My guess is that Barack Obama just casually made this remark.
I believe in our ability to perfect this union because it's the only reason I'm standing here today.
I suppose that to most people, this is just another nice, feel-good statement. But it alarms me. The desire for perfection is an excuse for endless intervention. Although earlier in the speech, Obama said,
"I trust the American people to realize that while we don't need big government," perfectionism justifies unlimited increases in government power. If every flaw is curable, then it follows that we need to give government all the power it needs to implement the cure.
Remember when I was suggesting ideas for Libertarian Folk Songs? Check out "The New State of Perfection." Unfortunately, what I wrote as satire sounds frighteningly close to Obama's speech.