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Blogger poll: Obama's First Year:

The National Journal has published its latest poll of leading political bloggers. The results: Majorites of left-leaning and right-leaning bloggers both agree that Obama will bring "a little" change to the way Washington works. A majority of the Left and Right agree that partisan divisions next year will either stay the same or increase. Lefties expect that conservatives will be biggest thorn in Obama's side, whereas the Righties expect Liberal Democrats to be an even bigger thorn for him.

Majorities on both sides agree that Obama's smartest course would be to "Compromise only as much as is necessary to win passage" for his agenda, and not to pad his majorities with further compromise. The Left thinks that the smartest course for Republicans would be to downplay their differences with Obama, but the Right overwhelmingly disagrees. The Left thinks that the greater risk for Obama is not tackling enough issues, whereas the right sees the greater risk in Obama's spreading himself too thin by taking on too many issues.

The Left bloggers were asked how much energy the Democrats should spend investigating the Bush administration. "A moderate amount" was the choice of 60%. The Right was asked who they would like to see become the leading voice of the Republican party next year. The winners were Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin, each with 18%. Although I like Palin and would be happy to see her elected President, I voted for Jindal, whom I described as "Brilliant, principled, articulate."

Wahoowa:
Blogger JoeBfromScranton reportedly mentioned that Jindal is "clean."
12.12.2008 12:36pm
Awesome-O:
It's over. Wahoowa wins the thread. Please close comments.
12.12.2008 12:36pm
T.J.:
Was "Bat-$#!% crazy" an option for Jindal? Exorcism, baby!
12.12.2008 12:51pm
loki13 (mail):
Puh-leeze nominate Palin. Please, please, please. I have two reasons for this:

1. Nothing better illustrates the growing divide between the Democrats/Independents/Sensible Republicans and the socially conservative GOP base.

2. Gobble gobble gobble.
12.12.2008 1:28pm
p.d.:
T.J.: I just read the story about the supposed exorcism. Jindal seems like the most reasonable one involved in the whole affair rather than "Bat-$#!% crazy."
12.12.2008 1:32pm
T.J.:
Being the "most reasonable" person at an exorcism isn't really saying a whole lot, in my book.

Another thing that will hold Jindal back are some rather inflamatory statements that Jindal has allegedly written regarding non-Catholic Christians.
12.12.2008 1:40pm
A Law Dawg:
I like Palin and would be happy to see her elected President


Palin was a major reason why I bailed on McCain; has information surfaced after the election which should alter my opinion of her?
12.12.2008 1:41pm
Dave N (mail):
Governor Jindal has stated he is not interested in running for President in 2012.

Of course, the junior Senator from Illinois tamped down speculation he was running as late as 2006.
12.12.2008 2:13pm
MQuinn:
History shows that the vice presidential pick of a failed presidential candidate does not subsequently become president.
12.12.2008 2:21pm
Franklin D. Roosevelt (mail):
History is bunk.
12.12.2008 2:28pm
George H (mail):
Jindal is an Intelligent Design guy and thinks it should be taught in schools. No matter what your opinion on that is, you have to admit someone pushing that for inclusion in public school curriculum won't ever be elected by the masses that just elected Obama.
12.12.2008 2:30pm
A Law Dawg:
Jindal is an Intelligent Design guy and thinks it should be taught in schools.


Does he want it in the curriculum, or does he want teachers to be prepared to answer questions by students on that topic? There's a huge difference.

If he does want it in the curriculum, what role does it play in the curriculum? I remember learning about abiogenesis in high school biology, and learning that it was stupid.
12.12.2008 2:35pm
Sarcastro (www):
Puh-leeze nominate Reagan. Please, please, please. I have two reasons for this:

1. Nothing better illustrates the growing divide between the Democrats/Independents/Sensible Republicans and the socially conservative GOP base.

2. JELLY BEANS!

That actor will never win!
12.12.2008 2:39pm
A Law Dawg:
Sarcastro,

While I agree with your point, Palin is no Reagan. When Palin gets involved in real debates and give real answers therein, the analogy might be valid.

Reagan won on persona and substance; Palin has little substance, and her persona has taken a huge hit in the last 4 months.
12.12.2008 2:44pm
MQuinn:
Franklin D. Roosevelt,

Touche, sir. Touche. But I still think that, as a general matter, what I said is true.
12.12.2008 2:46pm
loki13 (mail):
Sarcastro,

I know you enjoy the reductio ad absurudm, but the current "Reagan (Not, as you usually write, Regan) was always an idiot" theory is wrong.

