VDH: The Post-Tucson Era

Victor Davis Hanson
Pajamas Media

The Chrysalis Opens

The new Barack Obama has learned not to offer instantaneous editorial commentary in the fashion of his past editorializing on hearing of the Skip Gates affair, the Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab bombing attempt, the Ground Zero mosque controversy, or the Maj. Hasanmass murdering.

Instead, the metamorphosizing president put his finger to the wind. He soon learned that his leftist base within 72 hours had turned off the public with its demagogic charges of conservative culpability for a deranged killer murdering the innocent. And so Obama summarily jettisoned his leftist scapegoating base. In dispassionate fashion, he figured that within hours the New York Times et al. would Trotskyize their earlier narratives, and most of the left would cease the poll-killing (excuse the metaphor) “climate of hate” narrative.

He was right. The progressive community snapped back into line, reminding the country that the desire for power and status always trumps ideology. Hillary Clinton was especially embarrassed: one day she was sermonizing on foreign soil in morally equivalent fashion about an American version of an “extremist”; the next day, her boss told the world that the only thing extreme about the killer was his own nihilistic madness (and by implication damned those vultures [e.g., Ms. Clinton included] who clumsily try to make political points from tragedy).

Now gone from the Obama rhetorical arsenal (excuse the metaphor) entirely are his old partisan Chicago allusions of both the campaign and last autumn — the potpourri imagery of knives, guns, enemies, punishing, kicking ass, relegation to the backseat, get angry, getting in their face, hostage takers, trigger fingers, tearing up, etc. Instead, all that was replaced by an elegant speech that was also both sober and judicious. Had a Republican given such a sensitive oration, the right would be praising the text for its undeniable logic, humanity, and sense. Many, in fact, in the conservative community did just that.

And the Polls Prove It…

…Obama just returned to his 2004 “no more red state/blue state” healing speech modes that would provide years of cover for the reality that he would soon become the most partisan senator in the Congress. I congratulate him on dispelling in a few minutes the entire leftist smear campaign. He soon saw the results of his calming in the polls and, no doubt, his appetite for more was whetted — especially given that his base capitulated so easily and in such humiliating fashion, in a nanosecond going from sounding like Michael Moore to a calm Gandhi.

Unfortunately, we are in a lull before the hurricane. For two years we have ignored the ramifications of ObamaCare that now begin to kick in; the consequences of going from $11 to $14 trillion in debt, with a trillion more in debt scheduled each year; the inevitable return of sky-high energy prices — and forgot that herky-jerky legislation that is pushed through to high-fiving (think prescription drug) often later proves either too costly or complex to be sustainable.

I was encouraged by Obama’s Tucson speech, but also believe he will not be encouraged by what lies ahead in 2011, most of it the result of his own making.

Read the entire article at Work and Days: The Post-Tucson Era

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