After a single statewide election, Obama has now won absolute majorities in two successive national tallies with a combined vote total of 135 million. He has much of the media in his pocket; he has his party in his thrall; he escapes responsibility for failures that would sink other politicians; he muscled the most important piece of legislation in decades into law; and with a 20 percent increase in federal spending levels, he has ended the political age in which a Democrat would say “the era of big government is over” (Bill Clinton, 1996). That isn’t luck. It’s skill. Rare skill. Political genius of a kind. …

It’s not just the comforting delusion that he’s a golf-mad dilettante, but also the reverse-negative image of that delusion—that Obama is a not-so-secret Marxist Kenyan with dictatorial ambitions and a nearly limitless appetite for power. That caricature makes it far too easy for Obama to laugh off the legitimate criticisms of the kind of political leader he really is: a conventional post-1960s left-liberal with limited interest in the private sector and the gut sense that government must and should do more, whatever “more” might mean at any given moment.

Barack Obama is a serious man. The professional and political right needs to be as serious as he is to make sure the Age of Obama ends with him.