Daniel Mitchell does a great job taking apart Obama:
I’ve argued that Obama’s not a socialist.
I wasn’t trying to defend him. I was simply making the point that it’s technically more accurate to refer to him as a statist or a corporatist.
But he may be even worse than that, at least according to a must-read Kevin Williamson analysis of Obama for National Review.
He starts with how Obama seems to be a run-of-the-mill leftist.
Obama has been called many things — radical, socialist — labels that may have him dead to rights at the phylum level but not down at his genus or species. His social circle includes an alarming number of authentic radicals, but the president’s politics are utterly conventional managerial liberalism.
But Kevin then suggests that there’s something different about the President.
President Obama is nonetheless something new to the American experience, and troubling. It is not simply the content of his political agenda, which, though wretched, is a good deal less ambitious than was Woodrow Wilson’s or Richard Nixon’s. Barack Obama did not invent managerial liberalism, nor has he contributed any new ideas to it. He is, in fact, a strangely incurious man. …Obama’s most important influences have been tacticians such as Abner Mikva, bush-league propagandists like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and his beloved community organizers. Far from being the intellectual hostage of far-left ideologues, President Obama does not appear to have the intellectual energy even to digest their ideas, much less to implement them.
Then we have some examples of Obama’s “managerial liberalism.”
The result of this is his utterly predictable approach to domestic politics: appoint a panel of credentialed experts. …IPAB is the most dramatic example of President Obama’s approach to government by expert decree, but much of the rest of his domestic program, from the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law to his economic agenda, is substantially similar.
While this may appear to be incremental statism, Kevin argues that it represents something quite radical.
…it amounts to that fundamental transformation of American society that President Obama promised as a candidate: but instead of the new birth of hope and change, it is the transformation of a constitutional republic operating under laws passed by democratically accountable legislators into a servile nation under the management of an unaccountable administrative state. The real import of Barack Obama’s political career will be felt long after he leaves office, in the form of a permanently expanded state that is more assertive of its own interests and more ruthless in punishing its enemies.
Echoing Thomas Sowell, who explained that Obama’s agenda technically could be described as fascism, Kevin says that the current administration’s approach is a soft form of totalitarianism…