I’m thankful for Barack Obama. . .

that, judged from his actions as president elect and his appointments, that he may not be the radical leftist I feared him to be. I’m thankful that he is setting aside many of his campaign promises. That he is going to keep the Bush tax cuts after all. That he is going to keep Bush’s Secretary of Defense–who is doing such a good job waging the Iraq and Afghanistan wars–as part of his own cabinet. That his economics experts are all mainline establishment figures (though aren’t they to blame for the current mess?). I know Obama hasn’t even taken office yet, but I’m thinking maybe FW is right, that he is actually a conservative! That we are looking at Bush’s third term, though a Bush with good press and with public support!

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • rlewer

    When Obama was elected as chairman of the Harvard Law review after as close, contentious, election, it was the blacks and liberals who complained about the job he did as editor. Let’s hope this is true again. Maybe he will be like Clinton and govern according to the polls.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17639370291865261582 Cindy Ramos

    Bush’s third term? I wouldn’t go that far. Obama will be much different than Bush, but he won’t be a left-wing radical either. As far as FW being right, yes, I think many of the predictions he made during the campaign will be proven right in the years to come.

  • Bruce Gee

    If this will be Bush’s third term in terms of administration and agenda, it’ll be a return, I hope, of the Great Communicator in terms of great speeches. What I disliked most about Bush II was his inability to communicate his agenda and his love for his country, to the country and the world.

    But I am grateful for George Bush as well.

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  • http://www.liturgysolutions.com Phillip Magness

    While I will continue to pray for all in authority, I can’t be thankful for Obama until I see his court appointments.

    I suspect that when he finally does make such decisions, I will continue to pray “Lord, have mercy” rather than “Thanks be to God” for this man.

  • Peter Leavitt

    I can’t honestly say that I’m thankful for Pres. Elect Obama, though I shall pray for him as president. I am grateful for and a bit astonished by his centrist appointments and policy statements, though will reserve judgment for awhile until he takes office and makes decisions.

    I do intend to try to be decent and respectful, thoughnot uncritical, of Pres. Obama, as I’ve been appalled at the rude, uncivil, often savage criticism of Pres. Bush.

  • wfseube

    Two words: Tom Daschle.

    That oughta throw a monkey wrench into your theory.

  • FW

    #5 Phillip.

    Obama will make court appointments of justices who will relate to those who are voiceless or powerless in society (being inconsistently blind to the fact that the unborn are just this very constituency! but then the founding fathers were blind as to the humanity of slaves… so… there is hope even in an inhuman inconsistency…).

    His court appointments will be more conservative than the warren court. Obama has said that he would not be pleased with similar decisions happening today. His philosophy is that societal change has to happen from the ground up. he was critical of the civil rights movement because he thought that they relied too much on the courts and not enough on community activism. He will be moderate to conservative legally with a huge blindspot on abortion that will actually be a glaring inconsistency with his views.

    he will not be a conservative in the sense of being a libertarian small government james madison type. He will be a liberal definately. but he will be a liberal in the general tradition of FDR and LBJ.

    on social issues he believes that the government (courts legislatures and executive) should rarely get ahead of the general popular consensus. What that will probably look like is that he will use the bully pulpit to talk up his views but the actually policies will disappoint liberal activists as being too “timid.” They actually won´t be timid or even politically calculating, they will follow the policy ideal I just articulated. He will try to achieve as broad a consensus as possible.

    he was sincere when he noted that 47% of the populace voted for mc cain and that he needs to be mindful that he is their president as well even though he feels he has a mandate.

    so there it is. he will not be a conservative. but he will be solidly in the mainstream of democratic party liberalism. on the moderate/conservative side. consistently so. no “sudden moves” will be the mantra.

  • FW

    #6 Peter

    you would not be astonished at his picks if you had taken is campaign statements at face value. He will prove to be a sincere man with no hidden agenda I think you will find peter. he will be liberal but one on the “conservative” to moderate side of the liberal spectrum.

    I am not actually all that pleased with his appointments. Rubin was one of the main architects of the start of deregulation under president Clinton and continued by Bush. In my mind he is one of the prime architects of the mess we are in. he was in with greenspan on deliberately NOT regulating the newly forming derivatives market. deregulation must look like the rule of law. the rule of law should look like the simple legal requirement of total transparency and independent audits.

  • FW

    obama also had someone in the running for a position who was a participant in the decisions to torture american-held prisoners. I am truly hoping that he follows through on his campaign rhetoric on the unacceptability of any and all torture and respect for habius corpus.

    torture is not even about “human rights”. it is about reducing a human to a subhuman. I mean both the tortured and the torturer.

    it also mean the ultimate form of removal of freedom. inflicting physical and mental pain to the extent that the victim has no choice other than to do ANYTHING at all his captors require.

    It also changes who we are and what we stand for as a people. it is not merely a slippery slope. it is way beyond that. it makes us into the very evil we claim to fight against. regular people have evil in them because they are sinners. the horrors of abu gherab were not perpetrated by monsters. they were perpetrated by ordinary people like you and me who were not properly restrained by the rule of law. the power to become evil and torture and do unspeakable things is in each and every one of us. THIS is exactly why our founders talked so much about the “rule of law” vs the “rule of men”.

    I am not at all certain that Obama will not cave in here. this troubles me greatly.

  • RhetoricProf

    Here’s the video everyone’s talking about that helps explain how Obama won the election: http://www.howobamagotelected.com/

    Please understand one thing: you cannot believe the public positions of one who embraces, and teaches, the Alinsky method. What’s that? http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2314

  • FW

    #11 rhetoricprof

    so far, what in his ACTUAL actions since he started campaigning 2 years ago, would suggest that he is presenting himself dishonestly?

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s another interesting document about Barry 0bama to read – the Affidavit of Bishop Ron McRae, Continental Bishop of the Anabaptists Churches in North America and the Presiding Elder on the African Presbytery.

  • RhetoricProf

    FW, the most significant action would have to be the forged Certificate of Live Birth from Hawaii, when his grandmother says she was at his birth in Mumbasa, Kenya.

    Why has he spent $1Mil in legal fees to seal his birth records? It’s easy to produce a birth certificate. The Constitution requires that the President be a natural born citizen.

    To your premise: Why would I only care what he’s done for the last 2 years?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    RhetoricProf (@14), you’re not actually a rhetoric professor, are you? Because I’d expect better. You’re cherry-picking your evidence.

  • RhetoricProf

    I only posted some of the evidence I have collected. I don’t want to be pedantic, and this isn’t my blog.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Hmm, a rhetoric professor who doesn’t want to be pedantic. I’ll let that one go.

    But is it the best evidence that you’ve posted? Is that the best argument you’ve got? A single, translated statement from an old relative of Obama’s, and an anonymous internet conspiracy video from a man claiming expertise?

    And what of all the evidence to the contrary? Why are you ignoring all that? What makes you trust only these two bits of evidence? And if you have better evidence, why not post that, given your reticence to post everything you know on the subject?

  • RhetoricProf

    You are eristic.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    RhetoricProf (@18), wow, an ad hominem attack in lieu of response. Touche.

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