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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

5.19.2008

It'll Be A REALLY Great Society This Time Around

President Obama will come to regret such foolishness, as will America:

IN 1965, DEMOCRATS HELD more than two-thirds of both chambers of Congress. As LBJ said on his inaugural night, "We can pass it all now." Democrats may gain seats in Congress this year, but they will not have the same majorities LBJ had. President Obama will not say "We can pass it all now."

LBJ began his quest for the Great Society by cutting taxes. Obama will have to raise taxes to pursue his dreams -- excuse me, "our" dreams. Once "hope" and "change" cost real money, Obama will find Congress less willing to dream.

1n 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted the federal government to do what is right almost always or most of the time. In 2004, 47 percent trusted the feds. Perhaps Obama's charisma will foster trust. Or maybe not. Obama is running as post-ideological. If he undertakes a new Progressivism, voters are likely to feel betrayed and trust in government will drop as it did when Clinton ran as a moderate in 1992 and tried to govern as a liberal in 1994.

Conservatives have reasons for pessimism in 2008. But the spring of 1964 was much worse. Barack Obama may expect to renew the left's quest for a secular spirituality rooted in politics and government, a religion to replace the older faiths. But 2009 is unlikely to be 1965. In fact, if Obama overreaches enough, 2010 might come to resemble 1994.


The War on Poverty has been going on now for over 40 years. Poverty's still winning. Who says America won't stand for a long war?

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