A keen observation from Power Line'sJohn Hinderaker
Here, though, lies the rub, in my view. Ronald Reagan came to power at a time when America had been carrying out, for sixteen years, an experiment with liberalism that by 1980 had brought the country to the brink of catastrophe. Americans did not adopt conservative principles because they sounded good on first hearing. They adopted conservative principles because of bitter experience with the alternative.
Today, the benefit of that experience has largely been lost. A generation of American voters has not experienced the failures of the Great Society, the near-collapse of American cities, double-digit inflation and unemployment, seventy percent tax brackets, or the disaster of Jimmy Carter's foreign policy. In the absence of historical memory, and with a powerful assist from the ever-forgetful press, liberalism is once again emerging as the philosophy that sounds good. The fact that it doesn't work awaits as an unpleasant surprise for a new generation. In the meantime, Barack Obama may well be the plausible candidate who can lead voters, once again, down the blind alley of leftism. He is, as Steve Hayes argues, an opponent who must be taken seriously.