I have been having fun mocking friends and family on both sides of the political aisle.  GOP colleagues who keep telling me BHO is a Socialist, while Dems think he is the next JFK.

I enjoy disabusing them of their political biases by explaining to them Barack Obama’s actual politics.

Politically, he is a modern day Richard Nixon. I don’t mean the Watergate, thing, I mean his budgets, policies and relations with the two parties.

Sure, he is Pro-Choice, and is also pro Gay Marriage rights. But look at his actual track record:

• He extended Bush TARP;

• Like W, he refused to prosecute banks;

• He made 98% of the Bush cuts permanent;

• When Unions were under attack by various GOP governors, he mostly stayed silent.

• Oh, and he forced GM into prepackaged bankruptcy;

• His healthcare plan was a national version of RomneyCare, created by a conservative GOP ThinkTank;

• He continues to engage in a long distance war that he promised to end

• He was willing to throw Social Security under the bus at a moment’s notice

• His stimulus plan consisted mostly of temporary tax cuts and unemployment benefit extensions, not true Keynesian stimulus (infrastructure, defense, etc.)

• He keeps trying desperately to cut a deal with GOP members

I am not saying any of these things are good or bad — its merely an observation.

But its hard to avoid recognizing that all of these major policies are much more GOP-like than Democrat-like things

Discuss.

Category: Current Affairs, Philosophy, Politics

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

122 Responses to “Discuss: Barack Obama is a Liberal Republican”

  1. Lord says:

    A moderate Republican. There are no liberal Republicans.

  2. Iamthe50percent says:

    Liberal Republican is too generous. Neither Nelson Rockefeller nor Dwight Eisenhower offered to gut Social Security ala Simpson-Bowles. BHO is a neocon, pure and simple.

  3. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    • he voted for telecom immunity for spying on American citizens.
    _____________

    Obama isn’t a liberal Republican, he is a right of center Republican, and that is only because the rest of the Republican party is on the far right fringe (If they were a planet they would be Pluto: Far out from the center and erratic), AND the democrats have, as a whole, been sucked toward the center.

    There is no credible left-wing political party in the US. Left-wing people, yes. A left-wing party, no.

  4. theexpertisin says:

    I don’t think Barack knows who he is. Nor does he really care. So long as he accumulates power and can still fool the low information voter and wishful progressive elites, he’s a smiling, happy fellow.

    We had a term in Chicago for this type of person years ago, but it would not pass muster with the PC’s in this day and age.

  5. maxmark says:

    What evidence do you have for the assertion that he tries “desperately ” to cut a deal?

  6. mdesq says:

    I appreciated this blog observation that George Bush is in his 4th term.

    “He finally got 99% of his tax cuts made permanent. Warrantless wiretapping is proceeding full speed ahead. We are still running huge deficits. Drones use continues to rise.”

  7. Julia Chestnut says:

    He’s a moderate Republican at best. I don’t see a single liberal thing about him. He practically had to be dragged kicking and screaming into some more moderate social positions, and he’s been extremely conservative on spending, taxes, war, executive privilege, and a host of other topics. I can’t find a single position that I would associate with the traditional Democratic party. Definitely to the right of Clinton – who was a liberal republican.

  8. Almitra says:

    I can’t read about Obama as to whether he is a this or a that without suggesting that we need to discuss whether or not he is a war criminal.

  9. jelyon says:

    Anyone who checks in at the Political Compass from time to time should not have been surprised as early as the 2008 election that Obama is center right:

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008

    And to underscore his center right tendencies:

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012

    I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. It left me. I voted for liberals last November. I voted Green.

  10. Bob A says:

    I’d say he’s a pragmatist who accomplished an incredible number of goals despite extraordinary efforts by most radical extreme disingenuous republican opposition in history to sabotage him every single step of the way.

  11. Jojo says:

    I’ve long said that Obama is an odds-on-favorite to switch parties before the end of this 2nd term.

    Doing this will make it easier to get the Pubs to do some deals and might help him with the consulting contracts once he is out of office.

