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Remaking America With Barack Obama

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

There's an upside, naturally, to the power grab ("We are made for this moment, and we will seize it."), the president announced to the whole world Monday.

The upside comprises of two parts: the now-we-know part and the ain't-likely-to-happen part.

What we now know is that an unabashed president elected by a slight majority of his countrymen means to go full throttle with the "progressive" agenda as his collaborators in the major media continue to identify the liberal agenda in its advanced form.

"We understand," said Barack 0bama, "that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. So we must harvest new ideas and technology to remake our government." Whoa. Wait. "Remake the government"? That's what goes on here? Who knew, last November?

It gets more challenging. We're going to "take the risks that make this country great," responding to "the threat of climate change," eliminating long waits in voting lines, revamping the tax code, equalizing pay for "our wives, our mothers and daughters," overhauling immigration policy, promoting the well-being of "our gay brothers and sisters" reforming schools and providing the good life for everybody -- "the generation that built this country" and the one "that will build its future."

In there as well was something about making "the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit." The idea got lost in the great pile-up of liberal ambitions long stifled by non-liberal doubts about things like cost and constitutional propriety. On Monday, the nation learned that its re-elected president entertains no such doubts. Obama's intention is to place the United States government at the service of practically every cause currently in favor at The New York Times and in Hollywood.

Anyway, we know now. Nobody reading or hearing Obama's remarks can entertain the slightest doubt of his indifference (that might be putting it mildly) toward the private sector or the federal principles embedded in the Constitution -- the distinction between state and national powers, which distinction strengthens and enhances freedom at all levels of American life.

In Obama's mind, as in the minds of "progressives" everywhere, the federal government is everything. People at the local level, leading lives of their own, making most of their own decisions -- it doesn't work for "progressive" folk, bless their do-gooding hearts. Progressives don't welcome restrictions on their operational abilities. If everyone would do exactly as they say, what a wonderful world it would be! Why can't non-progressive dopes latch onto the progressives' gift for wisdom and organization, superior intelligence and compassion?

One thing non-progressives can appreciate, nonetheless, is the inherent folly of "solutions" imposed from the top, with minimal care, if any, for America's vast variety of lives and situations and aspirations and hopes. The progressive inability to understand that large numbers of American care deeply for their basic freedoms is the factor that over and over again thwarts top-down liberals: it drives them nuts, actually.

Public doubts and dislike concerning the president's signature achievement, Obamacare, are among the heartening signs of our otherwise-fraught times. Do such matters deter the president presently? Evidently not. He's got other programs he wants us to get with: so many, not even Nancy Pelosi likely can keep up with them.

The president badly -- grossly -- overestimates public demand, not to say capacity, for his get-with-it, we-know-better-than-you-do agenda. Guns, deficits, immigration and all the rest for dessert? At the very thought, a deep groan will escape the lips of millions.

It is necessary to note that not everything Obama mentioned on Monday is outlandish: There were good words about personal independence and pride in work, about equivalent chances at success. If only -- put it this way: If only he'd get off his Big Government soapbox and look around at the number of Americans doing fine or finer without the tender ministry of the federal bureaucracy! What he doesn't seem to know now he may know in four years: Americans got tired of the "king" business, oh, around 1776. If he thinks they've changed their minds, he might be in for, say, a mild shock to the nervous system.

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