I've written before about the student radical in my Shakespeare class: asked to write a paper on which Shakespearean king we'd like to see as president, she picked Richard III. Ricardo, she felt sure, would hasten the revolution.

I find some of the same touching optimism in Nile Gardiner's piece in today's [U. K.] Telegraph. The headline: "Why Barack Obama Could Be America's Last Big Government President." Here are the key paragraphs:

The United States is undergoing one of the biggest political revolutions in its post-war history, and perhaps the most important since Ronald Reagan, with an emphatic rejection of the idea that government knows best when it comes to handling key domestic issues, especially relating to the economy. President Obama, whose administration has practically worshipped at the trough of big government, looks spectacularly out of touch with a clear majority of the American people. The highly interventionist liberal experiment of the last two and a half years has been a spectacular failure, with 14 million Americans out of work, sliding consumer confidence, collapsing house prices, and falling stock markets.

This is why Barack Obama could well end up being the last big government president of the United States, a nation that simply cannot afford the lavish excesses of an imperious presidency that drains the pay-checks of hard-working Americans with impunity and reckless abandon. The historic loss of faith in the federal government under Obama has combined with growing support across America for a return to the limited government ideals of the Founding Fathers. Nothing is ever certain in politics, but it is hard to see how a future president can shamelessly adopt the same borrow, bailout and spend approach zealously adopted by the current administration, without extremely damaging consequences for the United States.

After you get all happy about Gardiner's column, read Kevin Williamson's brilliant "Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism." It will bring you down quickly!

No, I am not claiming that the president is a socialist–though his emphasis on centralization is in harmony with socialist theory. But the issue of the president's political philosophy, about which he is generally pretty cagey, is one for historians. I have put Williamson's book on your reading list only because it gives you a sense of the the resiliency of the left. The left's economic theories have always produced poverty and suffering. No matter, they want to try again. THIS time…

No, I am not as sanguine as Gardiner. But it's an intriguing column, and I wish I could believe that he is right. Still, Obama will not have helped the big government argument. It is important for voters to get it right next time and elect a man or woman who knows how to restore prosperity and limited government (the two go together).