All of the attempts to claim Reagan as some kind of crypto-liberal, as I noted in National Review last week, are unpersuasive when they aren’t mischievous. But it put me in a frame of mind to turn the tables. Right after the 2008 election, I gave a speech in Portland, Oregon, where, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I argued that Obama was a stealth conservative candidate. I offer it for your amusement:
I’m wondering how long it is going to take the left to figure out that Obama is a stealth conservative candidate. He’s not even in office yet, and already he has notched four major conservative victories. First, he has rid us of the Clintons.
Second, his coattails took Proposition 8, California’s initiative to ban gay marriage initiative, over the finish line. Exit poll data show that it passed with very heavy support from African-American and Latino voters, who turned out in large numbers to vote for Obama. Without Obama on the ballot, Prop. 8 might have lost.
Third, he has shredded the public finance system for presidential elections. It’s not coming back.
Fourth, his election happily diminishes race as a factor in American politics, which is long overdue.
A few more conservative victories like this and our friends over at MoveOn.org and the DailyKos are going to start scratching their heads and may even begin to suspect our plot.