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WAPO OpEd: Obama revealed: A moderate Republican


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America is mired in three wars. The past decade was the hottest on record. Unemployment remains stuck near 9 percent, and there’s a small, albeit real, possibility that the U.S. government will default on its debt. So what’s dominating the news? A reality-television star who can’t persuade anyone that his hair is real is alleging that the president of the United States was born in Kenya.

Perhaps this is just the logical endpoint of two years spent arguing over what Barack Obama is — or isn’t. Muslim. Socialist. Marxist. Anti-colonialist. Racial healer. We’ve obsessed over every answer except the right one: President Obama, if you look closely at his positions, is a moderate Republican of the early 1990s. And the Republican Party he’s facing has abandoned many of its best ideas in its effort to oppose him.

If you put aside the emergency measures required by the financial crisis, three major policy ideas have dominated American politics in recent years: a plan that uses an individual mandate and tax subsidies to achieve near-universal health care; a cap-and-trade plan that attempts to raise the prices of environmental pollutants to better account for their costs; and bringing tax rates up from their Bush-era lows as part of a bid to reduce the deficit. In each case, the position that Obama and the Democrats have staked out is the very position that moderate Republicans have staked out before.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/obama-revealed-a-moderate-republican/2011/04/25/AFPrGfkE_story.html

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One of the biggest issues facing this country is the gamesmanship that occurs on a daily basis between the parties.

Personally, I believe its more of a ground-up issue than a top-down issue. I think that the general public has become so outrageously polarized and takes the position that the other party isn't just disagreeing with them, they're out to destroy America.

The politicians, who obviously desire more than anything to get re-elected, take on the personalities of their constituents.

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I've always felt that Neoliberal was the most accurate label for Obama, as it was for Bush and Clinton.

Did you make "neoliberal" up, or is that somthing people are actually calling themsleves or others? (Just curious).

As far as Bush... the only thing "liberal" that Bush did was spend. If you define liberal as spending a lot, then he was liberal in that regard. But, liberal usually implies much more, even when you are trying to give a negative connotation to it. "Tax and spend liberal" for example. Bush did not tax, he only spent. More importantly though, liberal implies a goal of preserving people's individual liberties, especially civil liberties. Bush was actually very aggressive in wearing down civil liberties: GITMO, Patriot Act, DOMA, etc.

So, other than the fact that Bush spent about as much as anyone could dream of, he was not liberal in any regard.

Addendum:

More importantly though, I think the point is that it doesn't matter what you label Obama or any politician as, the point is their actions.

And to the point, in the early 90's when Clinton was running for his first term, the number one complaint about politics from the American people was that Republicans and Democrats were the same, i.e. that there was little to no difference between them. That has certainly come a long way, as now everyone views the other as uber-extreme.

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Right now I could give a flying f*** about what Obama is or is not. Come up with a plan for the deficit NOW. If that means my generation will have to tighten our belts and do without some of the entitlement programs that America's used to, that's fine. If it means finding a way to crack down on the tax breaks given to this country's richest citizens, that's fine too. JUST DO SOMETHING.

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Did you make "neoliberal" up, or is that somthing people are actually calling themsleves or others? (Just curious).

As far as Bush... the only thing "liberal" that Bush did was spend. If you define liberal as spending a lot, then he was liberal in that regard. But, liberal usually implies much more, even when you are trying to give a negative connotation to it. "Tax and spend liberal" for example. Bush did not tax, he only spent. More importantly though, liberal implies a goal of preserving people's individual liberties, especially civil liberties. Bush was actually very aggressive in wearing down civil liberties: GITMO, Patriot Act, DOMA, etc.

So, other than the fact that Bush spent about as much as anyone could dream of, he was not liberal in any regard.

Addendum:

More importantly though, I think the point is that it doesn't matter what you label Obama or any politician as, the point is their actions.

And to the point, in the early 90's when Clinton was running for his first term, the number one complaint about politics from the American people was that Republicans and Democrats were the same, i.e. that there was little to no difference between them. That has certainly come a long way, as now everyone views the other as uber-extreme.

Neoliberalism is not a liberal (left winger) on steroids. Short version: It's a politicized economic platform that favors corporations and private interests regulating themselves and driving policy. Take for instance Obama's approach to Wall Street and Health Care reform. It was mainly private interests, Corporations and their lobbyists that crafted both reforms.

Bush II and Greenspan made huge strides in the deregulation of the financial industry under the tenet of free market capitalism. Their actions were about as far apart from the original concept of free markets under Adam Smith as they could be. Neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism explained, long version: http://michael-hudson.com/2010/05/neoliberalism-and-the-counter-enlightenment/

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One of the biggest issues facing this country is the gamesmanship that occurs on a daily basis between the parties.

Personally, I believe its more of a ground-up issue than a top-down issue. I think that the general public has become so outrageously polarized and takes the position that the other party isn't just disagreeing with them, they're out to destroy America.

The politicians, who obviously desire more than anything to get re-elected, take on the personalities of their constituents.

A very astute observation from one so young. :cheers:

The only refinement I would make to your statement is that there is always a feedback effec.t It's not just ground up or top down. It works both ways. And they are not "out" to destroy America. They are just too brain dead to realize that is what they are doing.

And on a general note. I have always considered Obama to be a pragmatic moderate. That's why I voted for him. That's why I always laughed at the far left who thought he was one of their own and the far right who think he is the left wing devil incarnate.

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And on a general note. I have always considered Obama to be a pragmatic moderate. That's why I voted for him. That's why I always laughed at the far left who thought he was one of their own and the far right who think he is the left wing devil incarnate.

I'll admit that I was hoping that I was voting for JFK.

Instead, it's starting to look like I voted for Jimmy Carter.

---------- Post added April-26th-2011 at 03:51 PM ----------

To be more specific - on pretty much every major issue, Barack Obama is....

Mitt Romney (well, before Mitt Romney abandoned everything he once believed in so he could court the GOP base).

I knew it! Obama's a stealth Mormon! :)

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War - he pushed Bush into the hole and yelled something about Sparta.

Border - increased everything to include felon deportation

Gitmo - What do you mean Bush couldn't get tribunals in Gitmo Judges?, got it covered now dont we. DONT WE!

Nationbuilding - President Obams is the Bruce Lee, (the art of nationbuilding without nationbuilding) Pretending to be pulled in kicking and screaming, while cleaning up the mess also.

Homeland Security - Way too small, lets make it bigger.

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