The fourth of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles reads:
Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence. Burke agrees with Plato that in the statesman, prudence is chief among virtues. Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity. Liberals and radicals, the conservative says, are imprudent: for they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away. As John Randolph of Roanoke put it, Providence moves slowly, but the devil always hurries. Human society being complex, remedies cannot be simple if they are to be efficacious. The conservative declares that he acts only after sufficient reflection, having weighed the consequences. Sudden and slashing reforms are as perilous as sudden and slashing surgery.
How does Barack Obama stack up against this fourth principle? Permit me a slight exaggeration: Obama is the apotheosis of imprudence. Like Randolph's "devil who always hurries," he is in a big rush to "fundamentally transform America" (his words), as witness Obamacare and Obama's stunning fiscal irresponsibility. The national debt approaches 17 trillion (by a very conservative measure) and the man thinks that not a problem. Well, as Krazy Krugman says, the government is not like a household: the government can print money! Yes it can. And will.
At once a devil and a deification. We are in for it.