RFE/RL executive editor on why "President Obama must not succeed."

Posted: 26 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2009, John O'Sullivan, executive editor of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and editor-at-large of National Review, reviewing Steven Hayward, The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964-1980: "Reagan did fail, however—and fail significantly—where Margaret Thatcher succeeded. He failed to convert the opposition party. For a while he seemed to have done so; President Bill Clinton balanced the budget, declared that the era of big government was over, embraced NATO and NAFTA expansion, backed a Republican plan for welfare reform, and sought safety in triangulation. But a series of factors—the Iraq war, George W. Bush's domestic drift leftwards, the political possibilities of the internet, boredom with centrism—pushed the Democrats back towards their statist and wobbly foreign-policy attitudes of 20 years ago. And Barack Obama was elected president on policies that reflected these attitudes. ... What is clear is that if the Reagan era is to be durable, then President Obama must not succeed — either politically because he cannot pass his programs, or substantively because his programs pass but then produce some blend of higher inflation and lower growth, and are subsequently abandoned."