Monday, October 11, 2010

Why Republicans Will Not Miss Obama

Jonathan Chait has an article in the New Republic called, "Republican Clinton Nostalgia." It can be quickly summarized as follows: those crazy Republicans hated Bill Clinton, and believed the worst of him at the time, and now they like him; today they are unhinged about Obama, but someday they'll look back on him with nostalgia just like Clinton. Chait helpfully demonstrates once again that many liberals are simply out of touch with reality.

There are a couple of reasons some, and only some Republicans, now have a more positive view of Bill Clinton. The most obvious is that he is not in power and no longer a threat. But more importantly, the economy was good under Clinton. Regardless of his personal problems, some Republicans view Bill Clinton as a competent politician who had a generally successful two-term presidency. And of course he looks good by comparison with the current occupant of the White House. Unless Obama's job performance changes drastically, there is no way he's going to be looked back on with nostalgia.

A much better comparison than Clinton, which Chait completely ignores, is Jimmy Carter. If anything, most Republicans despise Carter more now than when he was president. The vast majority of Republicans -- and others -- see a similar level of incompetent leadership. At the moment it is far more likely that Obama will be viewed as another Jimmy Carter, a figure of derision among Republicans and an example of the worst of Democratic leadership. If a GOP or partially GOP Congress is voted in, Obama moderates his views, works with Republicans, the economy turns around, the wars are brought to successful conclusions and various other major changes take place, Chait might have a legitimate point. But that's a whole lot of if's. As of now though, his assertion is pretty laughable.

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