Goodbye To All That, Update

Publius thinks that the Obama administration should have stood firm on end-of-life counseling and on the language of his address to schoolchildren:

[H]ere's the thing -- when you surrender to such obviously absurd outrages, you hurt yourself in the long run. You not only validate those complaints, you come off looking weak and defensive -- as if you did something wrong. The conservative outrages on both issues should be counter-attacked, not retreated from.

I disagree on the politics, although I think Publius is obviously right on the issues. If we cannot counsel Medicare recipients on how to make end-of-life decisions for themselves, then, given the huge expense of treating people in the last days of their lives, we are not being serious about healthcare costs. Equally, the hysteria over the presidential address was, well, hysteria. Even Newt Gingrich broke with the crazies on that one. But Obama's mojo has always been to hang back, let his opponents reveal their irrationality and win in the end. There were many moments in the campaign when I feared this would simply mean being Dukakised. But I was wrong. And I suspect the only way to unwind the ferocious cultural blowback from the election of a non-Southern non-white president is to let it blow itself out.

The fear, of course, is that it will blow itself out by assassinating him. I just hope the secret service knows what is being whipped up out there. And I hope that when the GOP leaders acquiesce to this insanity, they understand what Obama following Lincoln would do to this country - and the world.