I’ve been a relentless critic of Obama’s policies of redistributionism, class warfare, and cronyism, so I didn’t feel I had anything new to say after Obama gave what’s being called his “Teddy Roosevelt speech” in Kansas earlier this week.
But David Harsanyi has an insightful column at Reason that is worth sharing. Here’s my favorite passage.
Obama’s mimicking Teddy Roosevelt’s end-of-career hard left turn tells us a lot about the president’s worldview. In his speech in Osawatomie, Kan., Obama dropped almost all pretenses and made the progressive case against an American free market system, which he called “a simple theory…one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government….And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work.” Obama, after all, is such a towering economic mind that in Osawatomie, he once again blamed ATMs (and the Internets) for job losses. This is a man we can trust. “Less productivity! More jobs!”
The only part that of the excerpt that might not be accurate is the jab about Obama’s “towering economic mind.”
It’s not that I object to insults and name calling, especially if the target is someone who routinely demonizes his opponents and questions their motives.
But I do think there’s another interpretation. Instead of assuming Obama is clueless, might it not be more reasonable to think he simply doesn’t care?
Let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine you are President and you want to curry favor with special interest groups and buy support from various voting blocs. Wouldn’t that explain a lot of Obama’s policies?
In other words, maybe Obama’s making government bigger in response to the same short-term political pressures that motivated the Bush Administration to make government bigger.
This doesn’t excuse the bad policy, to be sure. It just means politicians do the wrong thing because they are often guided by something other than what’s best for America.
By the way, this is also why I disagree with those who think Obama is trying to deliberately destroy the nation. Why make such a radical assumption? Do you also think Bush was trying to wreck America? Do you think Greek politicians have been trying to cripple their nation? Or French politicians, Spanish politicians, and Japanese politicians?