Thank You, Mr. Obama!

Awakening a sleeping giant.

Our Gentle Readers may not have noticed, but Scragged's online archives go back all the way to the very first article we ever published, more than 680 articles ago.  It used to be said that newspapers were the first draft of history; online opinion sites now probably fill the role of real-time corrections to that first draft.

Just as a great author's notes and manuscript revisions are every bit as fascinating to the scholar as the completed work as published, so is it enlightening to look back at what we thought a year ago - even more so with today being Thanksgiving, when we consider all our many blessings and privileges as Americans.

One year ago today, the outlook for conservatives was grim with America having just elected the furthest-left president and Congress in our entire history.  Were the days of American exceptionalism over?  Were we fated to become just another Euro-sclerotic welfare state?

In "Thanks for Nothing," we argued that was far from the case; we could be thankful for the wisdom of our Founders, whose brilliant political designs would make it extremely difficult for even a determined President Obama to ram through his socialist agenda.

Yes, obviously there will be a sharp turn to the left.  Yes, there will be terrible, destructive laws enacted, but total power does not bring unity; instead, it brings infighting... All down the policy list, the inherent tensions and contradictions within the Democratic party are coming out.

It's nice to be able to give yourself a pat on the back, but it's not really deserved.  At the time, we did see the glimmering ray of hope best expressed by Will Rogers when he said, "I am not a member of any organized political party - I am a Democrat."  To be brutally frank, however, we didn't really believe it - the more so since the surviving Republicans had given every evidence of being total squishes with no comprehension of their own stated principles, much less willingness to fight for them.

By now, we'd have wagered, we would have a comprehensive single-payer universal health care system, a massive tax on energy, unlimited government-sponsored union thuggery, and be well on the way to a total government shutdown of talk radio.

How wrong we were!  Even as we spoke of the awesome thankfulness our Constitution deserves, we barely scratched the surface.  One year on, what harm has Mr. Obama managed to accomplish?

He has seriously diminished our standing in the world by insulting allies, coddling dictators, and apologizing for everything we've ever done - but he did that all by himself, he didn't need any cooperation from the legislature.

He has all but abandoned our troops in Afghanistan, neither throwing in the towel and bringing them safely home nor giving them the resources required to win the war and get it over with - but again, this is his sole decision as commander-in-chief.

He and his Democrat allies have severely harmed our exchequer by wasting vast sums on a bogus "stimulus" plan and by bailing out unionized industrial dinosaurs who ought to have been let go.

And... well, that's pretty much it!  The Orwellian Employee Free Choice Act is politically dead to all but the most foam-flecked lefties.  Cap-and-trade energy taxes are buried amidst intra-Democrat infighting and the Copenhagen dignitaries are admitting that nothing much will happen at their upcoming gabfest.

The infamous health care bill barely squeaked through the House on the back of compromises that probably mean it can never be passed and will certainly mean its total and very public ongoing failure throughout the next two election cycles if it finally gets enacted.  More to the point, every ounce of Mr. Obama's political capital and oxygen has been entirely consumed by that Quixotic quest, leaving no energy for much of anything else.

The price for all the damage done will be heavy, costing lives and our children's earnings for decades yet to come.  Yet the waste and cupidity has not put us under, and certainly not been for naught.

Sleepers Awake!

2009 saw a totally unexpected uprising of conservative views such as has not been seen in a century, driven not by a single great leader but by massive fury and self-organizing pressure from ordinary people in every city, town, and village in the land.

Where far-left groups can bring in thousands for a protest, the Tea Parties produce hundreds of thousands on a moment's notice - and without leaving a wake of smashed windows and destroyed parkland behind.

Republican party grandees foisted a far-left RINO on the good people of NY-23 as usual - and to general shock, ordinary Republican voters spewed Dede Scozzafava from the ballot in disgust, nearly driving the unknown but deeply conservative Doug Hoffman to victory.

In Florida, in Pennsylvania, in California, RINOs are running scared, and in other states, Blue Dog Democrats even more so.  It's not possible to have a true conservative in every state right now - Massachusetts is hardly going to vote for Sarah Palin any time soon - but the Republican base is demanding that every elected Republican be as conservative as possible for their district.

No need for namby-pamby middle-of-the-roaders in red states!  As McDonnell's victory in Virginia proves, a true conservative can be successful even in a purple state if he runs on competence and common sense.

America is thirsting for leadership and a return to the traditions that made our nation great.  Americans have awakened from the fluffy dream of Mr. Obama's Hope and Change and found it to be a nightmare.  More people are paying attention to the politics of their nation than ever before - and the more they learn, the more the Constitution's clarion call of freedom and limited government rings loud and clear.

