When the Zealots Are No Longer Zealous

Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

In reading about Democratic and liberal uneasiness with Obama, one theme seems constant. There is a sort of repressed anger that Obama has somehow embarrassed many of his supporters, as if their ecstasy of 2008 now seems almost adolescent.

The shaming, I think, focuses on two issues. One is the War on Terror. We learn that two lawyers who had criticized George W. Bush for supposed overreach recently drafted authorization to assassinate a U.S. citizen, the traitorous and dangerous Anwar al-Awlaki. This follows Bush critic and former Yale Dean Harold Koh’s various briefs authorizing elements of the Obama War on Terror, among them sanction to join the Anglo-French war against Qaddafi without U.S. congressional approval — something Bush obtained for both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The chief symptom of this embarrassment is silence…

…The second source of shame is the current anger over Wall Street, a furor that ironically was first seen with the Tea Party’s middle-class animus over retirement accounts that had crashed while many of those responsible for crashing them were bailed out by government money. Nonetheless, for the left it is somewhat hard to join in the Wall Street protests when a hard-left Democratic candidate like Barack Obama, who ran on populist rhetoric and persists in Huey Long sloganeering, has proven to be a president fascinated by Wall Street power, cash, and perks.

Most of his advisers were itinerant economists whose lives were often a three-way revolving door between high academia/institutes, Wall Street, and top government jobs — e.g., Peter Orszag, Larry Summers, or Timothy Geithner. Obama out-raised John McCain among the really big monied interests, and was the chief recipient of BP and Goldman Sachs cash. Easy Wall Street money led him to be the first presidential candidate to renounce public campaign financing in the general election — $1 billion in campaign money cuts a lot of prior principled assertions. And, of course, the first family’s personal tastes since assuming the presidency are certainly more akin to Citigroup executives than Trumanesque…

Read the complete article at National Review Online.

H/T Instapundit

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