Pat Buchanan: Obamacare liberalism's Lusitania?
In that liberal epoch, the 1960s, the Democratic Party had marched us into an endless war that was tearing America apart. Lyndon Johnson's Great Society had produced four "long, hot summers" of racial riots and a national crime rate that had doubled in a decade. The young were alienated, the campuses aflame.
For forty years, no unabashed liberal would be elected President.
Jimmy Carter won one term by presenting himself as a born-again Christian from Georgia, a peanut farmer, Naval Academy graduate and nuclear engineer. Bill Clinton ran as a centrist.
Barack Obama, however, ran unapologetically as a man of the left. An opponent of the Iraq war, he had compiled a voting record to the left of Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont.
This is the new progressivism of the 21st century, Obama was saying, and I the transformational figure who will usher in the post-Reagan era. Where Clinton failed, I will succeed.
It will likely be a long time before another Democratic President dares again another such Great Leap Forward.
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Obamacare's new trick: Only temporary relief