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If you've been listening to the Obama Administration over the past year, you will have noted that one word more than any other appears in their policy proposals. The word is "comprehensive."

The President insisted that the stimulus package not be done piecemeal, but that a "comprehensive" effort should be mounted. Same with the automobile bailout. He rejected every Republican suggestion to try to fix the health care system with small, targeted programs - being able to buy insurance across state lines, or tort reform, for example. No, the President had to have "comprehensive" legislation.

Now Mr. Obama is stalling on immigration reform even as he potshots the Arizona law and other proposals to staunch the flow of illegals into the country. It was all he could do to agree to send 1200 National Guard to the border. He wants "comprehensive" immigration reform.

Everything has to be done in a "comprehensive" manner, or not at all. What's this about? It's about the President waiting and schmoozing and back-room-dealing until he gets everything he wants into the program, and enough votes lined up to get it, and then going all-out for his "comprehensive" expansion of the government into more of the private sector.

Don't be surprised, over the next months, to hear talk about "comprehensive" programs to regulate offshore drilling, fix America's schools, and overhaul who-knows-what. President Obama's is the most ambitious and expansive administration in American history, and we are fools if we sit by and let this kind of kudzu government spread out of control.

Government is a servant of God, not God. Government is a defender of good, not the definer of it. Government in this country at least is of, by, and for the people, not over them. The Founders devised a limited form of government, checked and balanced against unnatural and unwise growth and corruption. From now on, when you hear a White House official or Congressional leader talk about "comprehensive" anything, make very sure you "comprehend" precisely what's at stake.

T. M. Moore
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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