  12. jsp9999 says:

    Finally some sensible observation from a few people here. My gosh, America has been so inundated with nutjobs like Trump, etc that we don’t see Obama objectively. He is absolutely a “Republican”, even a center right one.

    Having said that modern day Republicans are bunch of loonies with so far right deer in the headlight that it makes Obama look so left and radical. The center of seesaw has moved to far to the right.

    Also O said repeatedly during his first term that he wants to channel Lincoln. Well, he should channel more of FDR given circumstances but as noted by many he’s just channeling GWB in reality.

  13. DW auto says:

    Like he says, Obama is a pragmatist with respect to the economy, but is still a socialist liberal. He does what his advisers tell him to do regarding the economy. As long as he fixes the economy, his liberal agenda will follow later.

  14. InterestedObserver says:

    Everyone is a product of their environmental context. Our current context is more right on some facets (particularly financial), while more left on others (some of the social issues which arguably he was pushed into embracing).

    He’s a centrist, one who understands that’s it’s better to move in a rough direction, than be static unless the whole deal is accomplished in one step. It’s pragmatic reality that some measures previously embraced by Republicans are about the only footholds which can be currently established.

    As for war criminal…, perhaps a review of history and some real war criminals is in order. Not even wrong.

  15. Dogfish says:

    I think it’s more useful to look at the top-bottom (or corporatist-populist) vertical rather than the traditional left-right (or liberal-conservative) horizontal.

    These days it seems being “on the left” means a candidate who supports big government, whom has to “compromise” towards policies that end up being giveaways to those at the top, with any true left-wing aspects of those policies being scrapped along the way (as they weren’t real priorities to begin with).

    Being “on the right” means a candidate supports doing away with as much government oversight as possible, the resulting power void being quickly filled by those at the top, who are more free to exploit those further down the chain.

    Either way corporatist policies are pushed forward at the expense of the majority.

  16. Pantmaker says:

    I always considered George Bush to be a Big Government, Socially Conservative Foreign Interventionist. BHO is a carbon copy with the exception of the Pro-choice, Pro-gay Marriage piece.

  17. jbegan says:

    Love it! I’ve been saying this for months. And I’m not the only one…. Obama has said recently that in any other time, he would be considered a ‘moderate republican’. A side note: Obama considers Lincoln his muse and all I could think of while watching the movie ‘Lincoln’ was ‘This is Spielberg’s vision of Obama.’

  18. Bill Wilson says:

    Richard Nixon proposed a universal health care plan that was based the existing system of private insurance.
    http://www.everydaycitizen.com/2009/09/ted_kennedy_richard_nixon_and.html

  19. drewburn says:

    The President is a moderate trying to deal with a very difficult Congress. I think he may have been lead astray on bank prosecution. But it a freaking financial crisis, I can’t blame him. People believe the Presidency has a lot more power than it has. Obama may just be getting his stride; we’ll find out soon. Deals had to be done a promises kept at least to some extent. Like many, I’ve been aware of the extremism of the right….the drift… But there are still plenty on the left who are out in that field.

    It is also a matter of “allowing” the American people to realize what it is they want. Easy enough to say smaller government; I doubt most know that most of that government is SS, Medicare and Defense. They think we can trim Education, Agriculture, Environment, and that will balance the budget.

    I used to vote almost straight GOP; now I’m almost the opposite. The middle of America seems to have a difficult time being heard, but the voice is still there…..

  20. Almitra says:

    Thank you, InterestedObserver, for acknowledging my concern that Obama may be a war criminal. Without that acknowledgement, I wonder just how out of step I am. The U.S. now routinely targets individuals for death via an opaque process, and this seems to be accepted as background information not relevent to a macroeconomic blog site comment string. I challenge the rest of you to think about what has become “normal”. It was not all that long ago that Presidents were threatened with impeachment for less. Am I wrong?

  21. Chuck says:

    “he’s been extremely conservative on spending, taxes, war, executive privilege”

    Are you kidding? Trillion dollar deficits all four years of his term? Federal spending as a % of GDP at historical highs (excluding WWII). What, you would be happy matching WWII levels, maybe 2 trillion a year deficits?

    All I can say is wow . . . .

