Second, radical reform of health care that would reduce its ruinously accelerating cost:
"Put simply," he said, "our health care problem is our deficit problem"— a financial hemorrhage drowning us in debt.
The CBO reports that Obamacare will cost $1.68 trillion of new spending in its first decade. To say nothing of the price of the uncertainty introduced by an impossibly complex remaking of one-sixth of the economy — discouraging hiring and expansion as trillions of investable private-sector dollars remain sidelined.
The third part of Obama's promised transformation was energy. His cap-and-trade federal takeover was rejected by his own Democratic Senate.
So the war on fossil fuels has been conducted unilaterally by bureaucratic fiat.
Regulations that will kill coal. A no-brainer pipeline rejected lest Canadian oil sands be burned. (China will burn them instead.) A drilling moratorium in the Gulf that a federal judge severely criticized as illegal.
That was the program — now so unpopular that Obama barely mentions it.
Obamacare got exactly two lines in this year's State of the Union address. Seen any ads touting the stimulus? The drilling moratorium? Keystone?
Ideas matter. The 2010 election, the most ideological since 1980, saw voters resoundingly reject a Democratic Party that was relentlessly expanding the power, spending, scope and reach of government.
It's worse now. Those who have struggled to create a family business, a corner restaurant, a medical practice won't take kindly to being told that their success is a result of government-built roads and bridges.
In 1988, Michael Dukakis famously said, "This election is not about ideology; it's about competence." He lost.
If Republicans want to win, Obama's deeply revealing, teleprompter-free you-didn't-build-that confession of faith needs to be hung around his neck until Election Day.
The third consecutive summer-of-recovery-that-never-came is attributable not just to Obama being in over his head but to what's in his head: a government-centered vision of the economy and society, and the policies that flow from it.
Four years of that and this is what you get.
Make the case and you win the White House.
Krauthammer's email address is lett...@charleskrauthammer.com.