"He'll sit here," President Harry Truman said of future president Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, "and he'll say, 'Do this! Do that!' And nothing will happen. Poor Ike -- it won't be a bit like the Army. He'll find it very frustrating."
President Barack Obama, in an Oval Office speech about the disastrous Gulf oil spill, described the federal effort to cap, contain, clean up and restore. He demanded that BP set up a fund to compensate those hurt by the spill -- setting aside whether he possesses the legal authority to require it. He assured us, as tens of thousands of gallons of oil belch out of the hole each day, he intends to hold people ... accountable! No mention of the 48-hour deadline -- now come and gone -- that he gave BP to, well, do more.
Poor President Obama -- this isn't a bit like community organizing. He must find it very frustrating.
Obama campaigned by promising to use government to hope and change America, Americans and the world. He offered an end to "partisan politics," where we break from the "past eight years" of (fill in the blank). Eisenhower spoke of the industrial-military complex -- the incestuous relationship between government and military contractors. Defense contractors want to sell weapons and systems. They hire lobbyists to influence policymakers, to attempt to convince them of the need for the procurement and to get government to contract them to build it. Similarly, oil companies try to influence, control and co-opt regulatory agencies like the Minerals Management Service. Apparently, this is news to the President.
Obama, the former asbestos remover, rejects the Founding Fathers' vision -- codified in the Constitution -- of a federal government limited to and restricted by its enumerated powers. Under Obama's vision, the ability of government to transform lives is limited only by our imagination.
Clean, renewable energy? "Invest" tax dollars. Affordable health care for all who want it? ObamaCare -- with the promise of better care for less money. College education for all? Government takeover of the student loan program with the promise of quality education at controlled costs.