Veterans of the political wars of the 1990s will recall that some conservatives perpetually alternated between describing Bill Clinton as “liberal! liberal! liberal!” and attacking him for “stealing our ideas” (this last thought motivating my colleague Will Marshall to note that “it’s hard to steal from an empty wallet”). We’re already seeing the same dynamic at work in their takes on Barack Obama.
Check out this characterization of the President (via Jason Zingerle) by The Corner’s Andy McCarthy:
The key to understanding Obama, on Iran as on other matters, is that he is a power-politician of the hard Left : He is steeped in Leftist ideology, fueled in anger and resentment over what he chooses to see in America’s history, but a “pragmatist” in the sense that where ideology and power collide (as they are apt to do when your ideology becomes less popular the more people understand it), Obama will always give ground on ideology (as little as circumstances allow) in order to maintain his grip on power.
So he’s a hardened ideologue except when he’s not.
In a follow-up post at TNR, Christopher Orr offered this hilarous comment:
I just wish that, as long as McCarthy was offering such a pointless analysis, he’d been a little more creative with his opposing categories. Something on the order of, “The key to understanding Obama is that he is a hybrid of delicate, magic unicorn and ravenous zombie. He will frolic in the woodlands, spreading pixie dust and joy, until his hunger for human brains begins to rise…”
Orr offers a parody which is funny because it’s not far from what people like McCarthy are actually saying.