    I mean wow . . . .

  22. arthurcutten says:

    He is a moderate Republican.

    Those who think he is some kind of leftist or Socialist are saying more about themselves than about him.

    He would is probably a little to the right of Nelson Rockefeller.

    It is a little deceptive though, because he is more of a ‘manager’ in the modern corporate sense than a principled leader.

  23. Chad says:

    About the only thing you can say positive about Obama is that he didn’t actually start those two wars. He still tortured, he still kept Guantanamo open, he caved on not increasing taxes on the middle class, he barely increased taxes on dividends, just signed the NDAA (which is unconstitutional), etc. It is definitely Bush’s 4th term and they both should be brought to trial for war crimes and violations of the Constitution. He may be a moderate Republican fiscally, but he is ultra conservative on most other things and willing to destroy citizens rights.

    The most obvious thing is that Eisenhower’s warning:

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

    Has come true in both parties and in all three branches of the government. Unfortunately, it’s not just the military-industrial complex that has bought power, but all major industries.

    ~~~

    BR: I was under the impression that he reversed W’s torture edicts . . .

  24. Nacraphiliac says:

    Well said, Chad & IO; but would the alternatives been any better? Perhaps Hillary but certainly not McCain or Romney. We get the democratic government we deserve, not the best imaginable.

  25. RW says:

    Pretty much in agreement overall although I would observe that Obama’s fiscal conservatism is offset to some degree by a socially liberal perspective, the problem being he also seems to be something of an institutional conservative and this combined with his his fiscal chops appear to prevent him from seeing any way to fully implement a social safety net consistent with current structure.

    By institutional conservative I mean, for example, that the logical and most cost effective thing for a liberal to attempt on health care reform was minimally the so-called public option but Obama simply would not fight for it, throwing it under the bus as a bargaining chip when the going got tough. He’s clearly ready to do the same thing with Social Security too which opens the door to the question: Does he actually believe there is a way to get this done absent appropriate government structure?

    Stated another way, the “for big government” vs. “for small government” distinction is clearly not grounded in fact — e.g., the government grew larger under Reagan and Bush II than it did under Clinton or Obama and it was just as ‘intrusive’ — but it appears to be grounded in something that matters to conservatives and I think Dogfish is on to something there.

    That is I don’t think most conservatives (and in this context I include Obama) realize that corporations are actually government in a different institutional garb. Jesse reminded me of this when he quoted J.K. Galbraith in one of his recent posts viz

    When the modern corporation acquires power over markets, power in the community, power over the state and power over belief, it is a political instrument, different in degree but not in kind from the state itself. To hold otherwise — to deny the political character of the modern corporation — is not merely to avoid the reality. It is to disguise the reality.

    I actually do think Obama is seeking a government that is “right sized” rather than bigger or smaller per se but I see very little evidence he is really prepared to confront the structural challenges that would imply and, in particular, not ready to challenge the shadow government that is the modern corporation.

    Not that the ongoing Civil War in this country would make any of this easy stuff even in the best of times.

  26. Al_Czervik says:

    I would like to be able to give him credit for being on the side of regular people but having really poor instincts when it comes to financial/economic issues. I can’t reconcile that with his having run twice as a progressive and governing to the right of Eisenhower.

    The following words were obviously spoken by a socialist who hated America:

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

    Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953

  27. Kevin_In_Philadelphia says:

    Been saying it for years as well, BR. President Obama is the last of a dying breed: the moderate Northeastern Republican. He would fit in great with President Bush 41. That’s OK I guess, but I wanted a Liberal president in 2008 and was seriously disappointed. Hence my vote for Jill Stein (Green) this past November.

  28. znmeb says:

    I wouldn’t put him as far to the right as Nixon by a wide margin. He’s closer to Nelson Rockefeller or George Romney, both of whom Nixon was able to wipe off the map. It’s a dirty shame that Ford pardoned Nixon.

  29. James Cameron says:

    > He continues to engage in a long distance war that he promised to end

    Aside from the fact this isn’t necessarily an indication of party, he’s doing what he campaigned on re: Afghanistan.

