Barack Obama and the Revitalization of Conservatism

The election of Barack Obama, writes historian Julian Zelizer, has been “the best thing that ever happened to the right.”  Indeed, Obama’s election seems to have revitalize American conservatives.  Here is a taste of Zelizer’s recent piece at Salon:

Yet it is fair to say that one of the major stories of Obama’s presidency has been the revitalization of conservatism. Within only two years, Republicans have regained control of the House of Representatives through a dramatic midterm election. There are now an abundance of Republicans, some old (Newt Gingrich) and some new (Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin), who are jumping over each other to campaign for president in 2012. Republicans have been able to join hands, despite their differences, by using President Obama as their foil. The president has filled a similar role as communism did during the Cold War. Perhaps most troubling to liberals, President Obama has been unable, and in some cases unwilling, to dismantle pillars of Bush’s policies. The extension of the Bush tax cuts was a major victory for conservatives, even as they gave way on unemployment benefits.

Read the rest of the article here.

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