Our "Pragmatic" President

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Feb 07, 2011 11:22 PM
Here is the text of the President's address to the US Chamber of Commerce.

Most notable, of course, is the President's injunction to business that corporate profits "must" be shared by American workers.  Not only does the comment indicate, once again, that this is a person who has little familiarity with -- or respect for -- the way the private sector works, it also signals that business had better realize that any "benefits" that the government is going, supposedly, to provide are going to come with some pretty hefty strings attached.

The whole "share the wealth" aspect of the President's talk will, once again, raise questions about whether his sympathies lie in the direction of the "s" word that dares not speak its name.  Not in President Obama's own view, apparently, as this exchange between Bill O'Reilly and Brit Hume makes clear.

Indeed, both O'Reilly and Hume seem to marvel at the fact that the President sees himself as a non-partisan, non-ideological pragmatist.  But O'Reilly -- who insists that's the case -- is on to something.

In my view, it's probably true -- in part because the President sees his views as so inherently wise and right that they transcend labels of any kind.  The fact is that the President grew up totally steeped in leftist ideology to the point where it forms the unexamined, foundational assumptions that shape his own thinking -- but his self-regard is such that he sees his own policy prescriptions less as the product of any ideology than as the platonic forms of wisdom and righteousness.