August 1, 2011

Obama Doesn't Believe in American Exceptionalism

Fouad Ajami, Wall Street Journal

AP Photo

In one of the illuminating, unscripted moments of the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama said—much to the dismay of his core constituency—that the Reagan presidency had been "transformational" in a way that Bill Clinton's hadn't. Needless to say, Mr. Obama aspired to a transformational presidency of his own.

He had risen against the background of a deep economic recession, amid unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; he could be forgiven the conviction that the country was ready for an economic and political overhaul. He gave it a mighty try. But the transformational dream was not to be. The country had limits. Mr. Obama couldn't convince enough Americans that the twin pillars of his political program—redistribution at home, retrenchment...

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Related Topics: Barack Obama


July 28, 2011
President on Sidelines in Critical Battle
Jackie Calmes, New York Times

For an hour on Wednesday the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, fielded questions about what, if anything, President Obama was doing to help end the impasse in Congress over the imminent need to raise the nation’s... more ››

The Republican establishment reasserted itself this week, and good thing, too, because the establishment was right. It said Republicans in the House should back and pass the Boehner bill on the debt ceiling because it goes in the... more ››

President Obama observed recently that if solving the federal budget deficit crisis was easy, it would have been done by now. True that, but the corollary to the president's point is that if the political fallout was knowable,... more ››