I’m not quite sure if I picked up on Barack Obama’s “With malice toward none, with charity for all” moment in his now 5 minute old inaugural address. Perhaps it was his reminder, coming at the heels of an impulsively irresponsible presidency, that greatness is fully measured by “what you build, not what you destroy”. More likely, we will find “the line” of now-president Barack Hussein Obama’s inaugural speech somewhere in his diagnosis of the myriad dysfunctions plaguing American leadership, to which he devoted considerable time and what he once immortally described as “the psychodrama of the Baby Boom generation”.

I know what Obama wants to do, and I do not want him to succeed.

–Rush Limbaugh

Only now–amid George W. Bush’s flight out of Dodge aboard some plain-named helicopter and after Obama’s gratuitous use of words and phrases associated with disaster relief like “rebuild” “never-again” “now we begin” even as the implied “disaster” squirmed next to him–does the potential consequence of Obama’s victory really sink in. “Potential” only because the shroud which covers the particulars of Obama’s ambition is thick; besides the stimulus package, we have little indication as to what it is he intends to spend his considerable sums of political capital.

Now let the Great Obama Slander begin. Rotting somewhere beneath the confused faces of Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter lies an effort, foul but absolutely determined, to bring this liberal down at any cost. Rush Limbaugh’s recent summa “I know what [Obama] wants to do and I do not want him to succeed” along with his November 5th declaration to christen the current economic downturn the “Obama Recession” evidences a deep insecurity. The conservative base of the GOP feels threatened and cornered, and should be expected to behave as such. The Right correctly interprets Obama’s presidency as an end to the conservative revolution, and the wing-nuts have made it clear: they will destroy the GOP before they cede it to moderates. The struggle over the soul of the GOP will play a determinative role in the 2012 campaign, the language of which is well-past conception. To the degree that a slice of the conservative coalition is willing to grant Obama a modicum of legitimacy, it’s only justification is that this is some exotic experiment, a pause in the movement’s progress which will resume once America swallows the hiccup. Be aware: the call for “change” always plays the setup man for the “return to normalcy”.