Success versus failure

It’s been a common refrain the past couple of months, and it’s intensified now that Barack Obama has moved into his new digs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.  People wondering if those of us of the conservative persuasion “want Obama to succeed.”

It’s a loaded question…sort of the 2009 version of Groucho Marx’s old “when did you stop beating your wife?”  If we say “yes, we want him to succeed,” we’re acquiescing to his left-wing socialist-lite agenda.  If we say “no,” we open ourselves up to the old “how dare you, do you want your country to fail?!?!”

As an answer to this, I found a pretty good summation from an odd source–Ann Coulter.  Yes, that Ann Coulter.  Put down the pitchfork, take a Valerian, and just read this little passage from her latest column; if you can get by the usual Coulteresque barbs, I think she sums it up pretty well:

When will the first reporter ask President Obama to admit that he has made mistakes? Try: Never.

No, that question will disappear for the next four years. It will be replaced by the new question for conservatives on every liberal’s lips these days: Do you want Obama to succeed as president?

Answer: Of course we do. We live here, too.

But merely to ask the question is to imply that the 60 million Americans who did not vote for Obama are being unpatriotic if they do not wholeheartedly endorse his liberal agenda.

I guess it depends on the meaning of “succeed.” If Obama “succeeds” in pushing through big-government, terrorist-appeasing policies, he will not have “succeeded” at being a good president. If we didn’t think conservative principles of small government and strong national defense weren’t better for the country, we wouldn’t be conservatives.

As a conservative, basically, I don’t believe in a lot of what Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress have said they want to do.  I don’t buy their arguments about stimulus packages.  I don’t trust what they want to do on many social issues.  I think his public statements on Iran sound squishy.  I believe in free markets and small government, and looking at the people in the Obama administration, I don’t think we’re going to get either of those.  So in that respect, no, I don’t want him to succeed.  I want him to fail spectacularly like Bill and Hillary failed in 1993-1994 when their pseudo-nationalized health care strategy went down in flames.

I want us as a country to succeed–just like 99% of Americans do.  I don’t want Jimmy Carter II:  Electric Boogaloo.  Whatever happens, I want America and Americans to be prosperous, free, strong, and still the beacon that the rest of the world can look up to–Reagan’s “shining city on the hill.”  To some, that means Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid skipping arm-in-arm down the Yellow Brick Road of hopey-changey rainbows, leading us toward a brighter tomorrow.  To me, it means hanging on as best we can until we can convince the people of this country to wake up out of their deluded dream and get back to the conservative principles that made us the greatest nation in the world.

That’s the beauty of opinions.  Even in a new era of Hope and Change, we all still get to have our own.


6 Responses to “Success versus failure”

  1. officergleason Says:

    A few things I will never do.

    1) I will not take anything Ann Coulter says seriously. Sorry. I can’t.
    2) To riff off of your quote, “To me, it means hanging on as best we can until we can convince the people of this country to wake up out of their deluded dream and get back to the conservative principles that made us the greatest nation in the world,”

    I won’t “wake up.” Liberalism is not a deluded dream, and it is really disheartening to read that coming from you Moose.

    Conservative Principles did not make this country great. To say anyone one thing made this country great is a gross oversimplification and is completely nonsensical. The Founders were not all conservative, hell, not all of them were even Christian. To say that they were is revisionist history of the worst sort.

    This shrill garbage you cite:

    “I guess it depends on the meaning of “succeed.” If Obama “succeeds” in pushing through big-government, terrorist-appeasing policies, he will not have “succeeded” at being a good president.”

    Presupposes that Obama likes terrorists and he will ramrod policies down the throats of the American people. Give me a break. How is following the rule of law PRO-Terrorist? How is building a consensus, the way he has worked since his days as a community organizer, PUSHING policies.

    It is one thing to say that you disagree with the distinction between Big and Small Government (I believe Bush, btw, has expanded the Fed significantly more than Clinton, but that is a debate for a different time) but it is entirely another thing to frame said debate in terms of Pushing policies and being Pro or Anti Terrorist.

    If you actually believe that Obama AND the people who elected him are Pro-Terrorist, I really do not see how there can be any common ground.

