Close Your Eyes and Think of The Gipper

February 1, 2008

Faced with the all but certain prospect of losing the White House to a Democrat (and very likely a dark-skinned one at that), some wingers are coming up with their own version of the advice advice Queen Victoria received from her mother about those wedding night duties (“Close your eyes and think of England”) and recalibrating their blinders so that Obama becomes a conservative, sort of a darker Ronald Reagan.

Here’s Jeffrey (No Relation) Hart:

Jeffrey Hart sat at his kitchen table in slippers, reading Barack Obama’s words aloud. The retired Dartmouth professor, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, wore on his shirt an artifact of the 1900 Republican presidential ticket — a McKinley-Roosevelt pin.

“I am not opposed to all wars,” Hart intoned, quoting a 2002 speech before the Illinois State Legislature in which Obama, then a state senator, had warned of the perils of invading Iraq. “I’m opposed to dumb wars.” Looking up from the page, Hart nodded his approval.

“Very Burkian,” he said, referring to the 18th century Irish political writer Edmund Burke, hailed by many as the founder of modern conservatism. “Prudential. A sense of history, and what we’re up against there.”

Edmund Burke my ass — the overwhelming majority of Iraq war critics have based their criticism not on pacifism but on the plan’s obvious strategic idiocy, its equally obvious basis in lies and the nauseating immorality of blowing up a bunch of brown-skinned people simply so Bush could play warrior-king. All the while we were doing this, conservatives carried Bush’s crown, smirked and accused us of being traitors. Now that the war, defying their expectations of a brief, jolly shooting party, has turned into a disaster, conservatives echo our arguments and attribute them to “conservative principles.”

Dan Riehl, one of the loudest squawkers in the wingnut aviary, confabulates an Obama victory as a win for conservatives:  

My first choice for President in 2008 is Mitt Romney and my second choice is Barack Obama. And that would not be an anti-McCain vote. Like Romney, Obama is a man of vision and character and electing the first black president would ultimately do more to pry away black and other minority voters from a decadent American liberalism, than would anything else.

Certainly it would do more in that regard than anything any Conservative could hope to say – media darling, or not. One could no longer make the argument that America is racist, or unfair. Not when a black man has risen to the highest office in the land. And he will have done it without the need for some futuristic utopia which the Left insists we need. He would be a self-made man and his own worst enemy when arguing for a socialist-like, or welfare state. Also, multiculturalism cannot ultimately exist within a nation in which all races are seen as one. Has that not always been a conservative value and vision? I would assert it has.

My long-term goal is and will always be the furtherance of solid conservative principles that no more require modernization, than the Constitution itself. And I vote for people and to win. Right now, there are two people worthy of my support in this race. Both decisions would represent my belief in conservative principles and a forwarding of the Movement’s agenda, long-term.

Riehl is just dusting off the old line from the 1980s — how can racism be a factor in American life anymore if Bill Cosby has the top-rated TV show? — and replacing the Cos with the O.

I guess when you’ve spent the last several years proclaiming America’s success in Iraq and hailing Bush as a great president, turning Barack Obama into Reagan’s godson is no big deal. Whatever.  

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4 Responses to “Close Your Eyes and Think of The Gipper”

  1. Caveat Says:

    I’m sitting here chuckling over that title – masterful.

    The post was pretty good, too.


  2. […] Your Eyes and Think of The Gipper February 1st, 2008 unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptJeffrey Hart sat at his kitchen table […]

  3. rix Says:

    I’ve hoisted beers with a few conservatives. Riehl would never be one of them.


  4. […] course, there’s still a rearguard action to recast the likely election winner as a “real” conservative under the skin. Posted by stevenhart Filed in […]


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