During the 2008 presidential campaign, I argued — until I was blue in the face — that Barack Obama would be a dangerous president because he was a person of radically liberal views. I drew this conclusion not because I had stumbled across a classified document providing a roadmap to the secret hidden world of Mr. Obama. It was instead because I relied on the most dependable thing possible: the public record.
I based my grave concerns about Mr. Obama on three things. First, his close, decades-long association with the anti-American bigot the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr., as well as with the domestic terrorist William Ayers and other radicals. Second, Obama’s voting record in the Illinois state senate and the United States Senate. And third, the environment in which Mr. Obama seems most at home, from the academy to his Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago.
When I issued my warnings about Obama, I was attacked by the Left as a fearmonger; the charges, they said, were unfair, reckless, and laughable. Even some fellow conservatives, while no fans of Obama, felt that my judgment was too swift and too harsh. Obama deserved the benefit of the doubt, the argument went. He was, we were told, a man with a moderate temperament and an open mind. He might surprise us.
Surprise us he has. Mr. Obama has turned out to be even more radical than most of us feared.
We see this extremism on almost every front. There is, for starters, Attorney General Eric Holder, who has championed civilian trials for the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Miranda rights for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber; who reopened an investigation of CIA interrogators after career prosecutors had cleared them, and who thus caused the morale at the agency to collapse; who has pushed for closing Guantanamo Bay without any plan for dealing with the detainees; and who said that on the matter of race America is a “nation of cowards.”
We see evidence of Mr. Obama’s leftism in his Supreme Court appointment of Sonya Sotomayor, who holds extreme race-conscious views. And we see it in the Obama administration’s acceptance of legislation that crosses what was previously a red line in the culture wars: subsidizing abortions with taxpayer money.
We see the true nature of Obama’s presidency in his routine blasts at the United States while on foreign soil and his serial apologies for this country. We see it in his clear dislike for our close democratic ally Israel, his clear discomfort about standing with the freedom movement in Iran, and his clear eagerness to bow before foreign leaders. And we see it in the praise Mr. Obama earns from the likes of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez.
We have seen Mr. Obama’s extremism in his eagerness to determine the pay of corporate heads, in his record-busting spending spree and the massive tax hikes that are sure to follow, and most especially in his engineering the federal government’s takeover of our health-care system.
But like most radicals in a hurry, Mr. Obama has overreached — and in overreaching, he has given conservatives their opening.
No president in the history of modern polling has lost so much support in so short a period of time as Barack Obama. Most of his policies are deeply unpopular — and the most unpopular policy of all is his signature domestic initiative, health care. Mr. Obama’s party has suffered serious losses in key races in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. The GOP is now ahead on the congressional generic ballot, which is almost unheard of, even in elections in which Republicans wind up doing well. As a result, non-partisan political experts now say that the conditions are in place for a punishing and potentially power-changing defeat for Democrats in November.
Yet Mr. Obama is unmoved by any of this. He continues to push his agenda over the objections of the people, determined as ever to transform American society, to remake it into his own liberal image.
In the face of this, the Republican party — which in recent years had lost its way — is returning to first principles. Republicans opposed the stimulus bill last year — and every GOP member of Congress voted against Obamacare. Republicans and conservatives are offering an alternative to Mr. Obama: limited government and liberty. They are opposing the unprecedented power grab by Washington, as well as the “culture of corruption” that now characterizes the majority party. And as we saw during the health-care summit, they are offering specific, impressive proposals of their own.
Between now and November, the Republican party has to convince voters that it has returned to its conservative, Reaganite roots. That is where Americans are heading at lightning speed; the Republican party would be smart to get there as well.
The GOP needs to continue to oppose Obama on every front, vocally and without fear. It needs to offer market-based solutions to liberalism’s command-and-control economy. And it needs to do what some of us have been doing since the beginning of this administration, which is to say and to show that Barack Obama is the most radical president we have ever laid eyes on. Republicans need to point out, with the intellectual force and personal charm that characterized Mr. Reagan, that Mr. Obama is a threat to the things we most cherish, the principles our country was founded on, and the documents that gave birth to this country.
If some might have found this indictment overstated and melodramatic a year ago, that is no longer true. America has lived under Obama for 14 months now, and that experience has been a harsh teacher. We now know what we are dealing with. And the American people, in growing numbers, want to hit the reset button. Out of this a conservative victory will emerge — and a new political era will dawn.
– Sean Hannity’s new book, Conservative Victory, was released today.