Quote of The Day: Speech Showed New Obama Democratic Era?
The political Quote of the Day comes from the U.K’s The Spectator’s Alex Massie who saw last night as a major shift for America towards a new Democratic Obama era that may be akin to the Ronald Reagan Republican era:
And so it begins. The contrast between Barack Obama last night and George W Bush was striking. Not merely in terms of the content of their speeches, but in their demeanour….Bush was right to think that political capital depreciates just like any other banking stock these days even if, in the end, his second term would prove a disappointment and, in many ways, a squandered opportunity. Obama, whatever one may think of his policy agenda, is determined not to make the same mistake.
Hence this ambitious, liberal speech. It was a speech that would have been too bold for Clinton and too grand for Carter. Obama is the heir to LBJ American liberals have been waiting for. Anyone who feared that the present economic turmoil would be used to justify any number of government initiatives – in the name of Not Doing Nothing – had those suspicions confirmed last night. The era of Big Government (by American standards) is back.
But it’s back with a poise and a coolness and a demeanour that, allied with the present uncertainty, make it a much more palatable proposition than at any time since the Great Society itself. I’m going to bet that the immediate and even medium-term reaction to this non-State of the Union, State of the Union adress, is overwhelmingly positive. For that conservatives may thank the ineptitude of George W Bush’s administration.
And that momentum exists. For better or for worse, this is Obama’s time now. I think he senses that he can be Reagan’s mirror-image: a President who rolls up the political map and draws a new one, redefining an era in his own image. It’s early days yet, but that’s the level of ambition he’s working at. And right now it seems as though the lights of Republicanism are going out and it may be some time yet before we see them again.
If you study American political history, there are indeed shifts where domestic issues, economy, and foreign issues are key actors. But there are also generational shifts. And this may be one of them. Go to the link. He has links to other pundits who also saw this as perhaps a re-run of the Reagan moment..but with a different actor heading in a different direction.