In assessing President Obama's first 100 days, I think this writer strains mightily to make a distinction that doesn't really exist:
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that the new president is broadly popular and seems to have produced an upswing in national confidence -- but also reveals that a growing number of Americans describe him as "very liberal," which surely isn't what the White House wants.
In fact, Mr. Obama doesn't quite fit the traditional definition of a liberal, but rather represents something different. He is indeed a believer in the power of government. But he differs from liberals of yore who saw government programs as the goal for most problems; he seems to see government as the way to prompt the changes he wants in the economy or society so a government program, in the end, isn't necessary.
How is wanting to use government to bring about the ideal society different from the goals of the "traditional" liberal? Most liberals I know don't want to create government programs just to create government programs; they all have a vision of what big government can bring about. And the idea that a government program can create such magic, then disappear because it's no longer needed, is a longheld liberal delusion.