    All throughout the Palin debate, wherein you discussed how unfair it was for the left to treat her in such a way–a way that was,despite the rancorings of Faux news, not universally left–I pointed out how we, on the left, have been marginalized and treated as terrorist lovers.

    Then you fall in lock step with the Shrill Right and do it. Seriously? Clear some of this up for me, please.

  2. Lewis Says:

    Marty, you did what I was hoping you wouldn’t do when I said “if you can get by the usual Coulteresque barbs.” You missed the point. You got hung up on Ann Coulter being Ann Coulter and missed what I wanted readers to take away from the quote. The point I was trying to get across from that passage–and maybe I should’ve italicized the part I was trying to point out–is that as a conservative, if Obama is enacting policies that I think are wrong, of course I’m going to want him to fail at it. No less than you would want a Republican President to fail if he was attempting to enact right-wing policies that you disagreed with. We both want the country to succeed and be strong and happy–we just have very different ideas about how to get there. Which makes the whole “success/failure” thing kind of pointless, really; just a “gotcha” question that one side can use to try and trap the other.

    (For what it’s worth, no, I don’t believe Obama is pro-terrorist, of course not. I don’t buy into the whole “his middle name’s Hussein so he must be a Muslim” thing. He grew up around Muslims in Indonesia for a while. So? Hell no I don’t think he’s some sort of al-Qaeda sleeper agent or whatever the John Birch Society is coming up with this week. Now, might some of his policies make it easier for terrorists to attack us someday? Some people think so; me, I think it’s way too soon to tell. I think he really wants the best for the country. But what he (and you) think is best for the country is, in a lot of ways, not what I think is best for the country.)

    And by the way, yes, I’m painfully aware of George W. Bush’s expansion of the Federal government. Trust me, many of us over here on the right are not happy with GWB about a lot of things, and that’s at the top of my list.

    As for my “deluded dream” comment? I’m not taking it back. I don’t believe in that brand of liberalism. I just don’t. That doesn’t mean liberals are bad people. It just means I think you’re wrong, nothing more.

    Gotta go beat up 25-man Naxxramas now. More tomorrow if I get a chance.

  3. Mommacow Says:

    A point of semantics: “appeaser” doesn’t mean you like somebody; rather the opposite. I don’t believe Obama is going to fling the door open to terrorists because he likes them or because he thinks they’ve got the right idea. I do fear that 4 – 8 years of Obamish policies, while enacted with the best of intentions, will end up making the problem worse.

    As for “deluded dreaming”…as usual, I can see both sides. There are leftists who think, leftists who feel, and leftists who follow along because it looks cool. The latter set are deluded as hell IMO, and our culture seems to be geared to produce more and more of them. Bumpersticker politics require much less effort than the real thing.

  4. officergleason Says:

    I know what appeaser means–and we all know it is a pejorative. In the modern context, especially amongst the Shrill Right, it is a call back to Chamberlain’s “There will be peace in our day” crap regarding Hitler. I am now making the argument that given its use, and terms, I think Appeaser is a Goodwin.

    As for “Getting hung up on Coulter” if what you wanted to do was share her point about “failing for the good of the country” then you should have italicized it. I think that’s also ridiculous. Instead of hoping for Obama to fail, wouldn’t it be more productive to try and introduce better policies?

    If there are leftists who are left because it is cool, then there must be Right Wingers who are right to stick with the policy of Bush and neo-conservative thought so they can cling to 20th century power structures and income.

    I’ll stick to calling Coulter and her lot the Shrill Right. Citing them won’t bridge any gaps, it will not help me understand your points and it does nothing but confirm my belief that there is no possibility of Dialogue with them.

    On another note: Nublet story was fantastic. Notice she said elf stew. I hope it was Belf stew….but then I don’t know anyone who’d eat that.

    Also, how did 25 man naxx go?

  5. Lewis Says:

    We got everybody but Thaddeus, Sapphiron, and KT. 12 out of 15 over two days in our first non-lag-ganked run. I’ll take it.

  6. Raymon Simonetty Says:

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