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(2) Comments

  1. This is interesting stuff, and I basically agree with Matthew’s perspective. It seems to me, however, that Obama’s statements must be understood in the context of defending the role of gov’t. against criticism, and not necessarily as putting forward a complete program or philosophy that claims gov’t. should usurp other social institutions (though this may be a strong tendency amongst many liberals). Yes, he is defending and proclaiming some of the good gov’t. can do. That doesn’t seem to me to warrant a conclusion that he sees no role for other important subsidiary institutions.

  2. Dan, I agree with your point that Obama is trying to show the good that government can do. However, sorry if I wasn’t clear about this, but I don’t think the problem is that Obama sees no role for subsidiary institutions, but rather how he sees that role. The point that Levin is trying to make is that Obama’s policies seem to suggest that he sees those institutions as extensions or helpers of the government, when a better way to think of things is that the government is the helper of the institutions.

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