Whatever his faults, Reagan was an accomplished politician but, more than that, had a remarkable and consistent ideology. His work in operation coffeecup (speaking out against socialized medicine, aka Medicare) in the early 1960s was so well-known that he was invited to speak for Goldwater in 1964. So he was a Goldwater Republican before Goldwater, as well as being an ideological backbone of the faction that took control of the party. And this was 16 years before he was President.

While many things can be said, both bad and good, about Reagan, the attempts to make a parallel between Reagan and Palin says more about the current state of the GOP than it does about Palin.
12.12.2008 2:47pm
T.J.:
Reagan never gave a series of interviews as damning as Palin did this past summer. Reagan never was on a losing national ticket prior to running in 1980. Reagan was also smart enough not to assert that proximity to Russia constitutes foreign policy experience.
12.12.2008 2:48pm
Arkady:

"Brilliant, principled, articulate."


And he shares with Palin a belief in witches and demons. What's not to like?
12.12.2008 2:48pm
loki13 (mail):
As an aside- I think nominating Palin would be the equivalent of the Democrats nominating Mondale in 1984- not that Obama is Reagan, but as a symbol of how out-of-touch a party has become with the majority of Americans.
12.12.2008 2:49pm
Sarcastro (www):
[I think the "(s)he'll never win" idea is courting disaster.

If the voters are snookerd, and she wins (shocking!) the country would be up poop creek.

Rather, hope the GOP fields a sane candidate.]
12.12.2008 2:51pm
RPT (mail):
Keep in mind that, at the end of his term, President Bush has now revealed that he subscribes to the theory of evolution and does not take the Bible literally.
12.12.2008 2:55pm
loki13 (mail):
RPT-

Well, of course! People tend to forget, between all the brush clearin', that President Bush was a product of Andover, Yale, and Harvard.

Underneath the carefully cultivated cowboy image beat the heart of an east-coast elitist Kennebunk Port resident.
12.12.2008 2:59pm
JosephSlater (mail):
"History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men . . .


GODZILLA!!!"
12.12.2008 3:03pm
Brian Garst (www):
I see the "tolerant" left is already beginning their usual bigoted smear campaign against Jindal. Witnessing their consternation as they realize that Jindal is too smart and too skilled for it to fly this time will be delicious.
12.12.2008 3:14pm
Sarcastro (www):
shokingly, the best I could do.
12.12.2008 3:14pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Sarcastro: Nice job, although arguably insufficiently reptillian.
12.12.2008 3:24pm
T.J.:
How - exactly - is pointing out that Jindal attended an exorcism, or that he has written some potentially inflamatory things about non-Catholics, "bigoted"?
12.12.2008 3:28pm
loki13 (mail):
Brian Garst-

A leftist smear campaign? Some mornings I wake up to the left of Leon Trotsky, and the first I heard of this exorcism and dislike of protestants was on Volokh, a site noted for left-wing agitprop. Anyhoo, I think this will be a more of a problem for Jindal in the primaries (hello, Huckabee!) than the general.
12.12.2008 3:38pm
loki13 (mail):

[I think the "(s)he'll never win" idea is courting disaster.

If the voters are snookerd, and she wins (shocking!) the country would be up poop creek.

Rather, hope the GOP fields a sane candidate.]


You know, I was going to respond to this originally by pointing out that I believe in the choices of the American people, they usually have good taste, you can't full all the people all the time, yada yada yada . . .

but then I remembered the Disco Years.

---turn the beat around, Sarah Palin!
12.12.2008 4:01pm
David Warner:
Loki,

"Nothing better illustrates the growing divide between the Democrats/Independents/Sensible Republicans and the socially conservative GOP base."

Some of us have moved on to the books without illustrations. Just saying.

I'm with Sarcastro here. Whether he won or lost, the Dems running Edwards was bad for the country - I wasn't happy about the pick even though I wanted Kerry to lose. A lot.

BTW, Lokester, your predecessors treated Reagan every bit as dismissively as your colleagues treat Palin. Palin does need to hit the books (again) some more if she wants to be in Reagan's league, but don't look for her or her supporters to garner any more respect if she does.
12.12.2008 4:06pm
David Warner:
RPT,

"Keep in mind that, at the end of his term, President Bush has now revealed that he subscribes to the theory of evolution and does not take the Bible literally."

