The Best on Barack: America ready to leap left?

Gerard Baker writes in the London Times that people should listen closely to the words of both Barack and Michelle Obama. Regarding Michelle’s statement about feeling pride in her country for the first time, Baker wrote:

“It was instructive for two reasons. First, it reinforced the growing sense of unease that even some Obama supporters have felt about the increasingly messianic nature of the candidate’s campaign.

There’s always been a Second Coming quality about Mr. Obama’s rhetoric. The claim that his electoral successes in places like Nebraska and Wisconsin might transcend all that America has achieved in its history can only add to that worry.

Secondly, and more importantly, I suspect it reveals much about what the Obama family really thinks about the kind of nation that America is. Mrs. Obama is surely not alone in thinking not very much about what America has been or done in the past quarter century or more. In fact, it is a trope of the left wing of the Democratic Party that America has been a pretty wretched sort of place.”

Baker outlines how America’s political left wants their country to look more like France – with higher taxes, an even larger social welfare system, and a less “militaristic” foreign policy. Obama, Baker writes,

“plans large increases in government spending on health and education. He wants to tax the rich more to pay for it. He is against companies using the opportunities of free markets to restructure their operations in the U.S. He is vehemently protectionist. He continues to insist, despite the growing evidence that this left-wing nostrum would be lunacy, that the U.S. must pull its troops out of Iraq with the utmost dispatch.”

While Obama speaks of moving beyond partisanship, Baker says that –

“when you cut through the verbiage there is nothing to suggest he believes anything that is seriously at odds with the far Left of his party…he sounds for all the world like one of the long line of Democrats from George McGovern to Walter Mondale to Michael Dukakis, who became history by espousing policies and striking a rhetorical pose that was well out of the mainstream of American politics.”

Baker closes his article by asking if Americans really are “ready to leap all the way across in one go to embrace a European-style Left?”

Daniel Henniger in the Wall Street Journal writes that the entire Democrat party has moved left.

“The Washington of LBJ’s Great Society in the mid-1960s was alive with policy debates — among Democrats. By now, the Democratic Party’s ideas are largely generic. Everyone noticed that the Democratic presidential candidates were largely singing from the same script.”

Whether it’s health care, taxpayer funded schools, environmental issues, class warfare rhetoric, of supposed attempts by Republicans to destroy Social Security and Medicare, Henniger writes that the Democratic Party is reading from a “common script.” The primaries are “largely an audition” with the candidates “reading for a role where the lines have already been written.

“The part, however, is challenging. The Democratic platform may be familiar, but it is also infused with the quality of a dream. Actually, the word ‘dream’ gets used a lot in Democratic rhetoric. What are essentially bureaucratic arrangements, such as health insurance or after-school programs, are promised as ‘universal.’ Meanwhile, ‘the middle class’ is being offered a version of never-never land — total public protection from the traps and betrayals of the private sector, which has been reduced to a kind of Grimm’s Fairy Tale abstraction, the wolves.

If you are selling a dream you need the best possible salesman to make it seem somehow possible. They found him in Barack Obama.”

Kenneth Blackwell writes in the New York Sun that while some pundits are calling Barack Obama “the next John F. Kennedy,”

“He’s not. He’s the next George McGovern. And it’s time people learned the facts.

Because the truth is that Mr. Obama is the single most liberal senator in the entire U.S. Senate. He is more liberal than Ted Kennedy, Bernie Sanders, or Mrs. Clinton.

Never in my life have I seen a presidential frontrunner whose rhetoric is so far removed from his record.”

Blackwell sums up Obama’s solutions:

“How to fix Social Security? Raise taxes. How to fix Medicare? Raise taxes. Prescription drugs? Raise taxes. Free college? Raise taxes. Socialize medicine? Raise taxes. His solution to everything is to have government take it over. Big Brother on steroids, funded by your paycheck.”

Obama can win, Blackwell writes,

“if people don’t start looking behind his veneer and flowery speeches. His vision of ‘bringing America together’ means saying that those who disagree with his agenda for America are hijackers or warmongers. Uniting the country means adopting his liberal agenda and abandoning any conflicting beliefs.”

©2008 John Francis Biver