At about the same time, I read a piece by a brilliant conservative analyst with whom I sometimes disagree who was arguing that some conservatives don't take the formidable Barack Obama seriously enough and, in effect, give him cover with their over-the-top depictions of Obama as a Marxist and worse. He erroneously assumes that these supposedly hyperbolic characterizations are motivated by greed (stirring up audiences yields more revenues) and, in any event, only serve to enable Obama.
Please stick with me; I will tie these first two paragraphs together before I'm finished.
I agree with the analyst to some extent. In fact, I have long argued that President Obama is not "The Amateur" some paint him as. He is quite competent on big-picture items and is advancing his agenda even if he doesn't have a clue about the details, most of which he doesn't want to be bothered with, anyway.
Obama never did produce a health care reform bill, but the name "Obamacare" will forever credit him with that bill's coming into law, as well it should. But do you remember Obama's rambling, incoherent, embarrassingly nonsensical 2,600-word response to a woman named Doris at a health care forum about cutting medical costs?
Obama also seems to be a virtual economics illiterate. But that doesn't keep him from getting away with expanding the government, spending trillions of borrowed dollars and taxing major producers into oblivion. The disastrous results of his policies didn't prevent him from being reelected.
Obama's style of governance can best be understood by his frustrated command regarding the hole responsible for the Gulf Oil Spill: "Just plug the damn hole." But that doesn't mean he should be taken lightly.
While I agree with many of the unnamed analyst's points about Obama, I disagree with some of the lessons he draws.
I agree that some of the claims about Obama have enhanced his credibility by making the accusers seem unserious. But I don't think calling attention to his extremism and labeling it as such falls into that category.
It seems that this particular conservative analyst and a number of others are saying we need to recognize that Obama is not so much a radical, but more of a European-type socialist who is also weak on defense.
Well, I'm not sure how much substantive difference there is between a European socialist and a dictatorial Marxist. But putting that question aside, I think there is more danger in sanitizing Obama's radicalism than there is in potentially overstating it.