The Obama administration hasn't just misjudged the national mood by trying to push through health care reform in the middle of a recession, it's misjudged the whole era we're living in, writes Peggy Noonan. This isn't the '30s, when income tax was new and the federal government was still lean, or the '60s, when there was plenty of room to expand social programs, Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal. It's the 21st century and the administration needs to stop seeking new territory to claim.
"The national terrain is thick with federal programs, and with state, county, city and town entities and programs, from coast to coast," Noonan writes. "It's not virgin territory anymore, it's crowded." The administration seems disappointed that many don't want to join its "bold new journey" into health care reform, Noonan writes, but it's doesn't realize that many, like prominent Baucus bill critic Rep. Paul Ryan, "have seen the terrain ahead, seen that it is both crowded and costly."