I’m preparing a lengthy piece on the budget. In the meantime, consider this piece from The Guardian which argues that President Barack Obama is not a progressive or liberal, but simply a conservative who looks liberal after former President GW Bush.
George Bush was not a conservative, but rather a curious hybrid of reactionary and progressive. He was a reactionary by temperament and conviction whose methods were borrowed from the most radical progressives. He besmirched the conservatism that he had forsaken and led it from the corridors of power into the political wilderness.Because progressive commentators depict Bush as an arch-conservative instead of the curious amalgam of reactionary and radical revolutionary that he actually was, they remain blind to Obama’s conservatism.
The Obama presidency is not a revolution, but instead a restoration. The “values upon which our success depends”, Obama reassures America, “these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout history”. He asks for a “return to these truths”. Nothing new is needed, neither fresh ideas about the human condition’s betterment nor utopias; merely a return to and vindication of the past.
The return to core tried-and-true values as the only reliable basis for political action, the consignment of ideology – whether concerning the virtues of unregulated markets or government’s scope – to irrelevance in developing policy, the celebration of responsibilities and duties instead of rights, and commitment to America’s unchallenged global leadership. It is hard to imagine an inaugural address more steeped in the classical conservative tradition than the one delivered by Obama last week…
How can you argue with that?
And in completely unrelated news, I came across this very good little video that demonstrates how important the Arctic is becoming to us so-called ‘southerners.’ I sometimes wonder why I’m bothering with the Arctic, but when I see this, I remember why.