By the way, am I the only one who finds it puzzling that a "progressive" - who, by definition, supposedly denotes progress and movement into the future - bases most of his ideas and campaign structure on the past?
Teddy Roosevelt was the first progressive president, so it's not surprising Obama would turn to him. He also brings the added bonus of being a republican, which enables Obama to cloak himself in the smoke and mirrors of what he likes to pass off as 'centrism' (via NPR - emphasis mine):
Roosevelt used his speech to call for a more activist federal government, including thorough policing of the financial system and a graduated tax on high incomes. And just as Roosevelt defended himself against accusations of communism by quoting Abraham Lincoln, Brands said Obama hopes to fend off charges of class warfare by presenting himself as the heir to Republican Roosevelt.
"One of the ways of deflecting criticism is to put your own positions in the mouths of great figures from the past," he said. "And for Obama, one of the great appeals of Theodore Roosevelt is he's a recognizable name brand. He's valued by both parties, even though a lot of what Roosevelt stood for has largely been forgotten."
See how moderate he is? He admires T.R.! He considers himself his heir! So let's see....T.R. fended off accusations of communism by using the moral equivalency of quoting Lincoln, and now Obama is fending off accusations of socialism by quoting T.R. Talk about a round-robin of equivalence! Rather dizzying, isn't it? God forbid they address criticism with facts and allow people to decide for themselves.
Walking in the footsteps of giants does not make one a giant. But it is, at least, par for the course in Obama's pattern of leading from behind. Great men are incomparable; small men attempt to gain stature through comparison. Individuality creates greatness, not cribbing off people who lived and made policy a hundred years ago. But the modern progressive party and it's leader have no new ideas. It's the same old flawed policy they've been trying to sell the American people for a hundred years now, just in a shiny new package.
Perhaps the next president Obama should emulate is Calvin Coolidge. And if he doesn't, hopefully the American people will cast him in the mold of several other former presidents such as John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and William Howard Taft - one-termers all.
UPDATE: It seems this speech should have been titled the "Declaration of Dependence" because all it talked about was government dependency. He even stated quite baldly that America's signature "rugged individualism" is a failure. He spoke of "fairness" but never mentioned who would decide what, exactly, "fair"
is. In my opinion, it was his official coming out party for his hard-core progressive, neo-socialist agenda. Redistributionism is the order of the day and the lowering of all boats will be the result.
Thanks but no thanks.