Who ever thought otherwise? If you want to be Enlightened, you could start by opening your eyes to the world around you.
12.12.2008 4:10pm
loki13 (mail):
Wow, David Warner,

You are example one of what I'm talking about. Most members of the GOP that I know and respect (and there are quite a few) were appalled by the selection of Sarah Palin. The reactions varied from "won't vote now" to "grudging cote for McCain" to a few Obama votes, but she was a huge negative. I know that her pick was very popular with a segment of the GOP base, but that I think that portion of the base isn't going to be putting any GOP candidate over the top. Thinking that Palin 'just needs to hit the books' to be like Reagan does a real disservice to the memory of Reagan. As someone who has a mixed opinion of Reagan's policies- even I'm appalled that you're dragging his good name through the mud like this.

Zombie Reagan will rise from the grave and destroy what you have done tto his party.
12.12.2008 4:24pm
RPT (mail):
"Mr. Warner:

RPT,

"Keep in mind that, at the end of his term, President Bush has now revealed that he subscribes to the theory of evolution and does not take the Bible literally."

Who ever thought otherwise? If you want to be Enlightened, you could start by opening your eyes to the world around you."


His embrace by conservative Christianity (some of whose institutions I represent) for the last twenty years was based on an explicit rejection of evolution and affirmation of belief in the Bible's literal truth.
12.12.2008 4:41pm
Michael B (mail):
As viewed from the left: Reagan in retrospect vs. the contemporary view of Reagan, '81 thru '88 - a subject sure to provide many telling vantage points and amusements.

Some random considerations:

It's McCain who doesn't come close to being a Reaganesque figure, while Palin is much more comparable and similarly grounded.

Reagan was elected in '80 after the incoherence that was Jimmy Carter, not '76.

Obama, in terms of economic outlook and fiscal policies, in terms of some foreign policy sentiments as well, is arguably a Jimmy Carter II, if a far more politically savvy version thereof.

Palin has weak points, both real and perceived only, but they are not foundational, they are structural and can be remedied (i.e., in the area of foreign policy and the federal courts).

Reagan's strength was a certain grounded quality in addition to a certain temperament. Palin substantially reflects both those attributes. Both are substantial and genuinely thoughtful politicians and executives, though not thoughtful in the abstract/academic sense, hence the fusillades of presumptive sneers directed at Reagan by a certain class, likewise with Palin.

Arguably, the primary thing that has changed is the still further cooptation of the Dems by the Left together with leveraging all that represents. But with an Obama admin. the Dems and Left/Dems will now be forced to deal with reality much more than they have when they've merely held sway in the legislative branch.

So, the differences are more perceived than real or substantial.
12.12.2008 6:11pm
Michael B (mail):
RPT,

Links, citations, substantiations?
12.12.2008 6:14pm
RPT (mail):
David Brody of CBN as of 12.12.08:

"Brody, who has written that Bush would "have had to go into damage control mode" after these comments if he were still running for office, said that the remarks definitely "would have been an issue" in 1999, when Bush was actively seeking the support of the religious right in his bid for the presidency.

Brody concluded by suggesting, with what appeared to be a note of bitterness, that "George Bush has always been -- quote -- 'good' on the 'life' issue with social conservatives and good with the marriage issue. And it seems that he had cover because he had the public policy positions down."
12.12.2008 6:24pm
Floridan:
Michael B: "Both are substantial and genuinely thoughtful politicians and executives, though not thoughtful in the abstract/academic sense, hence the fusillades of presumptive sneers directed at Reagan by a certain class, likewise with Palin."

I'm sure you have in mind some other sort of thoughtfulness, but it seems to me that Palin is squarely in the Bush tradition of operating from gut feelings. I have seen no evidence of any sort of contemplative intellect on her part.

Now, if all you mean is "she's not as dumb as people think," then you may be right.
12.12.2008 6:37pm
traveler496:

Reagan's strength was a certain grounded quality in addition to a certain temperament. Palin substantially reflects both those attributes. Both are substantial and genuinely thoughtful politicians and executives, though not thoughtful in the abstract/academic sense...


I haven't seen evidence in Palin of the level of thoughtfulness one would expect of a national or world political leader. Can you provide any examples?


Reagan was elected in '80 after the incoherence that was Jimmy Carter...


