Ken Blackwell


Well, that didn’t last. President Obama went out to Osawatomie, Kansas, to deliver what the White House told us in hushed tones was a major address. He proclaimed it “the defining issue of our time.” It’s more than that, it’s the “make or break moment for the middle class and for all those struggling to make it into the middle class.”

He invoked Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 speech at Osawatomie. He appealed to that example as his inspiration. And then he went on CBS’s Sixty Minutes and compared himself to Lincoln, FDR, and Lyndon Johnson. What happened to TR? What happened to the great Trustbuster? No mention.

Most critics are jumping on Obama, hooting at his claim to be the fourth most consequential president in our history (and for reminding us that he’s only just getting started.) Mr. Obama cited—in a general way—his legislative accomplishments as his basis for climbing onto his own Mount Gushmore.

President Obama traces his health care legislation to TR. He claims that the first Roosevelt was an earlier harbinger of this great cause for the middle class. Nothing so threatens the middle class in America as Obamacare. If this is not repealed, middle income Americans will find themselves shackled to a government-provided health service that gets worse and worse and costs more and more. Britain is going through a painful re-examination of the dangers of cradle-to-grave “coverage.”

Worse, Obamacare forces middle income Americans to subsidize the killing of millions of unborn children. These children are the best hope of getting us out of this debt spiral.

They are a priceless source of human capital. Growth depends almost wholly on the number of workers plus human capital. And education depends greatly on the impact of early education in the family. When combined with education and purpose, a healthy and growing population is only way for a nation to achieve economic security.

Obamacare inverts all of this. Nor will Mr. Obama compromise on federal programs that fund the killers of the unborn. Those programs are off the table. That’s “non-negotiable, John,” he tells House Speaker John Boehner.  And yet, he claims Boehner is not willing to work with him.

Mr. Obama is not entirely wrong when he cites TR as an inspiration for national health care. TR’s Osawatomie speech led him on a straight path to his “Bull Moose” third party run for president. In that 1912 campaign, TR’s Progressive Party platform did indeed call for nationalized health care.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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