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Friday, September 03, 2010

THE ANTI-BUSH

"To be honest, yes we do miss you"
-America

When President Obama was elected, the left rejoiced as if an era of horrendous tyranny and a dark, evil period in the United States was finally ended. Indeed during the campaign, then-Senator Obama was treated with such reverence, awe, and worship that it made even some fellow leftists uncomfortable.

Some speculated that the hate and bitterness the left directed at President Bush was an energy that they had to spend somewhere else and directed it then at Obama in adoration instead. After all President Bush was soon to be out of office and President Obama was their new hero. Yet there was something else involved, I believe: President Obama was the anti-Bush.

Everything Bush was not, Obama represented. Everything Bush was, Obama was not. It isn't just that Bush is somewhat conservative (fiscally) and Obama is a hard leftist, or that one is Democrat and one is Republican. President Bush fumbled in public speeches while President Obama delivered flawless soaring rhetoric (generally devoid of content and sophistry, but well-delivered). President Bush was a country bumpkin to the left, a hick. Senator Obama was a college educated academic, urbane and knowing. President Obama was hated by European elites and academics, Senator Obama was loved and lauded by Europeans.

Bush bicycle
Obama bicycle

As time has gone on, the differences have become even more distinct and obvious.
  • President Obama is vaguely religious in a quasi-Christian manner but his worldview is essentially secular, while President Bush was deeply religious and his faith is central in his worldview and life.
  • President Obama is not very smooth or winning in personal one on one talks, while President Bush was very likable and winsome one on one.
  • President Obama is aloof and stands above those around him. President Bush is more comfortable with and willing to mix with ordinary people.
  • President Bush is very humble, restrained, and refuses to speak ill of his opponents. President Obama rarely misses a chance to attack anyone who dares question him.
  • President Obama takes every opportunity to speak to the press and directly make the case for his ideas and President Bush tried to let his work speak for its self
  • President Obama is primarily a lecturer and idea man, while President Bush was more a manager and CEO.
  • President Obama is posturing and words, President Bush was authentic action.
  • President Obama is metrosexual, President Bush is ruggedly masculine
For the left, President Obama represents their ideal candidate: politically correct, academic, elite, leftist, urban, and beloved of Europeans. He's able to speak smoothly and avoid gaffes like President Bush was prone to (often seen as incompetence or lack of education by many), and when President Obama goes somewhere he always dresses the part, goes the right places, and hangs out with the right people. As Chris Matthews recently gushed, Obama is "almost perfect."

For many of the elite and academic left in America, Barack Obama was one of them and yet different looking enough to satisfy their multiculturalist and inclusivist ideology. And better yet, he wasn't some flyover religious freak.

Over the years people have seen what the difference is, and they're beginning to miss President Bush. According to polling by April of this year, voters were pretty evenly divided about who they'd prefer to see in the White House: Bush or Obama. Now, the polling is moving more toward President Bush. Ohio voters recently polled that they would rather have President Bush in office by 8 points. A prominent Democratic pollster says that in critical "front line" congressional districts, voters preferred Bush over Obama by 6 points.

Meanwhile, President Bush keeps out of the limelight, avoiding statements about the sitting president (unlike his predecessor President Clinton). He's been spotted greeting homecoming troops with warmth and welcome, and he's spoken to President Obama a few times on the phone but generally prefers not to interfere with the man in office.

As time goes on, the distinction between these two men will only continue to be more stark. Imagine a scenario with President Pence or President Christie in 2013. Can anyone see President Obama staying away from a microphone to comment on the president's actions and achievements? Me either.

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