Daniel Henninger makes an important point that the current anger over the potential health care bill is really about more than health care. It’s about the massive growth of government that has taken place since the beginning of this Administration (which was sold largely as “centrist”). He writes:
Big as the health-care proposal is, the White House might have gotten it easily as a standalone piece of legislation, given the congressional majorities and Obama’s reservoir of goodwill. But health care arrived in late May as a trillion-pound federal elephant in an Obama house that was looking like a Noah’s ark of every known species of federal spending: the $800 billion public-works stimulus, the deficit-busting $3.5 trillion budget (and now Treasury’s Tim Geithner wants Congress to lift the debt limit above $12.1 trillion), the grandiose cap-and-trade bill that foundered when Democratic coal states rebelled, the U.S. engulfment of the auto industry, the tax time bombs.
If you are a very liberal Democrat, a public union leader or a progressive left-winger from the blogosphere that raised millions for the Obama candidacy, this is all good (incredibly, some of them mope he’s been too cautious).
But to an independent voter or moderate Democrat, President Everyman is starting to look like a salesman for the superstate. One keeps waiting for the president to give this swath of his non-statist constituency something to hang onto. Instead, they see liberal Democrats pistol-whipping the Blue Dog dissenters with nary a peep of objection from the world’s most reasonable man.
It’s early. A lot of Mr. Obama’s centrist admirers are no doubt willing to wait for their moderate man to emerge. I don’t think that will ever happen.