Good men do bad things, and in the pursuit of ambition, they almost always do. Barack Obama is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination.
What’s more, I think he will damage this country with bad policies. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. Inevitably, he is going to take actions that I think are disastrous, and somebody will come back and say: “Hey, Patterico! I thought you said Barack Obama was a good man!” Yes, but I never said he wasn’t going to do horrible things. It’s quite clear he will.
What’s more, there is no way in hell he is going to do away with the poisonous atmosphere in Washington, and anyone who thinks that he can is a fool. It will be amusing to watch him try.
But I make no apologies for saying he is a good man. He is my President. He is our President. And while he hasn’t always done good, I do believe he is fundamentally a good man and a patriot who wants to make this country a better place.
Precisely the kind of self-righteous civility that fried McCain. Want to be clapped on the back for your decorum? Fine. Just say so.
But let’s not pretend you are being honest or principled. Graciousness is one thing; praise is another.
This “good man” was involved in ACORN blackmail schemes. With an attempt to fraudulently undermine the Second Amendment by gaming court rulings. He got rich off of schemes that led to the mortgage crisis — then stood by and let others fix it in order to keep his hands clean during the final stages of an election. He has thrown in with race hustlers,”reformers” who believe that domestic terrorism was a valid form of expression, odious foreign potentates —
There is nothing at all noble about praising a man and a party who reviles you simply because in doing so you appear noble. Jews have tried that. And it’s often ended with skeletons and ash, or the twisted wreckage of a bus in Tel Aviv.
In this case, it will end with more McCains — and so more Obamas and Reids and Pelosis and Olbermanns.
If that’s nobility, I’m not interested. Yes, Obama is my President. But that doesn’t mean I’m forced to forget all he’s done to get there — and all that’s been done on his behalf, either by the savage supporters who went after Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin, or by the “objective media” that sold its soul for a shot at establishing the government it desired.
A good man?
A good politician, sure. A dedicated husband and father, perhaps. But a good man?
Sorry. But good men don’t lie, cheat, steal, and throw longtime supporters by the wayside just so they can rise to power — even if they’ve convinced themselves they’re doing so for some Greater Good.
Because the fact is, in this country, they’re not supposed to get to decide what that is. We are.
The rest is hubris.
update: For those coming over from some of the sites linking this piece, my follow-up post is here, and it explains in greater detail why I think Patterico’s position is not only wrong but dangerous.
And no, I don’t think Patterico in general dishonest or unprincipled. Quite the opposite, in fact. But in this instance, I believe he made a calculated and ostentatious decision to take the high road, and in doing so he forced himself to call someone a good man whom he knows to be quite the opposite (and has in fact suggested as much on a number of occasions).
In so doing, he has given cover to reprehensible behavior. If he believes such pragmatism will win elections, fine. Me, I’d rather lose the next few rounds if it means resurfacing with classical liberal principles intact and at the core of every campaign we run.