My last post, which has been up about 36 hours, took a long time in coming. While I am not going to edit it in response to the events of this weekend, its prognostications, such as they are, certainly look a mite overstated this morning. I can't remember, literally, ever seeing such a violent swing on the eve of an election as has occurred in South Carolina, and Gingrich's victory certainly means that Mitt Romney is far from a sure thing. It also means that their rival PACs will be hitting each other with everything they have for weeks to come, all of which suggesting that Barack Obama could face either a critically weak (Gingrich) or seriously weakened (Romney) candidate come the fall. I also wonder whether these results show that the Tea Party rebellion might continue if Romney wins the nomination.
Yet having said that, I will also take this opportunity to make another point that emerged from Ron Suskind's book, one that I found very revealing not only about the President himself, but about the mess liberalism has gotten itself into over the last 40 years.
On several occasions during his first year in office, and especially late in 2009 when we found that unemployment had risen far more than anyone anticipated, some one asked Obama whether he was still optimistic. Of course he was, he replied--"My name is Barack Hussein Obama, and I'm sitting in the White House"--proof, evidently, that good things were bound to happen in the United States of America.
Of course that is proof that good things can happen in the United States of America, and of course the opening of high positions to women, minorities, and uncloseted gays has been a very good thing; but the time has come to recognize that it has very little to do with other equally critical aspects of the health of the American economy and society. The discriminatory part of the system has largely been fixed, but the exploitative aspects of it have gotten much, much worse. Larry Summers and Tim Geithner accept Obama as President but they don't accept serious limits on our new financial system. The system has worked personally for Barack Obama, but that doesn't mean that it is working well for his fellow Americans, male and female, black and white. I am not sure liberalism will score any truly decisive successes before it gets beyond that point.