Enter conservative columnist Tony Blankley and his piece on the Huffington Post about his hope for the holiday season. And if you think it's the standard peace on earth and goodwill towards man sentiment, you're nuts.
Taking stock this second Christmas after the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, as a conservative Republican (with growing tea-party tendencies) I'm filled with a thrilling, unexpected hopefulness that the president may be well on his way to losing his battle for the hearts and minds of the American people -- tempered by a shocked disbelief that so much long-term damage could have been perpetrated on the American economy, national security and way of life in just 11 months of ill-judged governance.
Mr. Blankley: The same rule that's applied to someone's death should be applied to the holidays - if you don't have anything kind to say about someone, then it's best to keep your thoughts to yourself.
Remarkably, this view could apply equally to the left and to the right. Mr. Obama first thrilled, then disappointed and now enrages the left with his policies of (as they now see it): (1) giving the banks, health insurance companies, drug companies, for-profit hospitals and Washington lobbyists everything they want; (2) doing nothing for middle-class homeowners; and (3) escalating the war in Afghanistan.
Yeah, we're disappointed that for all of the president's talk on creating a public option for the middle class and getting tougher on Wall Street, he has continued down the same path as president's have before him (except in the case of escalating the war in Afghanistan, we should have known Obama would stay true on finishing the job in the Afghan region). But I do recall having Obama say that there would be setbacks and false starts along the way, and no doubt, i'm going to disagree with the president more issues to come. But this is one liberal who isn't going to do what so many pissed-off liberals and progressives are threatening to do or have already done: say 'fuck it, time for a third party candidate in 2012,' which will make us feel better in the short term, but it won't change jack shit in the long haul.
Of course, conservatives are appalled at (among other things) the trillions of dollars in new deficits, the nationalizations, the trillion-dollar partisan slush fund (i.e., stimulus packages), the attempted federal government takeover of the private economy via carbon taxing and regulating, the weakening of our anti-terrorism efforts, the never-ending worldwide apology tour, the undercutting of allies while appeasing enemies, and the ongoing effort to destroy our health care system and replace it with a socialized, rationing Euro-system.
So tell me, exactly where was the conservative outrage when Bush Jr. handed out billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% of Americans? Why didn't the so-called fiscal conservatives call out the Bush administration when they were ballooning the federal deficit to the point where Wall Street almost went under last year?
Also, your fake outrage over the Obama White House's approach to foreign policy is pathetic. Remind me: which party was it that staunchly defended and acted as the pit bull when Bush and Cheney lied an entire nation into a war of choice? Exactly which president thought that tough talk and acting like we were the biggest, baddest bully on the world's playground would help us in winning the War on Terrorism? And while the previous administration presided over torturing enemy combatants, who defended such barbaric, medieval, and illegal techniques vehemently? Oh, that's right: when a Republican president starts an illegal war, tortures enemy combatants, and violates the Constitution, then all that means is that he's protecting the nation from terrorist attacks. When a Democratic president engages in diplomacy to solve foreign affairs, he's weakening national security by not calling in air strikes!
There's a reason why I don't plan on ever voting for your party, Mr. Blankley. The current crop of stuck-in-the-mud Reaganites in Congress, coupled with big business first fiscal conservatism, radical Christian fundamentalists, and the bat-shit simpleton TEA-Party movement further remind me why the GOP cannot be entrusted with political power in this country until they return to some form of functioning normalcy. I just just hope p.o.'d progressives can find that same sentiment again. We can choose to let setback after setback make us stay home on 2010 and 2012 and allow a (shudder) Sarah Palin to run the Oval Office and get her hands on the nuclear codes. Or we can fight for what we believe in and be ready to swallow our pride and make tough compromises when we don't get our way.
President Obama must also understand that although that we are still on his side, that if doesn't dig deep and find a pair of cajones and fight for his base, his eloquent speaking abilities might not sway us in the 2012 Presidential elections. We understand (or at least I hope some liberals do) that in order to bring about meaningful change and reform to America, sometimes you have to pragmatic about what you can get, and what's just a pipe dream at the moment. But Obama must quickly learn that compromise can only go so far until it's just a piece of legislation that looks like it was written by the other side, word for word. He will eventually have to learn to draw a distinct line in the sane and risk pissing people off. Right now, he has to show that he's fighting for his base, and for middle America, and not just bowing to Wall Street and Big Pharma.