At some point -- and in an atmosphere of bankruptcy, bailouts and ersatz economic stimuli, it could be sooner rather than later - Vice President Biden will let the cat out of the bag: that Democrats, too, are uncertain of their future. With the American jury out on the new gang's policies, there's a strong possibility that in a few years -- say as the next presidential election is approaching -- voters will look for a pragmatic, sensible alternative to the lofty left.
I was reminded of Buckley's sage words during a panel at the Milken Institute in Beverly Hills, where I was speaking in the wake of the Specter switch, on the 100th day of the Obama administration. During a session after mine, Les Moonves, the CBS executive notorious for taking a very expensive, and perhaps unwise, gamble on Katie Couric, was optimistic. Everyone on the panel -- the founder of popular video Web site hulu.com, a moviemaker, a journalist -- was optimistic. It wasn't just putting on good game faces either. It was a matter of seeing opportunities and embracing them.
Figure out what you do best, and do it. Will Internet cannibalize broadcast TV? Maybe. But maybe it's just another opportunity for CBS to get their product in front of more eyes. In politics, too, it would be wise to embrace the opportunities that drastic change brings. It's not every day you get the time and space to study, teach and hone your ideas. Yes, it's the worst of times for Republicans and the right. But it's also the best of times. Whatever party Arlen Specter belongs to, President Obama doesn't have to be an end for the right, but a new beginning.
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