A couple of days ago the junior Senator from Illinois wrote an Op-ed piece for the Wall St. Journal kicking off his campaign for Presidency by praising this country's free market system while cautioning that an effective, if restrained, regulatory system was necessary to check the excesses of that same free market system.
The opening two paragraphs are as follows:
For two centuries, America's free market has not only been the source of dazzling ideas and path-breaking products, it has also been the greatest force for prosperity the world has ever known. That vibrant entrepreneurialism is the key to our continued global leadership and the success of our people.
But throughout our history, one of the reasons the free market has worked is that we have sought the proper balance. We have preserved freedom of commerce while applying those rules and regulations necessary to protect the public against threats to our health and safety and to safeguard people and businesses from abuse.
We can nit-pick specific elements of the piece but on the whole it sounded like the Senator that spent a very short time in the Senate and who possessed a very liberal voting record, at that, was positioning himself quite nicely as a pragmatic centrist after a bruising primary against Hillary Clinton.
Unfortunately, it was not the junior Senator from Illinois who wrote that and who did indeed sound like that back in 2008 during his successful bid for Presidency. Rather it was the current sitting President, a President who has chosen to enact health care reform which, in the very antithesis of the free market, forces people to buy health insurance whether they want to or not. This same health care reform increases mandates and regulations to the point that companies are dropping certain coverages for their employees and/or are seeking waivers to exempt themselves of this increased regulatory burden.
The same author has granted the Department of Health and Human Services (a single person, actually, in Kathleen Sebelius) unprecedented bureaucratic latitude for formulating and implementing as-yet-developed regulations because Congress couldn't be bothered with it as political expedience trumped the process of sober, prudent and transparent legislation.
This is also the same President that has green-lighted the EPA to regulate green house gas emissions in an end-around Congress - in effect, regulation by bureaucratic fiat as Congress has exclusive constitutional authority to make laws.
In short, his actions do not match the words in that WSJ Op-ed.
File this one under "Fooled us once..." as what would've sounded hopeful in 2008 lacks any sort of serious credibility in 2011.