Some examples from VDH:
Guantanamo is still open, but there are no longer “enemy combatants” there (Perhaps the name of the camp can be changed next?). The old campaign snicker that a naïve McCain really believed that a then-stronger economy is “fundamentally sound” is now the new Obama gospel about a far weaker one. There are to be no more earmarks in spite of 8,000-plus new ones. A $3.6 trillion-dollar budget is proof of commitment to financial responsibility; the remedy of Bush’s borrowing profligacy is to increase the deficit from $500 billion to $1.7 trillion. Bush’s signing statements bad; Obama’s signing statements good. An end to lobbyists in an administration ensure there are over ten; the highest ethical standards mean the nominations of Daschle, Richardson, etc. The changing meaning of words really does trump memory and reality itself.
Not to mention what a disaster that it would be to make health insurance benefits taxable, which was one of the many mendacious ways by which they slithered into the White House, except that now, maybe it’s not such a bad idea:
Now that Mr. Obama has begun the health debate, several advisers say that while he will not propose changing the tax-free status of employee health benefits, neither will he oppose it if Congress does so.
Let me translate: “Yes, I don’t want to take responsibility for it, because even my lapdogs in the media might find that too much hypocrisy to stomach after all my demagoguery on the issue last fall, but I’ll sign the bill when it gets to my desk, so go for it.”
Well, actually, I’m not sure that it would make Orwell proud. More likely sad at his own prescience.