Obamacon Watch

The Cunning Realist, a lifelong conservative, comes out in support of Obama:

For Obamacons there is of course a possibility, perhaps even a likelihood, of buyer's remorse somewhere down the road -- maybe even the morning after the election. Will the taboo love affair survive Obama's first massive corporate bailout or Supreme Court nomination?

It's been easy to dismiss most of the hysterical rantings by McCain and Palin. But something that resonated with me, though not quite in the way the McCain campaign and its flacks intended, was the phrase "The One." It worries me that too many Obama supporters believe one person can snap his fingers and solve this country's daunting problems. Hope is a great thing. But as the economy has imploded in recent months and the desperation out there has become palpable, the size of the crowds and the hope that surrounds Obama have made me a bit uneasy. I don't mean hope in the traditional "government will fix things" sense that the Democratic Party represents -- we all know what will happen to the size of government if Democrats control Washington, and we can thank George Bush for setting a fine example -- but hope in a more poignant, human sense. Where is the line between hope and inevitable disappointment, between faith and unrealistic expectations? Maybe we'll find out.

Related, a broad swath of this country has been turned off to conservatism and the Republican Party, perhaps permanently. If Obama wins and four years from now the economy hasn't improved and his approval rating is at 30%, where will those people turn -- politically, socially, and culturally? History has some pretty nasty examples of what can happen after dynamic, galvanizing agents of "change" either don't meet expectations or for whatever reason are interrupted in their mission. Throw in wildcards like the possibility of another attack on U.S. soil, followed no doubt by Dolchstoss-flecked charges from the opportunist Right. One of the themes of this space has been the creeping malevolence and madness out there, and it became obvious during the last month of the campaign. That must be turned back, especially in desperate economic times. McCain has made it clear he would stoke the madness, if only because as president it's unlikely he would suddenly discover something substantive to say and a coherent way of saying it.