Politically, a bleeding heart liberal can make a very strong case. That's because there is no problem that you aren't ready, willing and able to solve. Of course, almost always, it is in the execution of said policy that things go awry. Make no mistake, last night, President Obama was the definition of a bleeding heart liberal. There was nearly nothing that he didn't think it the duty of the government to resolve. People who couldn't afford their mortgages would be helped. The automakers would be restructured with the help of the government. The banks would be capitalized with the help of the government. The way in which we use energy will be transformed guided by the government. No longer will anyone in this country ever go without having health insurance. Even a broken school in South Carolina is, in President Obama's view, his duty to fix. Don't get me wrong. Education is the government's responsibility, but I don't know that it is so much the federal government's responsibility.
President Obama committed several trillion Dollars last night to fix everything from a cure to cancer, to decrepit roads, to broadband in rural areas, to even fixing a school in South Carolina. Such a massive expansion of the reach of the federal government rivals only that of FDR and LBJ. President Obama has taken to being the antithesis of my favorite Reagan line
the nine most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help
President Obama wasn't resigned to first navigate our economy out of this recession. In fact, in the view of President Obama, navigating our economy out of the recession hinged on making us energy independent, providing health insurance for all, and making sure everyone had top notch education. Furthermore, President Obama felt it was the federal government's duty and responsibility to solve all these problems all at once. Don't get me wrong. It isn't that Conservatives aren't problem solvers. It isn't that they don't see a role for the federal government either. It's just that conservatives don't believe it is the government, especially not the federal government, that should be solving every one's problems.
This isn't the era of big government. This is the era of a government who's size we can't imagine and likely, we'll never undo. We really have entered a new era. Politicians like President Obama are really a dime a dozen, and Conservatives could easily tag them with the label, tax and spend, (or in President Obama's case borrow and spend) but now President Obama promises everything to everyone, and promises to provide everyone everything himself, and gets overwhelming approval.
I suspect that eventually President Obama will go the way of all bleeding heart liberals. Big government eventually leads to bloated government. That eventually leads to waste, corruption, deficits and higher taxes. Still, it is impressive how well President Obama articulates that which should so easily be derided.