Conservatives generally agree on a few propositions. The federal government should avoid spending money unnecessarily. It shouldn't exceed its basic constitutional duties. It should encourage self-reliance rather than dependency. It should accept that some problems are beyond its ability to solve.
Barack Obama, they may be surprised to learn, agrees with much of this formula. He just applies it in a realm where conservatives often don't: foreign relations and national security. The Obama doctrine, writes Steve Chapman, is one of comparatively limited government.