I’ve borrowed that phrase from a Cato-at-Liberty post by Sallie James. She quotes Michelle Obama:
Barack Obama … is going to demand that you shed your cynicism… That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.
The President of the United States is the employee of the American people. He is not there to make demands of people. If I want to sit on my couch for the rest of my life eating Doritos and watching trashy television — unengaged, uninformed and uninvolved — that’s my prerogative.
Indeed, Michelle Obama’s quote reminds me of Gene Healy’s new book, The Cult of the Presidency. The blurb from Cato’s site says:
The Cult of the Presidency takes a step back from the ongoing red team/blue team combat and shows that, at bottom, conservatives and liberals agree on the boundless nature of presidential responsibility. For both camps, it is the president’s job to grow the economy, teach our children well, provide seamless protection from terrorist threats, and rescue Americans from spiritual malaise. Very few Americans seem to think it odd, says Healy, “when presidential candidates talk as if they’re running for a job that’s a combination of guardian angel, shaman, and supreme warlord of the earth.”
Yes, both parties. We have reason to fear McCain, too.