Krauthammer: Obama Speech "A Declaration That The Era Of Big Government Is Back"
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I thought it was an amazing speech. Historically very important, not memorable. There's not a line here that will ever be repeated, but I think very important historically because this was really Obama unbound. And I think what's most interesting is that Obama basically is declaring the end of Reaganism in this speech. Remember, he once said that Ronald Reagan was historically consequential in a way that Bill Clinton was not. And what Obama meant is that Obama had changed the ideological course of the country.
In 1981, in his inaugural address within two minutes, Reagan had declared that government is not the solution, government is the problem. Today's inaugural address was a rebuke to that entire idea. This speech today was an ode to big government. It was a hymn to big government. In his refrain, the three we the people's, he said, number one I'm going to defend what liberalism has achieved in the 21st century -- where he mentioned Social Security. Medicare, Medicaid. So, I'm not going to let any of that be chipped away. And then, second, he said the vision for the future is climate change and green energy, this is going to be his new expansion of liberalism in the new century. And then the third element was his expansion of civil rights, where he talked about immigrants and gays and even shoe-horned the gun rights under the rubric of security.
He outlined the liberal agenda, the big government agenda in the future. And Brit [Hume] talked earlier, remarkably there's absence of any mention of the economy, of deficits, of what outsiders would say is the great challenge of our time headed in over a cliff, a real cliff of debt into a sort of a Greek future. There is nothing of that in this speech. Obama had zero interest in that and this was a declaration that his interest is to restore us to the liberal ascendency of 60 years, that Reagan stopped. He gave us these three decades and Clinton, in the middle of the three decades, said in his '96 State of the Union address, the era of big government is over. This speech was a declaration that the era of big government is back, I'm the man to do it. A remarkable speech.