Political Autism

I get the distinct feeling in these first few days of the Obama Presidency that someone is actually in charge. It’s in the manner and tone but also in the actions taken so far. Such a huge difference. The “audacity” of engaging the Republicans in Congress, giving the Arab television interview, and even having dinner with George Will and Bill Kristol–I think it’s genius.

And Rush Limbaugh? Silly man. Obama’s bipartisan approach is bad for business in right-wing nutball world, and so it’s only natural that he is acting out. Al Franken is a senator and Obama is the president. His head must be exploding. What a joy.

Bush’s “political autism” has been exposed completely. I think, after these many years of incompetence, we now really know who the smartest man in the room is. What a relief.

If Bush was about the presidency as power, Obama is about the presidency as authority. It’s fascinating to watch this deep difference in understanding slowly but unmistakably realize itself in public actions. Somewhere the Founders are smiling. The system is correcting itself after one of the most unbalanced periods in American history. But it took the self-restraint of one man to do it.

Andrew Sullivan


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