Last week in Columbia, Missouri, Barack Obama said, “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America,“Â Hearing these words, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich remarked, “Notice he does not say he wants to change the government.Â He says he wants to change America.”
Many Democrats agree that the American people don’t favor such a fundamental transformation. “Stan Greenberg, a prominent Democratic pollster, suggested . . . that voters are interested in Obama ‘because of his steadiness,’ and not because of his progressive agenda.”
After a number of Bush Administration blunders in the past few years, leading even Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, to question the president’s competence as an executive.Â Other conservatives offered similar criticisms.Â No wonder the American people want a change.Â Gerard Baker of London’s Times senses
that the change they want is for a welcome period of competence and decency. They would rather have a government that works than a new paradigm for the organisation of American society, a radical redistribution of income and wealth or a dramatically expanded public sector.
And yet with his promise to spread the wealth, offering “tax cuts” to those who don’t even pay taxes and promising to increase government spending, Obama is doing just that.Â Americans want a more competent Administration, not a more expansive government.
The change Obama proposes is not the change we need.Â Will the American people see past his slogan to understand that he doesn’t intend to merely restore competence to the federal government, but to fundamentally transform our nation?
Were John McCain and Sarah Palin not of the party of the unpopular incumbent Adminstration, people might more readily recognize that their records of reform more closely resemble the change we need than the rhetoric their rivals offer.
For more than the three years, McCain faulted the president for failing to shift strategy in Iraq.Â When the president finally adopted his approach, we began to turn the tide in that troubled land.Â Throughout the Bush era, the Arizona Senator has been (all too often alas!) a lone voice for fiscal sanity as both parties refused to rein in federal spending.
His running mate has also defied her own party, standing up to and taking down a number of corrupt Republicans in the Alaska establishment.Â When she finally became Governor, she held the line on state spending and put together a natural pipeline deal that elude her predecessors of both parties.
By contrast, even as he claims “we can’t afford four more years of spending increases,” Obama has not identified any programs he’ll cut, offering only additional increases.Â So, we see the fundamental transformation Obama proposes, shifting ever more resources and power to the federal government.Â That would really change America.Â And not for the better.