Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Into History's Dustbin

Obama's first hundred days have been notable for the passage of major economic legislation, the closing of Guantanamo, and a star-turn in Europe. But what has stood out most for me is the way Republican outrage continues unabated despite its overwhelming ineffectiveness.

Some may say it's generational, and it may well be. I say the voters meant business in November when they gave the hook to the old Navy pilot and his daffy pugilist in heels. And so the old arguments don't work anymore: the right-wing scare-tactic that used to tag the Democrat as some drug-crazed last remnant of the Manson-family from the 1960s, seems to have lost its magic.

Obama just seems to be unconcerned with any of it. He meant it when he said he was taking a new approach--to the economy, to the wars, to foreign policy, to health care, to human rights. He jokes with Hugo Chavez--confident he's not going to be tricked into some disadvantageous deal with the oil-bloated dictator. He welcomes an apparent new openness from Castro the Younger even as the Elder seeks to retract it all--but who looks like the grump? Not Obama.

Now it is the Republican who begins to sense he (or she) must fear being tagged as the torture-besotten, yellow-cake hallucinating last remnant of the Cheney-family from the Bush years, even as Cheney croaks, Manson-like from his tomb on Hannity-hill.

And freshly beginning to gather dust--just a thin coating right now but ever thickening--is the stiff carcass of old-fashioned Republicanism. It has at last joined Communism atop History's Dustbin.