By now, conservatives should understand what liberals meant back in the mid 2000s when they said that "Bush didn't have a plan" on Iraq. Back then liberals were incensed that Bush's Iraq War wasn't tied off neatly with a liberal-style government in Baghdad six months after the Iraq invasion in 2003 so we could all get back to politics as usual here in the United States and talk about health care and inequality.
Who knows what the Bushies thought? But they clearly understood that the United States needed a buffer state to stop the expansion of radical Iran. They executed on the consensus in the Ruling Class in 2000 that we needed "regime change" in Iraq.
Back to Obama. To conservatives, it looks like President Obama doesn't have a clue. He is doing nothing to solve the entitlement crisis. In fact, so far in his presidency he has made it worse.
But from the perspective of the president and the Ruling Class, the concerns of conservatives mean nothing. For President Obama personally, his horizon is election and reelection. All of his current economic policy is directed at getting over the finish line in November 2012 without having to put on the brakes--which he will surely have to do immediately if he does get reelected. And as far at the liberal Ruling Class is concerned, the reduction of America to a universal centralized administrative program is not a bug, it is a feature. Everything the Ruling Class backs, ObamaCare, cap and trade, clean energy, net nuetrality, Pell Grant expansion, all this merely advances the chains for centralized bureaucratic management by an educated and evolved elite. Of course there is an unfunded deficit of $100 billion on health care. But over the next decade the Ruling Class will set up the administrative structure to share our national resources so that health care is fair and it is effective and it is equal. What's the fuss?
The fuss is, of course, that conservatives don't want an America run as a patrimonial estate by a liberal ruling class. We want an America which is, in the largest sense, creative, dignified, and free, in which the powers of the state, the economy, and the moralists are limited, an America in which you are allowed to do most things without permission, where you are allowed to keep the honest product of your labors, and in which you are allowed to ponder and develop the meaning of life, all within a social life of families and free associations.
From the conservative perspective, therefore, it looks as though Obama "doesn't have a plan." In other words, with Obama in charge there is no way to get there from here.
And make no mistake. After the president's speech on deficit reduction tonight, to conservatives it will still look as though he "doesn't have a plan."