The Conservatism Of Obama

A nice insight from George Packer:

What underlies so many of Obama’s decisions is an attachment to the institutions that hold up American society, a desire to make them function better rather than remake them altogether... [Obamaism]’s also a pretty good description of what used to pass for conservatisma sense that social relations and institutions are fragile things, and that, while government can’t create wealth or impose equality, at moments like this it has to establish a new equilibrium between individuals and huge economic forces, so that society doesn’t crumble. But modern conservatism has grown into exactly the opposite of its origins, in Burke’s respect for tradition and Madison’s promotion of countervailing checks on concentrations of power. Instead, like any revolutionary creed, it is abstract, hard-edged, and indifferent to experience and existing conditions.