Among the many divergences from the theories and principles of the American Founding wrought by progressivism is the very nature of the presidency. Originally conceived as a limited office chiefly concerned with (domestically, at least) little more than the fair and effective execution of the laws, progressives such as President Theodore Roosevelt transformed the nation’s understanding of the presidency into an office charged with “bound actively and affirmatively to do all he could for the people,” free to do anything not explicitly forbidden by the Constitution.
If anything, President Barack Obama sees his job in an even more expansive light than Roosevelt. At the Daily Beast, Mansfield Frazier opines Obama’s injecting himself into, of all things, the redemption of football player Michael Vick:
“So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance,” Obama reportedly told the owner of Vick’s football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. “…It’s never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out.”Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.
The Eagles signed Vick after he served 19 months in prison for running a dogfighting operation, and by praising the team’s owner for giving the quarterback a second chance, the president is broaching a subject that’s sure to be polarizing. As states across the U.S. struggle with looming budget deficits, Obama perhaps realizes the timing may be right to address what he has called the country’s “incarceration and post-incarceration crisis” and remove barriers that inhibit successful prisoner reentry by offering former offenders an opportunity to reclaim their lives and a modicum of dignity.