He's our president too

An odd meme has broken out all over:  "Obama is our president, for conservatives as well as Democrats."  This is, in some sense, trivially true:  any conservative who has gone around claiming that Barack Obama is not, in fact, the president-elect, needs to seek psychiatric assistance immediately.  It's really true, dude; it was on CNN and everything.

But beyond the tautological, what does this demand that conservatives recognize that Obama is their president mean?  Are they supposed to root for him to succeed?  One hopes that we are all hoping he will not run the country into the ground.  But since most conservatives believe that Obama's agenda will, in fact, run the country into the ground, it would not be reasonable to demand that they actually hope he passes it.

Are conservatives supposed to suddenly like Obama? Or at least give him the benefit of the doubt? As far as I can tell, precisely none of the liberals urging this on conservatives obeyed their dicta when George Bush was supposed to be the object of their affections.

I am really struggling to figure out what sort of deeper, richer, civic life is supposed to arise out of a unanimous recognition that the man who was elected president of the country has, yes, actually been elected president of the bit we happen to live in.  Can someone who speaks Blather explain it to me?

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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