As an antidote to my report on Obama Derangement Syndrome, check out this terrific post by Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine. It’s intended as guide for conservatives “coping with an Obama presidency,” but it’s also a great guide to blogging about politics and policy in a way that matters.
A few highlights:
Pray that President Obama achieves greatness in office.
Our overriding concern must always be the country we love, not the success of a party or an ideology.
For examples of how to break this or any other of Mirengoff’s rules, we don’t have to look much farther than some of the oppenents of the Bush administration. When the War in Iraq was getting under way, some opponents seemed almost gleeful at the prospect of American failure. I thought they were pretty disgusting. Now that the war has lasted 5 years and killed over 4000 American soldiers…I’d like to think they didn’t really know what they were wishing for.
Don’t assume that Obama is always wrong.
Judge all of his positions on the merits; don’t conclude that a position is wrong just because he takes it. Republicans tended to fall into this trap with President Clinton. For example, some opposed our military involvement in Kosovo based not on an analysis of the situation there, but rather on a knee-jerk anti-Clinton response. This approach is irresponsible and unpatriotic.
Be patient in your opposition.
Don’t mimic the left (this is always good advice) and conclude that because the country isn’t getting mad about policies that bother you, Obama is therefore a “Teflon president.” In fact, you should stop reading the first 10 pundits who call him that. Americans are fair-minded. They will give Obama time to succeed, as they should. The mainstream media will buy him additional time. But eventually the honeymoon will end.
Both of these are exactly right. The left’s everything-Bush-does-is-wrong bleat was annoying and counterproductive. The loudmouths carrying “Bush=Hitler” signs and demanding Bush’s impeachment on his first day in office only made it harder for people to see some of the real problems with the Bush administration.
Be fair in your opposition.
None of the 101 things that you criticize Obama for should be illegitimate or trivial. Remember that the president isn’t responsible for every adverse development that occurs on his watch. Even sound decisions often produce adverse consequences. Don’t judge Obama’s decisions in a vacuum; compare them to the alternatives.
For those of us who will be blogging the next few years of American government, it’s worth reading and remembering the whole thing.