[President Barack] Obama said in his pseudo-State of the Union Address, "The answers to our problems don't lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth."
But in just three months, we have seen what Obama means when he talks about "reach." He doesn't mean "our reach" but his own. His sense of that reach, and the abrupt and scary speed with which he's used it, marks him as an executive with a tentacled grip—multiple, crushing, inescapable. No longer the cautious critic of presidential power of the campaign trail, he now sees nothing as beyond his grasp.
Less than a hundred days in, the fully articulated ideological contours of his vision remain unclear-just as he wishes. It suits Obama's self-image as a mere pragmatic problem solver to never explain, to float from power grab to usurpation as if nothing but thoughtful reaction to the exigencies of the moment guides him. But it's already obvious that those actions veer strongly toward expansive government, limiting our options in every aspect of national life.
GET REASON MAGAZINE
Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online
- Peter Suderman: Obamacare's 12 false premises and broken promises. Plus: The long, tortured quest for a conservative health policy.
- Consumers should drive medicine
- Jacob Sullum: Prosecutors disarm defendants by freezing their assets
- Ronald Bailey: The Aloha State’s dishonest anti-biotech campaign