Calling President Obama “the real radical” in his column yesterday, George Will compares the incumbent to the three previous “transformative progressive” presidents, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, contending that this year, Americans don’t share their vision of a large, intrusive state. They don’t share Obama’s vision of “fundamentally transforming” America.
Instead, the pundit contends:
In 2012, Americans want from government not such flights of fancy but sobriety; not ecstatic evocations of dreamlike tomorrows but a tolerably functioning today; not fantasies about a world without scarcities and therefore without choices among our desires and appetites but a mature understanding of the limits to government’s proper scope and actual competence. Tonight’s speech is Obama’s last chance to take a first step toward accommodation with a country increasingly concerned about his unmasked determination to “transform” what the Founders considered “fundamentals.”
The Democrats continue to tout Bill Clinton’s speech, yet that Democrat famously declared that the age of big government was over. But, as Mr. Will suggests, he does have one last chance to change course. . . .