HEY RUBE! “True-Blue Obama — The lament of a conservative who really, really wanted to like him,” in this case, one “Matt Latimer, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush…co-partner in the literary agency and communications firm Javelin and contributing editor at Politico Magazine:”
Obama stood as a symbol that all things were possible. That governing could be different. That our country could be different.
More than that, I simply liked him. I even came very close to voting for him—and wasn’t alone: Twenty percent of Americans identifying themselves as conservatives, including many prominent Washington Republicans, did just that.
For the nearly eight years that have followed, I’ve tried very hard to remember that feeling. To not be that kind of conservative. You know the kind I mean—one who reflexively hates everything Obama says or does simply because he says it or does it, or who truly believes the president is a closet Muslim who gleefully sets American flags on fire when he sneaks back to his “real” home in Kenya or Tatooine or wherever.
But now I’ve come to the sobering conclusion that I’ve long since lost that feeling—about the country, and about him. Washington is very much the same, if not worse, at the close of these long, bitter, brutal years. That’s not all Obama’s fault, to be sure. Maybe mostly not his fault. But it is in part. And it isn’t what he promised to people like me.
Or as Mark Steyn wrote in March of 2009, when the scales began to fall from the rubes at the Economist, “This is the point: The nuancey boys were wrong on Obama, and the knuckledragging morons were right. There is no post-partisan centrist ‘grappling’ with the economy, only a transformative radical willing to make Americans poorer in the cause of massive government expansion. At some point, The Economist, Messrs Brooks, Buckley & Co are going to have to acknowledge this. If they’re planning on spending the rest of his term tutting that his management style is obstructing the effective implementation of his centrist agenda, it’s going to be a long four years.”
It’s been a long seven years — but at least those of who didn’t buy Barry’s conman shtick in 2008 weren’t under any illusions as to how “long, bitter, brutal” things were going to be.