    > His stimulus plan consisted mostly of temporary tax cuts and unemployment benefit extensions, not true Keynesian stimulus (infrastructure, defense, etc.)

    I think many progressives/liberal Dems would object to the notion that greater defense spending would move Obama closer to them politically. In any event, we certainly don’t suffer from insufficient defense spending.

    > Politically, he is a modern day Richard Nixon.

    Nelson Rockefeller was a moderate or maybe a liberal Republican. Nixon … I don’t think so.

  30. StatArb says:

    Funny you say that ,

    I swear I saw Obama having lunch with Dick Cheney today . . . . Pretty sure they were talking about increasing the drone killings

  31. InterestedObserver says:

    @Almitra – my own thoughts are that the targeted actions which tend to get used as primary evidence of criminality tend to reflect the nature of non-state based terrorist actions against a state. Agreed, the process is opaque, but I don’t get the sense that these folks were not active combatants, so I don’t put it in the war criminal category since I tend to view that armies of warring states have been replaced with “armies” of one or a few individuals in a cell and the actions reflect that reality.

    I appreciate that this is an emotionally charged issue since it cuts to the core of many of our values and history and would agree that we’re walking a very perilous path.

  32. Haigh says:

    Your facts and conclusions are good. We have a one party system.
    However I have never seen a moderate Republican play the politics of envy card as hard as Obama did with his tax the top 1% pandering.

  33. super_trooper says:

    @BR,
    Your readers are clearly pinkos.

  34. Frilton Miedman says:

    Problem is so many people have no concept of how much conservatism has changed in 3 decades, a Reagan republican is now known as a RINO, or worse, they’re just tossed into the same batch as “Socialist” Liberals by the Neo-Con movement.

    I agree with the comments above, Obama is no Liberal, he’s more a 1980 Republican.

    Fox has so distorted mainstream political definitions that most people, even self titled Libertarians, seem to think a Libertarian is the same as an Austrian.

  35. Chad says:

    “I appreciate that this is an emotionally charged issue since it cuts to the core of many of our values…”

    What values? We have demonstrated we don’t have any over the last decade.

  36. #44 is little more than #43, Part II

    Campaign was a(n), unaccredited, rip-off of a, then, ~16 year old Eddie Murphy movie..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5nu5GRDzog

  37. VennData says:

    There’s nothing liberal about the GOP. The GOP is completely nuts. They cut taxes to 15% of the economy from the normal 20% and start two wars and give way Medicare Part D. They market the myth of Reagan wrapped in the “feeling” that tax cuts will “pay for themselves” when it’s really about greed. They fight everything, to undermine the guy on the other side, look at how Boehner played this game today with Sandy relief.

    Obama is a moderate Democrat. Democrats fight wars, kill bad guys, adjust Social Security (not throw it under the bus.) One war is over, the other ends in months, we kill known terrorists hiding in Pakaistan with drones. To say he’s a war criminal is so unfathomably stupid, that you lose any credibility.

    “True” stimulus is demand driving. Infrastructure has very, very long payoffs.

    The only thing “Created” by a RW think tank about ObamaCare is the mandate. The rest is the Mass. State House.

    Stop the nonsense, stop voting for right wing GOP loons who don’t believe in science.

  38. scalxndr says:

    HA! Laughable. Republicans haven’t even been Republicans. They are all cut from the same cloth of self-preservation and feeding their base supporters while trying to co-opt other groups. Since when have we actually seen a decrease in the size of government? it has been continuous growth and it gets continually worse with the notion that we know better.

  39. TLH says:

    Agree. I have always called Obama Bush Jr. We should not have reelected W in 2004. We should not have reelected Obama in 2012. Redistricting needs to be done by computers, based on rural and urban. Maybe then we could get responsible representatives.

