Anatomy of a passing hysteria.
by Victor Davis Hanson
For 30 months the nation has been in the grip of a certain Obama obsession, immune to countervailing facts, unwilling to face reality, and loath to break the spell. But like all trances, the fit is passing, and we the patient are beginning to appreciate how the stupor came upon us, why it lifted, and what its consequences have been.
HOW OBAMA WON
Barack Obama was elected rather easily because, in perfect-storm fashion, five separate trends coalesced last autumn.
1) Obama was eloquent, young, charismatic — and African-American. He thus offered voters a sense of personal and collective redemption, as well as appealing to the longing for another JFK New Frontier figure. An image, not necessarily reality, trumped all.
2) After the normal weariness with eight years of an incumbent party and the particular unhappiness with Bush, the public was amenable to an antithesis. Bush was to be scapegoat, and Obama the beginning of the catharsis.
3) Obama ran as both a Clintonite centrist and a no-red-state/no-blue-state healer who had transcended bitter partisanship. That assurance allowed voters to believe that his occasional talk of big change was more cosmetic than radical.
4) John McCain ran a weak campaign that neither energized his base nor appealed to crossover independents. McCain turned off conservatives; many failed to give money, and some even stayed home on election day. Meanwhile, the media and centrists who used to idolize McCain’s non-conservative, maverick status found Obama the more endearing non-conservative maverick.
5) The September 2008 financial panic turned voters off Wall Street and the wealthy, and allowed them to connect unemployment and their depleted home equity and 401(k) retirement plans with incumbent Republicans. In contrast, they assumed that Obama, as the anti-Bush, would not do more bailouts, more stimuli, and more big borrowing.
Take away any one of those factors, and Obama might well have lost. Imagine what might have happened had Obama been a dreary old white guy like John Kerry; or had Bush’s approvals been over 50 percent; or had Obama run on the platform he is now governing on; or had McCain crafted a dynamic campaign; or had the panic occurred in January 2009 rather than September 2008. Then the trance would have passed, and Obama, the Chicago community organizer and three-year veteran of the U.S. Senate, would have probably lost his chance at remaking America... Read the whole article.
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- ► 2010 (54)
- Vatican Clarification on Delay of Anglican Provisi...
- Attacks on traditional Anglicans prove pope's poin...
- Finding a Catholic home
- Foul Ball!
- Top Catholic bishops demand apology from Rep. Kenn...
- Dissident theologian criticizes pope’s opening to ...
- Developing nation Anglicans decline pope's offer
- A Resilient Baghdad on a Day of Horror
- Benedict’s Gambit
- Obama a tough guy, at least with Fox News
- What the Vatican's welcome of Anglicans means
- America’s Obama Obsession
- The Anglicans and the Eastern churches
- Vatican decision to receive Anglicans prompts US, ...
- Catholicism and Anglicanism: the end of an era
- I shall send you the Paraclete, who will lead you ...
- A Bridge Across the Tiber
- The Pope's bold invitation to Anglicans
- Vatican creates new structure for Anglicans
- Is there a Historic Anglican - Vatican Announcemen...
- The Power of the Plaintiffs’ Bar
- Taking Obamacare Off the Books
- The lucrative business of racism
- Subverting Democracy
- Treating the Elderly Like Spoiled Brats
- The danger of Obama's dithering
- Belmont Abbey College: Preparing to Fight
- The Nobel-Hollywood Complex Implodes
- A Tale of Two Soundbites
- 'Reform' No One Wants to Pay For
- The Vote Democrats Don't Want
- Obama’s Theorems
- The Boys Who Cry Racism
- It’s Not Political, It’s Personal
- Why Catholics Should Take a Position on the Hate-C...
- The Obama Fiasco
- Could a Wave Be Building?
- The Baucus Bill Is a Tax Bill
- "Personally Opposed, But..." Five Pro-Abortion Dod...
- How to take down a great power
- Relics of St Therese of Lisieux arrive at Westmins...
- Twits, Twitter, and Tweets
- God vs. Science Isn't the Issue
- The 'youngest headmaster in the world'
- Obama's Job-Killing Agenda
- 'Conceptual Language' Hides Health Care's Costs
- How to Sell a War: First, Start to Win
- Another Fine Mess: Comics Whack Obama
- A Vain President, or a Weak One?
- Note To Catholic Bishops: Obamanomics Is Evil, Too...
- Our Crybaby Culture
- What I Heard in Honduras
- The Nobel Hope Prize
- A Fitting Prize, in a Way
- What If . . .
- Bioethics, Health Care, and Catholic Teaching
- Max's Adventures in Wonderland
- Young Hamlet's Agony
- Absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the No...
- States of Personal Privilege
- Stimulus scam
- I'm the laziest man on Earth.
- Romney Reboots
- What's the Rush?
- Remembering Lepanto
- The New Catholic Manliness
- Same Old Obamacare
- Those White Coats In The Rose Garden
- Obama and the General
- The Obama Snap-Back
- Deployments and Diplomacy
- Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama 'to k...
- Corporate Welfare for Mickey Mouse
- Reconciliation Looms Large As Debate Continues
- The Conservative Case for Reform
- Half a president
- Bad Options on Iran
- Support for Abortion Slips
- Clunkers in Practice
- Queen 'appalled' at Church of England moves, claim...
- The Obamas Violated First Three Rules of Selling
- How to Talk to an Atheist about Christianity
- Pope welcomes new US ambassador, prods on right to...
- President is AWOL as our commander
- Now will Congress investigate ACORN?
- Update: directives on Medjugorje
- This Mission Is Not McChrystal Clear
- Détente and the Bunker
- The Young and the Jobless
- Food Fight: An Unappetizing Development
- Obama’s French Lesson
- Obama’s Olympic failure will only add to doubts ab...
- Benedict’s trip to Britain: new details emerge
- The Obsolescence of a Slur
- Losing Faith in the Commander in Chief
- Palin: ‘Keep on honking; I’m reloading’
- Rotten in Denmark
- Three Dangerous Stooges
- The Limits of Reinvention
- ▼ October 2009 (102)
- Fr. Christopher George Phillips
- Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.