One year ago, many of my friends still fought the good fight but had no expectation of ever winning.  Reagan's "Morning in America," Gingrich's Republican Revolution - these great eras of "conservative dominance" only slowed the growth of intrusive government, never reversed or shrunk it one iota.

Today, we still have no great standard-bearer on the right.  We have something far more valuable: a growing army of ordinary Americans who understand the principles our nation was founded on, and are committed to promoting them - by voting, by evangelizing, by explaining, by protesting, and more if need be.

Our nation is seeing a new birth of citizenship, as opposed to the subjects our elites want us to be.

A slide of a hundred years cannot be reversed overnight, or in a single election.  To fix any problem, though, you first have to realize you have a problem - and all America knows that now.

To whom can we give the credit for this resurgence of Americanism, this new patriotism, this restoration of conservative values, thought, principles, and morals to millions of Americans?

Why, to none other than Barack Hussein Obama Jr!  Thanks to his adamant determination to ram raw socialism down this country's throat whether it wanted it or not, he has awakened a sleeping giant.  When Americans rise up, there is nothing they cannot do.

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion[emphasis added]

- Thomas Jefferson

By his misbegotten actions, Mr. Obama has informed the discretion of the American people, and they are reclaiming their ultimate power at long last.  All credit where it's due: Thank you, Mr. Obama!

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments
Indeed. Well put.
November 26, 2009 8:26 AM
I majored in history in college, one of the senior thesis that I had the pleasure of reading was about what it takes to have a successful revolution.

The author of that thesis could not find any successful revolution where there were not great writers backing the revolution nor any successful revolution with out leaders.

He was writing about violent revolutions such as the Revolutionary War here in America. However I do believe that the importance of both these elements can not be overstated.

Without writers to communicate intelligently the desires of the revolution the revolutionaries look like nothing more than any angry mob. Those not part of the 'mob' need to be convinced of the intellectual strength of their beliefs. The effort does seem to have a number of good communicators, those at Scragged being some of those communicating some of the desires of the Tea Party goers, however not being part of the effort the general public is not likely to connect sites such as this with the revolution in general.

Without leaders the revolutionaries can not hope to focus their strength. This conservative revolution needs to know who to vote for. There are many conservative parties in this country. Many people are simply going to try to elect more conservative Republicans. Others will vote for Libertarians, Conservatives... the votes will be spread out. It will be a blunt force that the Democrats could over come, if we can not focus at least the votes of those involved in the conservative revolution.
November 26, 2009 8:43 AM
You seem to think coddling dictators is something only Democrats do. Abandoning Afghanistan? As though our illegal invasion of Iraq never happened. Obama's bailouts? What about Bush's?

It always amazes me the way partisans on both sides seem to think history begins with the election or defeat of the last President from the opposition party.

The continual us/them of U.S. politics insures that the permanent party in DC will continue to grow and do the bidding of whoever writes the biggest campaign checks. As long as it all boils down to who has seized control of DC in the current election cycle nothing is ever going to change.
November 26, 2009 10:30 AM
As usual, a very insightful and informative article.
I am beginning to think that the loss of the last general elections might end up being the salvation of the conservative movement in the USA. Not of the Republican party, necessarily, but of the conservatives as such.
One way to prove you are right is to give the opposition enough rope to hang themselves on. Slower than simply beating them in an election, but possibly more effective in the long run.
I wonder, however, Petrarch, if you aren't being a bit too optimistic? Not to be negative, but methinks the cupidity, laziness and greed of the masses is a pretty powerful ally in the hands of unscrupulous populists. I hope you are right, of course. Very much so.
Another question I have is this. To what extent can the Republican party still be considered as representing the conservative constituency?
November 26, 2009 6:04 PM
That's a question that has yet to be decided, Ian. For sure, most of the senior Republican leadership care more about their own personal power and acceptability at the right cocktail parties than about any actual beliefs they might have once had.

On the other hand, the conservative party base is becoming involved and energized as they have not been in decades. NY-23 signaled open war between the conservative base and the liberal party grandees. Who will prevail and when? There's no way to know yet; but I think that the conservative base can and will retake the party IF they stay energized, persistent, and engaged in party-internal activism.

After all, a political party is really just a microcosm of a republic; if individual conservatives become Republican precinct committeemen (which is easy to do since half of those seats are vacant) they can vote in conservative party leadership. The trouble is that most conservatives have things they'd rather be doing, like running their small businesses or spending time with their families.

The far left has as its allies the great mob of the uneducated and mis-educated. But leading a mob is a very dangerous thing; mobs tend to turn on their leaders when there's a severe setback. There has not been a severe setback to liberalism in a long, long time - the occasional slowdown, but no actual loss of ground, not even under Reagan. That may shortly change, and we'll see what happens.
November 29, 2009 6:53 AM
Add Your Comment...
4000 characters remaining
Loading question...