"Soft" nation

Hard statism is usually murmured in soft, soothing, beguiling terms: Regulation is about cleaner air, healthier restaurants, safer children’s toys. Sounds so nice. But federal regulation alone sucks up 10 percent of GDP. That’s to say, Americans take the equivalent of the Canadian economy and toss it down the toilet just in complying with federal paperwork. Obama and the great toxic alphabet soup of federal regulation — EPA, OSHA, SEC, DHSS — want to take that 10 percent and crank it up to 12, 14, 15 percent.

Who could have foreseen that? The most dismal thing about that David Brooks column conceding that “yes, I’m a sap . . . remember, I’m a sap . . . as you know, I’m a sap” was the headline his New York Times editors chose to append to it: “Obama Rejects Obamaism.”

In other words, even in a column remorselessly cataloguing how one of its smartest smart guys had been repeatedly suckered by Obama on jobs, on Medicare, on deficits, on tax reform, etc., the New York Times chose to insist that there is still something called “Obamaism” — prudent, centrist, responsible — that for some perverse reason the man for whom this political philosophy is named insists on betraying, 24/7, week in, month out, spring, summer, autumn, tax season. You can set your clock by Obama’s rejection of “Obamaism.”