  40. postman says:

    Let’s try Obama’s foreign policy:

    Bullies Honduras because the Honduran Supreme Court prevented a Hugo Chaves wannabe from violating the Honduran Constitution and running for president again

    Throws Egypt’s Mubarak under the bus but has not even an unkind word let alone restricting generous aid to the Morsi Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship

    Gets nothing from Russia’s Putin but agrees to reduce our nuclear stock

    Disappoints Poland and Czech Republic on missile defense

    Says he won’t interfere in foreign countries’ internal affairs but lets Biden and Hillary have conniptions when Israel wants to build in its own capital

    Says next to nothing and does nothing when a million Iranians are in the streets in 2009

    Doesn’t sound like traditional, Republican American patriotism to me, let alone his pro-Muslim bias e.g.:

    NASA should work with Muslim (but not other) countries

    The First Amendment may have to be reined in if Muslim sensibilities are offended

  41. A says:

    POLITICAL BEHAVIOR: The 5 Points

    POINT ONE:
    the first priority of any politician/political party is to get into power.

    POINT TWO:
    the 2nd priority for any politician/political party, is to STAY in power

    POINT THREE:
    politicians/political parties, will do anything to achieve points one and two, whether ethical or unethical

    POINT FOUR:
    political prioritization, once in power
    a) take care of self
    b) take care of party
    c) take care of those providing monetary/key support
    d) consider the needs of the voter

    POINT FIVE:
    - for better or worse, in democracies such as ours, we, as complacent and disconnected voters, have the right to choose the levels of incompetence, corruption, lying, hypocrisy and waste that we prefer

  42. wally says:

    He is to the right of a lot of Repubs I’ve known… but they were long ago disenfranchised by their own party when it became the zombie reactionary party.

  43. whskyjack says:

    The only thing separating Obama and Bush sr is the pandering they had to do to their bases.
    When people look at Obama they see black but they forget he was raised as a white kansas republican by his grandmother and it shows.

  44. AHodge says:

    agree
    you could add his position on poverty– namely whats that, never even a word about it– to the list
    im guessing imagewise he wants nothing that might even wrongly be taken as minority favoritism by any potential voter

    i might actually mostly agree with the right that we dont need a lot more direct checks for moms
    but there are plenty of other useful education, training family support and supervision programs and new ideas that languish
    helping salvation army and volunteers of america?

  45. Jonathan1 says:

    Barry, once again, a million thanks for your blog. In regards to Obama, this is and has been for a long time a center right country. The guy has been elected and re elected and he reflects where the country is at. If he was far left or far right he wouldn’t have gotten elected in the first place or even won the nomination. Also, because of the nature of divided government he needs to be able to cut deals with a Republican controlled House that is pretty far to the right, not center right. No one would question Reagan’s conservative credentials but he raised taxes and signed legislation that increased spending in areas he didn’t care about because he had to work with Democrats. It is what effective politicians do: they make compromises and cut deals. I wouldn’t criticize him for it. I wish more people in elective office knew how to cut a deal and take half a loaf today and come back tomorrow to try to do it again. It’s what makes government work in a democracy in a pluralistic society.

  46. AHodge says:

    unfortunately he is not Repub enough on foreign policiy
    where he thinks he has a diplomatic cookie pushing circle dance with china and russia
    but gets virtually nothing
    from our antidemocratic rival frenemies
    my working hypothesis which no one can disprove
    is those two are actually giving nukes and rockets to north korea and Iran

  47. AtlasRocked says:

    The republicans have moved far to the left of where the 1960s democrat party was. He is a modern republican, not a 1950s or 60s republican, but a W republican.

    The big story is that once one party decides the budget doesn’t need to be balanced, it is of no advantage for either party to do so – so because the majority don’t care if the budget is balanced, both parties must buy votes to get re-elected.

    “Like W he refused to prosecute banks.” Can you show a researched and investigated crime report given to him by an investigation – on the order of 2 trillion dollars like the FCIC report – that W turned down. You are engaging in cover up here unless you can show DATA that Bush stopped prosecutions like Obama has. I say the difference is 10,000X in investigated crime turned down from prosecution. I’m calling your bluff Barry – I don’t think you can make this case within 10,000X.

    “a national version of romney care” – You omit the gigantic legal difference: that the constitution clearly delegates different powers to the federal gov’t than to the states – that is one of the key separation of powers concept it intelligently constrained. national version of anything a state does DOES NOT make it a conservative idea copied. it means you nationalized a state policy and abrogated the constitutions’ powers, an anti-federalist, anti-conservative idea even if it a consertive idea was copied directly. conservatives are fine with a state trying out universal care – that’s where it gets exposed as a complete fiscal failure, unsustainable.