Despite having a "certain grounded quality" (I agree w/ that much), Reagan struck me as remarkably - almost superlatively - incoherent when speaking extemporaneously, though I admit that my memory may be inaccurate. I would cite examples of Reagan's extemporaneous speech if I could, but in searching the web I've come up totally empty. OTOH if anyone can turn up credible evidence to the contrary I'd gratefully admit my error. Any help?
12.12.2008 7:32pm
loki13 (mail):
Michael B,

Not sure what you're rebutting, there, pal. Goldwater convention (1964) + 16 years = 1980. Perhaps you're using the new math. Or just wanted to bring up Carter.

But this goes to the complete unseriousness of some members of the modern GOP. I think that a good case can be made that the Democratic post-FDR highwater mark of the LBJ years were undone by the same hubristic and grandiose incompetence that plagues the GOP today. Sarah Palin is just like Ronald Reagan. That's the belief? I saw Ronald Reagan. I disagreed with Ronald Reagan. I respectd Ronald Reagan. Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan.

To recap:
1. Reagan has a coherent political philosophy that he formed, long before it was popular to do so.

2. He was such a driving force behind it he was invited to speak at the Goldwater convention, long considered the beginning of the modern conservative movement.

3. Inspired after the convetion, and looking to translate his ideals into policy, Reagan won the governorship of California twice, running it from 1967-1975. Admittedly, California is no Alaska, you betcha. Also.

4. Bucking his party establishment, Reagan nearly knocked off the incumbent Presidential candidate, Ford, in 1976--- setting up his triumph in 1980. He then set about translating (with mixed success) his ideas about the Federal government into action.

Sarah Palin, small town pork-seeking mayor/recent Governor with little discernible political philosophy other than to seek benefactors and then turn on them, is thrust into the national spotlight by a desperate John McCain... and you're telling me she's Ronald Reagan? That's the best you can do?

With friends like these, it's a good thing Reagan has some enemies to defend his legacy. Or is this like the NBA, where every player who dunks in a game is 'the next Jordan' and then tragically fails under the weight?
12.12.2008 7:55pm
Michael B (mail):
RPT,

You specifically referred to an "explicit rejection of evolution" and a literalist interpretation of biblical texts - and that's what I was inquiring about. Further, I'm not doubting that some "conservative Christian" polities are more "conservative" than the Pres., that seems obvious enough. But I'd be more interested in knowing if that represented some type of broader rejection and if you can substantiate that notion.

Floridan,

That's nothing more than a middle-school level sneer. The point was that the very same things were being said of Reagan, e.g., he was branded an "affable dunce," or something along those lines. Iow, you've merely further substantiated that very point. So, you don't seem to be among the contemplative "brights" yourself ...

traveler496,

You can come up with (literally) zero examples?

Reagan was not known as the "great communicator" for nothing. As to coherence, it was Reagan who initiated a sweeping anti-Soviet strategy and saw it through to a historic end, at least essentially so. And he did so at a time when supposedly coherent articulators throughout academe and the putative intelligensia in general were mocking and sneering at the idea and at the policies which served to forward the Soviet's demise. As to the economy on a domestic scale, he stuck with free market principles rather than bailouts and govt. outlays (fighting against a Congress that held the purse strings), and that too he was able to do substantially because he communicated directly to the American people, over the heads of and the objections of an adversarial Congress. Again, I specifically emphasized, "not thoughtful in the abstract/academic sense, hence the fusillades of presumptive sneers directed at Reagan by a certain class, likewise with Palin." As with Floridan, you're serving to substantiate my point rather than refute it. Reagan was excoriated by a certain class, but it was that "certain class" that proved to be ungrounded, even though they could articulate and pronounce upon subjects with a certain knowing, sophistical gloss and pretense.

The thought also comes to mind that people such as Mussolini and Lenin were much admired for their intellects and ability to articulate, during their heyday.

loki,

Pal? Regardless, you too are merely further substantiating my point.
12.12.2008 8:08pm
loki13 (mail):
Michael B,

No, you underscore my point. The liberal elite that was in the process of disintegration after the LBJ years literally couldn't believe that anyone of intelligence could be a *gasp* conservative. This dismissive, wrong, and sneering attitude came back to haunt them.

The converse, unfortunately, seems to affect the GOP today. Because the Democrats at one point did not see the intellectual foundation of the modern GOP, certain segments of the GOP have retreated into a kind of anti-intellectualism and anti-credentialism. That, somehow, not being smart, not being competent, not going to good schools is a badge of honor instead of something that is a detriment (although one that can be overcome in the last case). If I had a dime for every time someone used Buckley's phone book comment on the volokh boards, I would be a rich(er) man, but I doubt those people understand the essential irony of Buckley's comment; after all, look at William himself.

