There is something way off balance in the character of Barack Obama. Something in the realm of zealotry, with a touch of megalomania, and perhaps an authoritarian impulse too. He combines Alinskyite tactics and outlook with an air of self-assumed moral superiority in a way that fails to respect the usual, small ‘r’ republican limits on American presidents. All presidents, of course, think at some level that they know best about policy choices. But almost none of them (Woodrow Wilson perhaps excepted) were so willing to disdain, in pursuit of such radical policy upheavals, such intense and overwhelming public opinion as has been evident in the current health takeover attempt.
Grandiose plans are one thing. Most presidents fall prey to them. It’s another thing entirely, though, to refuse to accept the ordinary republican restraints on implementing grandiosities without public support, and furthermore to do so by A) bending existing rules; B) directly violating multiple personal pledges; C) ignoring constitutional limits; D) directly lying; and E) demanding that other politicians sacrifice their own political careers.
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