Andrew Sullivan: “Obama is, in my view, the conservative reformist of my dreams”

Posted by: ST on August 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Your quote of the day, friends:

Noah Millman thinks the “Obama Administration has been a quintessentially small-‘c’ conservative one, in that it has tried its best to preserve the status quo in just about every area”:

It would be helpful if commentators like Friedman would acknowledge not only that the Republican Party has become a right-wing populist party rather than a conservative one, but that the Obama Administration is the sensible, centrist conservative Administration they claim to want – and either declare their support (rather than wishing for a better opposition) or, if they don’t like the results, reconsider their centrist policy preferences.

Indeed. Which is why my support is so passionate, because Obama is, in my view, the conservative reformist of my dreams. Almost the entire Tory party in Britain would now fit comfortably in the Democratic Party – and Cameron is clearly closer to Obama than to Romney. In fact, there is no mainstream conservative party in the West even close to the GOP’s fundamentalist, revolutionary populism.


That’s why I have long been baffled as to why people said my preference over Obama was some kind of shift to the ideological left. Nope. Against a radical right, reckless, populist insurgency, Obama is the conservative option, dealing with emergent problems with pragmatic calm and modest innovation. He seeks as a good Oakeshottian would to reform the country’s policies in order to regain the country’s past virtues. What could possibly be more conservative than that? Or less conservative than the radical fusion of neoconservatism, theoconservatism and opportunism that is the alternative?

How I felt after I read that:

Any questions?

I think it’s time for lunch. If I see anything more like this I may REALLY bang my head against a wall a few times.

Related: New Obama ad: If you’re a conservative woman who likes small government, vote for Obama

RSS feed for comments on this post.

7 Responses to “Andrew Sullivan: “Obama is, in my view, the conservative reformist of my dreams””


  1. Phineas says:

    Wow. The multiple levels of stupid in that quote are impressive. Andy’s outdone himself. But he’s right on one thing; the UK Conservative Party would easily fit within the Democratic Party (1), but that’s because the Conservatives are no longer conservative: there’s really very little in practice that distinguishes the Conservatives from Labour and the Liberal Democrats, except for the degree of their enthusiasm for statism.

    (1) Given the dominance of the Progressive Caucus in the Democrats’ congressional delegation and their marriage to labor unions, though, the Conservatives may well be a bit to the Right of the Democrats.

  2. Drew the Infidel says:

    Whatever Sullivan has been smoking sounds like some really potent weed. A cartel customer, maybe?

  3. Libertarian Advocate says:

    Andrew Sullivan??? How is he even relevant anymore?:o

  4. Aarradin says:

    I have nothing but pity for the man. After all, it must be difficult to think straight after four full years of having his head firmly stuck inside Sarah Palin’s uterus.

  5. Aarradin says:


    UK Labour = Statists with unions bosses running the show.

    UK Lib/Dems = Statists with academic elites and nouveau riche running the show.

    UK Conservatives = Statists with gentry running the show.

    No matter who you vote for, you end up with totalitarian socialism. The only difference is the personalities in the faction in charge.

  6. Jim McDonald says:

    This may sound less than polite to say, but homosexuality was considered a form of mental illness until the early ’70’s.

    I have allways felt that if your mind tells you to go against mega-millenia of biological imperative, there is a more than good chance that some of the other wiring in your head got dammaged in shipping also.