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.