The new issue of the Claremont Review of Books is in the mail and available online to subscribers (subscribe here). Our friends at the Claremont Institute have allowed me to select a few of my favorite pieces from the issue to introduce to our readers.
The funny thing about President Obama, Charles Kesler notes in “The Stakes of Obamacare,” is how resolute he is despite poll numbers that ought to be discouraging. Forty-two percent of Americans now call themselves conservative, compared to 20 percent who call themselves liberal; and the president’s job approval ratings have steadily eroded since he took office. With midterm elections on the horizon, one might expect the president to stand a little less firmly, to give a little. But Obama, Kesler argues, will do no such thing. He is the most ambitious and the most ideological president we’ve had in decades, and he’s playing a very long game.
His cause is perpetuating the era of big government, “building a bigger and better state that will grant people new kinds of rights” and making the country anew. He believes, like all Progressives, that history is on his side, and that progress requires a leader like him and changes like these. Professor Kesler examines the consequences the Obamacare legislation, explaining why it will have deleterious effects on the economy, our political system, and our character as a people. He concludes that the bill must be repealed because, despite the Progressive vision, not all change is inevitable, or for the best.
Professor Kesler is a leading student of the words and deeds of President Obama. He has taken Obama’s measure in the CRB essay “The audacity of Barack Obama,” in the Christian Science Monitor column “How will Obama’s liberalism shape America?” and in the Imprimis essay “The New New Deal.” To these we now add Professor Kesler’s important essay on Obamacare.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill