The Ignorance Of The Right

Here's Victor Davis Hanson:

Under pressure to produce some facts and specifics, the Obama team is beginning to release a little on the economy, taxes, and new entitlements.

Now the reason I balk at this is that I actually sat through a long Obama speech on taxes last year in Washington. I couldn't get through the details there were so many. It bored the pants off me. The notion that Obama has not released details and specifics on economic policy is a fantasy. It's a product of pundit laziness. The cocoon right seems to believe that because they haven't done their homework, Obama hasn't.

And because Obama actually inspires with oratory, they also assume he doesn't have substance. The premise is that you cannot be inspiring and detailed at the same time. Two words: Why not?

What people fail to understand is that in politics, words are also substance.  The ability to inspire people is not inherently a dangerous phenomenon. It is sometimes critical to effective governance. Conservatives used to understand this. Perhaps Churchill's greatest actual weapon was the English language. It did things no bureaucrat, soldier, armament, or policy could do. The core of Ronald Reagan's success was his rhetorical ability to reach over the heads of the Washington process to the people who can force Washington to change: the American people. And I don't recall conservatives decrying the rhetoric of hope reacting to George W. Bush's inspired speeches after 9/11.

Look: flim-flam and emotional hysteria are dangerous things. There are moments when Obama's rhetoric gets the better of his common sense. But the record shows that he also does have common sense - more common sense than Charles Krauthammer or me when it came to predicting the practical consequences of an Iraq occupation. And if a potential president has a head on his shoulders and is able to inspire millions, what on earth is wrong with that?