    ~~~

    BR: “The republicans have moved far to the left of where the 1960s democrat party was.”
    NO, THE GOP HAS TACKED HARDER AND HARDER TO THE RIGHT. SORRY, BUT YOU HAVE NO IDEA WTF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

  48. NoKidding says:

    1) define liberal
    2) define republican

    If we don’t define the terms then everyone is right no matter how vehemently they oppose one another.

    Unambiguously, I’ll say Obama is an a$$hole, just as Bush was. I think we can all start with a shared definition of a$$hole, right?

  49. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    A “liberal Republican”, or a left-leaning Liberal, or a compassionate Conservative, or … whatever.

    Why are we so enamored with labels?

    If you want to trivialize someone, the first thing you do is put a Label on him/her. The Label makes it so much easier to criticize, because you no longer need to rebuke the actual opinions and policies of a person; you just attack the Label. Because Everyone understands What The Label Represents, and has a similar view of the Label.

  50. foss says:

    tremendous president – regardless of ‘what’ he is

    but one word that presents a major problem

    ‘drones’

  51. hue says:

    “Whether Obama was elected because of enormous voter fraud, liberal white guilt, an influx of new and ignorant voters or some kind of mass hysteria is not important. For now all Americans should savor this victory for our country and for conservative values,” Jon Swift, a reasonable conservative, wrote in 2008 on his blog, http://bit.ly/UkV0X9

    “I know many conservatives are frightened by an Obama presidency but there are many reasons for optimism. While this election did not turn out the way we expected, Obama will probably really screw things up (I mean, worse than they already are). It’s not too idealistic to believe he could turn out to be a hopelessly incompetent President, maybe the worst this country has ever seen, and completely run America into the ground. We can already take solace in the fact that Obama has so much to live up to that it will be impossible for him to succeed.”

  52. Boots or Hearts says:

    Great post. Most People do not bother to understand these things, they just sponge mainstream news flow.

    Tarp. Refusing to prosecute the banks is a big one. I think those two got Matt Taibii and the GW 2.0 tag going.

    If only he had the guts to chop up/restructure the zombie banks ie: BAC into tiny pieces.

  53. Theravadin says:

    VennData: It pains me to say it, but if you look in detail at how the drone program is being run, and you review the various conventions and related precedent regarding conduct of wars… he is an indictable, and probably convictable. Along with many other recent presidents. Which is why the US refuses to ratify adherence to some of the relevant international institutions and conventions.

  54. Angryman1 says:

    Trillion dollar deficits…………from the contraction and nothing more. Deficits in the credit cycle always plunge at the end. Larger economy=larger deficits=larger surpluses. No 9-11 and Bush would have had 2-3 years of surplus.

    To many people worry about deficits but don’t understand the story behind them. Represents the failings of America. That said, nobody understands what power the economys nowadays and it ain’t capital or labor. Hence, the economic schools are failing miserably, caught in their biases and self absorbed world views.

    If Obama ends the “debt ceiling” by overriding Congress(which he has the constitutional go ahead on), that is a sign to me, the deficit is about ready to plunge along with gap filling growth from the “machine” that powers the system.

  55. colion says:

    “He keeps trying desperately to cut a deal with GOP members”

    You gotta be kidding. That’s your funny for today – right?

  56. bubbles says:

    LOL! Obama is a FASCIST anyone who doesn’t know this is an idiot!

  57. Frilton Miedman says:

    Um, bubbles, not to burst your bubble, but you do know Fascism is the right wing extreme, absolute Social Darwinism…right?

    I’m getting the same silly feeling I get seeing Michelle Bachman offer lectures on economics.

  58. GetReal1 says:

    If Obama is a moderate Republican then why in the world did Democrats elect him to be their nominee?

    In reality, over the past 20 years Democrats have shifted further left, Republicans have shifted to be more like Democrats (what we call Rinos, i.e. Bush), and true conservatives are now without a party.

