcical idiocies that GWB brought. More of that from BHO? I think not.

The comment I responded to noted that "Knowing Reagan is one of Obama's heroes gives me hope that I know I'm not wrong. Thank God for that" and I could not resist a taunt:

"gives me hope that I know I'm not wrong. Thank God for that." - hey, in two sentences you managed to (i) hose the grammar, (ii) assert personal infallibility and (iii) invoke a deity. Are you *sure* you're not channeling Bush?

Hey, I gave the guy a day of peace in honour of the inauguration, but how much restraint do you want here? :)

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