Monday, January 21, 2013

OMerica. By John Podhoretz.

OMerica. By John Podhoretz. New York Post, January 20, 2013.


Obama’s success or failure in the next four years will determine the course of America for generations.

As Barack Obama’s second term begins with a private swearing-in ceremony today, we know one thing: If he leaves office as a well-regarded two-termer in 2017, he will have become the most important president since Ronald Reagan and the most important liberal president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

If the American electorate deems his eight years a success, the Obama presidency will have altered the ideological trajectory of the United States.

For decades now, since the Reagan era, the United States has been most accurately described as a center-right nation. That will not be the case if Obama does well over the next four years. By 2017, it will have moved several clicks port — for a generation at least. Due to Obama and his policies, the United States will have become a center-left nation.

If, however, Obama crashes and burns during his second term — either because the public turns on his policies, as was the case with George W. Bush, or (impossible to believe) because of personal misconduct, as was the case with Bill Clinton — Obama will leave liberalism in the same state of crisis in which conservatism now finds itself.

Rather than enshrine it as the dominating force in American politics, he will have discredited left-liberalism.

So the stakes are pretty high. The reward for success will be vast. The cost of failure will be severe. And Obama has made sure we will be able to tell which is which. There will be no doubt.