    The federal government should be out of everyone’s personal business and primarily focus on trade, regulating business, and defending this country. If all social programs/issues were handled by the states then we wouldn’t have to deal with every D.C. politician trying to buy votes by giving someone something. Yes, now the state politicians will be fighting more, but that’s fine by me, it’s easier for me to fight issues on a state/local level than at the national level. And if your state/locality does something you don’t like, you can easily find residence in another one.

  59. Syd says:

    I agree with the post and many of the comments. Even calling him a centrist isn’t quite right, in that it implies that liberal/progressive views have equal weighting with those of moderates and conservatives/neoconservatives/neoliberals in his political calculations. They don’t; liberals and progressives (let alone socialists) have almost no power at the national level: a minority position in the Dem Party, none in the GOP.

    It seems like GOP policies have dominated US government for three decades now; policies such as lower taxes (especially for high income households), lavish military spending, deregulation, union-busting, MNC-friendly trade and tax policies, cutting welfare, reducing abortion rights, privatization of public goods and services, and imperial wars.

    What liberal or progressive policies have been enacted nationally in the past thirty years? Let’s see: family and medical leave, the Medicare drug benefit, various flavors of education reform, the children’s health insurance program, gays allowed to openly serve in the military, Obamacare, some subsidies for renewable energy, increased vehicle fuel efficiency requirements… what else? Are all of these actually liberal? Is Obamacare progressive?

    For perspective on what a real progressive agenda might include, see the following link. In a nutshell, it includes additional marginal tax brackets at $1m (45%) and $1b (49%), eliminating the social security payroll tax cap, preserving existing medicare and social security benefits, adding a public option for health insurance, and deep cuts to military spending. Most of its policy prescriptions are never seriously considered by the leadership of Democratic Party, let alone the GOP.
    http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/the-peoples-budget/

  60. bonalibro says:

    Wall Street made him and Wall Street can unmake him. He knows that well enough and does what he is told. He has no more room to operate than Clinton did. One should not forget that it was the New York primary that saved Clinton’s campaign after the bimbo eruption nearly sank it in New Hampshire. No doubt, a deal with Robert Rubin had a lot to do with it, and look what he did for the big banks and media moguls, like Murdoch, while the press kept us pre-occupied with Monica Lewinsky and Ken Starr.

    I am not in the least bit disappointed in him, anymore than I was in Clinton, because I never expected much in the first place. Both are DLC. Neoliberal to the bone, and neocon in foreign affairs. That’s what the moneymen want, and that’s what they will get.

  61. bear_in_mind says:

    Barry says, “But its hard to avoid recognizing that all of these major policies are much more GOP-like than Democrat-like things.”

    For all the sturm and drang about Obama abandoning liberal principles, here’s one area where there can be no debate about his defense of progressive values: how he approached the Supreme Court, as seen in both appointments to the bench and in publicly challenging sitting justices. Yet, that may be one of the few areas where he’s maintained a liberal stature.

    Many have commented on the toxic political atmosphere that’s descended upon the Beltway since 1994, and one cannot evaluate the performance of any President absent this factor. Do I wish Obama would balance the budget and enact more progressive policies? Hell, yes! Do I think this is possible in the current D.C. environment? Sheeeet… that’s bout a likely as finding an ice cave in Hades.

    Did Obama have to surround himself with a bunch of Bush and Clinton economic retreads? No, he didn’t. But would Krugman and Reich have gotten any further in passing the $3,000,000,000,000.00 stimulus package that they’ve proposed would have made a REAL difference? Fat chance.

    What about prosecuting the apparent felonious activity by many perpetrators occupying Wall Street firms? Hell, I’d put money from my own wallet into a fund that could bring that to fruition, but Bu$hCo and even some of Clinton’s cronies managed to so defang the SEC, FDIC, DOJ, et al, that I have to wonder if anyone would prosecute Blankfein if there was film of him offering a suitcase full of hush-money to an FBI agent.

