The answer to Walter Russel Mead’s question (“Will Obama Lose Michael Moore and Sean Penn?“) is “Probably not” – neither are exactly what you’d call ‘intellectual,’ or, indeed ‘particularly well-educated*’ – but this passage is of interest, at least:
As we’ve said before on this site, President Obama is a New England statist and moralist; brutal and thuggish regimes in Latin America offend him in much the way they offended Woodrow Wilson and Elihu Root. Whatever romantic notions he may have entertained in his youth, he is no sentimental third world socialist who turns left wing wreckers and goons into progressive heroes; he sees them as irritants and nuisances to be ignored if necessary, but swept away if the right opportunity presents.
As we read the tea leaves and the smoke signals in Washington these days, Michael Moore, Sean Penn and Noam Chomsky aren’t going to like Barack Obama’s second term. Neither will Ron Paul.
I’ve long thought that Barack Obama was a good deal like Woodrow Wilson. Which is to say, he’s: a meddlesome moralist with an ugly streak of vindictiveness towards his political enemies; possessed of an uncritical willingness to break any number civil-liberty eggs to make some very dubious policy omelets; remarkably and apparently blissfully unaware of the way that his policy positions alarmingly skirt the outer edges of the hinterlands of economic and cultural fascism, and; is an absolute disaster for the long-term collective economic and social health of African-Americans. Fortunately, he’s not quite as bad as Wilson**; and, absent a convenient World War Obama’s unlikely to enable anything like the Palmer Raids.
None of this should be taken as me completely disagreeing with Walter that the Left is going to whine like Hell at Obama for the next four years. They will. But neither will the Left dare break too openly with the President. They’ll wait for 2017, when it’s safe.
*You have to have had a checkered academic career indeed when a liberal arts baccalaureate with some grad work can sneer at your credentials, but these two winners have managed that impressively dubious feat. Which is largely why they probably won’t stray too far away from Obama and the Democrats; it’s a big, scary world out there.
**Mind you, if Woodrow Wilson hadn’t done a marvelous thing for the country in 1919 by having a massive, debilitating stroke then the bar of ‘not as bad as Wilson’ might have had to have been lowered even further.