"[I am] against this most monstrous of all meddling on the part of authority: the meddling with the subsistence of its people. . . . [One must] manfully . . . resist the very first idea, speculative or practical, that it is within the competence of government . . . to supply the poor with necessaries. . . . To provide for us in our necessities is not in the power of government. It would be a vain presumption in statesmen to think they can do it." -- Edmund Burke, 'Thoughts and Details on Scarcity', 1795.
Jon Meacham strikes me as a knowledgeable man. Surely the author of a well-regarded biography of Andrew Jackson knows his history. Ignorance thus cannot explain how the Newsweek editor could with a straight face describe Barack Obama as "the real Burkean in American politics right now." Yet on today's Morning Joe, Meacham effectively depicted Obama as the bearer of the torch of the man often described as the father of modern conservatism . . .