Sarah Palin,and by extension you, are a sad commentary on the current GOP. I happily voted for a GOP governor in my state; it looks like it will be a while before I vote for a GOP presidential candidate.
12.12.2008 8:32pm
Michael B (mail):
loki13,

A lot of leveraged presumption and pontifical pronouncements. I was more simply comparing Palin with Reagan in some, not all, notable respects, including the manner in which they are (merely) sneered at, primarily from a variety of quarters on the left. What is sad is your inability to keep more strictly to what was said and instead needing to leverage so much presumption in order to forward your preachment, even while that preachment supposedly applauds intellectual coherence.
12.13.2008 1:18pm
CogDis (mail):
"I like Palin and would be happy to see her elected President."

Bush has been President for nearly 8 years now and the U.S. is worse off for it by almost every measure imaginable (I confess to having voted for him the first time around - mea culpa). And you would have been happy to follow Bush with ... Palin? Just wow. I am at a loss for words.

God Bless the U.S.A.

cuz we sure need it!
12.13.2008 2:08pm
CogDis (mail):
Michael B.,

Reagan demonstrated for years, nay DECADES, that he was SERIOUS about policy ideas. Palin was the most utterly unserious presidential-level candidate this country has ever had the misfortune to have thrust upon it (by McCain!). Please do not ask for examples as to her unseriousness - just watch the You Tube replays of her interviews.

For the good of this country her political career needs to be utterly destroyed (note that I say her political career - not her personally). We simply cannot absorb such a politician after 8 years of Bush.
12.13.2008 2:14pm
Michael B (mail):
CogDis, you reflect your pseudonym rather well.

You need to combine some comprehension with your reading skills, e.g., you don't even comprehend what evidence had been suggested, which pertained to traveler496's mention of Reagan's ability to communicate. (And to be extremely pedantic, one way to better discipline your response is to excerpt something I've said - and then respond to that.) You're also merely forwarding - and repeating and repeating - your own chorus, you're not forwarding a cogent argument, not remote so. Ironically, that's what the country cannot absorb.

You're all anger and leveraged presumption and incoherence. That too is something the country could use less of.
12.13.2008 4:02pm
Joshua:
Back on topic (Obama, not Palin): So far, the President-Elect has been remarkably willing to reach across party and ideological lines. That's a good sign. On the other hand it's still entirely possible (indeed, IMHO quite likely) that Obama's liberalism will manifest itself in more subtle ways. For starters, and for obvious reasons, when push comes to shove he is more likely to be willing to compromise with the Left than with the Right. Another (strong, IMHO) possibility lies in his low-level appointees (i.e. sub-SCOTUS federal judges and sub-Cabinet-level officials), which tend to sail under most citizens' radar. We all remember his remarks during the campaign about preferring judges who emphasize "fairness" over the law. He has also already hinted that his sub-Cabinet-level appointments will have more power than before. Obama could stock those positions to the gills with Chicago-style liberals and few people would call him on it - and even those who did would be overwhelmed by the task of opposing each and every one of them.
12.14.2008 12:06pm
traveler496:
Michael B.:
"You can come up with (literally) zero examples [of Reagan's extemporaneous speech]?"

Well, nothing longer than snippet length - and I don't mean just examples illustrating the incoherence I think I remember; I mean any examples.

Admittedly this is probably more a comment on my web researching skills/persistence than on the availability of such info (it's gotta be there, right?). The last time I poked around was about a year ago, and I only searched for text, not video.

I also agree that Reagan wasn't called the Great Communicator for nothing. And I realize that there are any number of ways to reconcile my memory (of Reagan as an incoherent extemporaneous speaker) with that fact; I'd just like to get my hands on the raw data so that I can do this.
12.15.2008 1:20pm
Michael B (mail):
Fair enough.

For the record, I don't so much idolize Reagan as I tend to admire and respect him in some areas of note and am willing to defend him against ahistoric and other, more egregious attacks. Reagan's feet were made of clay, though from one angle that was also part of his charm, which was quintessentially American; he was an uncommon, common American in the best sense of the term and it is in that sense that I'm more than willing to defend him and advance what he stood for. Reagan stood, he stood in a particular place and time, evidencing a certain social and political courage and far more often than not he evinced a grace in the midst of highly divisive times.

Here's one youTube tribute and though I don't care for some of the initial background music, it reflects upon his tenure rather well.
12.15.2008 3:51pm

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