Eighteen months ago, Christopher Buckley made headlines with his endorsement of Barack Obama, becoming the conservative darling at MS-NBC after penning “The Conservative Case for Barack Obama.” At the time, Buckley wrote of Obama’s “first-class temperament” and top-drawer intellect. Buckley convinced himself that Obama would govern as a post-partisan centrist, rising above the progressive agenda that had carried him from the Chicago Machine to the threshold of the White House:
But having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will (I pray, secularly) surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves. If he raises taxes and throws up tariff walls and opens the coffers of the DNC to bribe-money from the special interest groups against whom he has (somewhat disingenuously) railed during the campaign trail, then he will almost certainly reap a whirlwind that will make Katrina look like a balmy summer zephyr.
How’s that Hope and Change working out for Buckley? In a rather self-indulgent “Q&A” at The Daily Beast, Buckley now wants an end to the “traditional left-politics” that everyone but Buckley knew was coming:
President Obama declared the other day that “Everything there is to say about health care has been said and just about everyone has said it.” Is this correct?
Apparently not, to judge from the papers, which contain some pretty hairy predictions about what lies ahead if health-care “reform” goes through.
Continued skyrocketing costs, less actual health care, and massive bureaucracies. And although we’re told that the bill is “deficit neutral,” Washington’s way of saying, “It’s not going to cost a dime, who, really, believes that? As P.J. O’Rourke says, “If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.”
But isn’t that just the usual partisan/ideological bickering?
Not unless you consider, say, Warren Buffett “partisan” or “ideological.” You’ll recall that Buffett was an early supporter of Obama’s candidacy. But following the “health-care summit,” he advised the president to scrap the health bill and start over. As he put it, the critical issue with health care is “costs, costs, costs.” And until we attack that aspect, everything else is essentially beside the point.
Are you saying insuring people with no health insurance is “beside the point”?
No, but driving the country into bankruptcy isn’t going to help anyone in the long run. Wouldn’t you agree?
None of this is anything new. In fact, if not for the flowery language, this recaps everything about ObamaCare and the Democratic agenda that we’ve known since before Obama won the election. He campaigned on comprehensive reform of the health-care system, as well as cap-and-trade and a number of agenda items that would drive the country into bankruptcy. Apparently, Buckley didn’t pay attention to the issues, but instead found himself infatuated with Obama’s temperament and intellect — or at least his perception of both.
Of course, Buckley isn’t alone in this. The national media appeared to engage in a deliberate infatuation with Obama rather than vet him properly as a political candidate. (John Ziegler created an entire documentary on this topic.) But on this topic, the reversal is especially egregious. Obama outlined his general approach on many occasions during the campaign; it was his signature domestic policy issue. John McCain engaged Obama heavily on this point, with Obama demagoguing McCain’s proposal to disconnect health insurance from employment by shrieking over his plan to tax benefits, which is exactly what the current version of ObamaCare does now. Everyone knew that Obama and the Democrats wanted heavy government control of the health-care industry, with some members calling for single-payer, and Obama had already gone on the record supporting single-payer before running for the presidency.
Now, suddenly, Buckley has to reconcile his support for Obama in light of the statist policies Obama has pursued in health care (and for that matter, on energy as well). Had Buckley and the media paid more attention during the campaign, none of this would have shocked them. For that, Buckley gets the Captain Louis Renault award for his surprise that Obama turned out to be a traditional left-politics President after a short career of supporting nothing but traditional left-politics: