Robert Knight

When Barack Obama is in flyover country, if you close your eyes, you can almost hear a moderate Republican on the stump.

But when he’s on the Left Coast, the real Obama surfaces, bristling with praise for confiscatory taxation, redistributing wealth and ever bigger government.

It was in San Francisco, after all, that he let slip his famous gaffe on April 6, 2008 about rural Pennsylvanians clinging to “guns and religion.” And it was in San Francisco on April 20, 2011 that he told a Democratic National Committee audience that America’s greatness comes from government spending. Not from God-given liberty, limited government and a market economy that produced the freest, wealthiest country in history.

No, America’s greatness, apparently, came only with the New Deal and Great Society, when Washington grew from a sleepy town into a confiscatory monster sucking the life out of the rest of the country. That’s when Michelle Obama became, for the first time in her adult life, proud of her country. Wait, sorry. That was when Barack won the nomination in 2008.

But it’s never enough. Like the gangster in the 1948 Bogart classic Key Largo, Obama, like Johnny Rocco, wants more. “Yeah, Rocco (Barack) wants more.”

Here’s a snippet of Obama’s April 20 remarks:

“I will not reduce our deficit by sacrificing the things that have always made America great. The things that have made Americans prosper. I won’t sacrifice our investments in education. I will not sacrifice those. I won’t sacrifice our investments in science and basic research. I won’t sacrifice the safety of our highways or our airports.”

Read: Republicans want cars and planes to crash, scientists to hang up their lab coats and kids to get dumber.

In one of the most appalling displays of sheer gall, Obama actually decried America’s dependence on foreign oil. This is the president whose executive agencies have strangled new ventures to tap America’s enormous fossil fuel resources.

“I won’t sacrifice our investment in clean energy at a time when our dependence on foreign oil is causing Americans so much pain at the pump,” he told the DNC crowd.

And more pain is on the way. Obama’s EPA has denied a permit to Shell Oil Company to drill off Alaska’s coast. The company spent five years and nearly $4 billion preparing to give America a 27-billion-barrel shot in the arm of our domestic oil supply, which is down to 7 million barrels a day, 13 million short of what America uses.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.