Via the noninterventionists at Reason TV, which explains why the clip feels mournful rather than scornful. I don’t think the anti-war movement’s entirely dead, even among mainstream Democrats: Behold the partisan breakdown in last week’s ABC poll on whether the Afghanistan war has been worth fighting. And to be fair, there were plenty of famous-yet-fringe-y leftists condemning Obama over the weekend, from Kucinich to Nader to Michael Moore. Nor do I think that the left’s support for Obama’s Bush-ian foreign policy is driven completely by partisanship, or at least not in the sense that they’re backing a Democratic president simply to retain an electoral advantage. So much of politics is driven by suspicions about motives; liberals cut The One slack that they wouldn’t cut a conservative because they assume he has good intentions, that he wants to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan ASAP, that he’s not serving any special interest overlords like Halliburton, etc. Rage is what gets people out in the streets, but it’s hard to feel enraged at a guy whom you believe is doing his earnest best to solve a difficult problem. That’s why anti-war protesters have disappeared and tea-party protesters have emerged. They believe, correctly, that our long-term problems with spending are dire and that Obama, in the interest of his short-term agenda, isn’t taking those problems remotely as seriously as he should. Rage.
But … yes, of course some of the anti-war movement eight years ago was fueled by partisanship aimed at delegitimizing a Republican president (one whom they never really felt was legitimate in the first place), just as conservative complaints about Afghanistan from the likes of Michael Steele and Ann Coulter became more vocal only after Obama’s surge. Rest assured, if even a conservative as mild-mannered and “sane” as Mitch Daniels is elected president next year and takes over command of the Afghanistan war, the progressive blogosphere will rediscover its fiery outrage and wonder when, exactly, President Mitch plans to announce an exit strategy. And then, if he dithers, before long he’ll become the Mitchitler. And then we’ll be back to blogging circa 2007. Good times. Can’t wait.
Update: Ah, turns out the Reason vid is from January, although the post linked above is from today. No matter. Even more timely now than it was then.