    There’s A LOT to angry with Obama about… but nothing more than the drone strikes, Guantanamo, suspending Habeus Corpus with indefinite detention, warrantless wiretaps, and so forth… those are horribly troubling. It’s actually sickening to me to think our gov’t is engaged on an ongoing basis in these endeavors, and hide behind ‘precedence’ that hired hacks like John Yoo crafted the to justify skirting the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Obama displayed a total lack of spine in allowing these atrocities to continue. Period.

    The sad reality is that we don’t know what President Obama, Bob Gates, Leon Pannetta, David Petraeus (retired –oops) and so many others in the Intelligence community know.

    But there is one sure thing that links Obama and both sides of the political aisle, and that’s the high-wage jobs that the military industrial complex brings to virtually every Congressional district in the country. This is one of the prime reasons the Republicans were scared to death of allowing ‘sequestration’ to take hold… which coincidentally, helped give Obama leverage to win the Fiscal Cliff vote in the House.

    I think it’s a horrible idea to adopt Chained-CPI for SSA recipients, yet, if Obama could get something in exchange such as a further increase in the earnings cap (say to $120K) coupled with taxing SSA income at a higher rate (say 5% higher than ordinary income) for any recipient earning more than $500K per year, that’d make sense for the soundness of SSA funding. And let’s face it, if you’re making more than $500K annually in retirement, you can damn-well afford a higher tax on your SSA benefit.

    So, overall I have to agree that Obama has disappointed as liberal/progressive presence in the Capital. I think he could’ve gotten more in the negotiations on the Affordable Care Act, however, he could have lost whatever coalition that was willing to pass the measure through Congress and been left with 18 months of legislative effort for naught. He got more done on health care access and trying to rein-in costs than any president in memory.

    And as maddening as it is to see how feckless many federal agencies have become, one cannot lose sight of the fact that much of this was due to Clinton’s cabinets’ deregulation and budget-cutting orientation, coupled with two terms of the ideologically-bent Bush administration who worked feverishly to demonstrate government ineffectiveness as a means to advance their worldview that government is the ‘problem’ not the ‘solution.’

    Think about it… that’s sixteen (16) long, consecutive years of governmental leadership urging, if not outright directing, diminished responses by agencies who ostensibly were created to address the needs of the populace.

    Crazy is as crazy does — and our country has been operating in bat-sh*t crazy mode for a generation. It’s no wonder that a presidential term would be heavily influenced by this entropy, much less have the capacity to disentangle the structural mess left behind by the predecessors. But they sure could make it seem like it’s more of a priority to make the gov’t work for the masses, which is probably why Obama’s favorables jumped so much higher after his response to Superstorm Sandy.

    People understand you can’t prevent disasters from occurring, but you sure can influence how we respond to them. But that’s a lesson that the House Republicans still haven’t figured out.

  62. Peter says:

    I agree Barry; Obama is a repub. I got disgusted with him two years ago when he caved on the Bush tax cuts. I voted none of the above this last time. I just sent him an email calling him pathetic. I am glad you put it out there and I am glad you are having fun messing with people. Sometimes people just can’t handle the truth.

    Peter

  63. Expat says:

    It’s revealing about the mind of the new conservative (neo-con or Tea Bagger, etc.) when Obama is called communist, socialist, or even simply left-leaning. It also demonstrates just how childish, insular, spoiled, and stupid most of our political leaders are since they can’t understand or bother to understand his politics but merely call Obama names because he was elected on the so-called left party ticket, the Democrats.

    Obama is not a liberal republican by any wide or long-term measure. He is a right centrist fascist who has proffered bread and circuses (Obama Care, for example) which are nothing more than the entrenchment of massive wealth transfers to industrial and financial interests. And before anyone starts foaming at the mouth, I am using “fascist” in its broad political definition, not as Bush used it (an epithet laden with emotional baggage and meaningless in the context).

    Obama is a mass murderer, a war criminal, a super thief, and a liar. Of course, he is merely keeping in the tradition of all our finest leaders since George Washington massacred captured French soldiers in the French-Indian Wars.

  64. Expat says:

    @BR: When did Obama stop torturing? We still “disappear” people and send them to Jordan, Egypt, and dozens of other countries for enhanced interrogation. We still kidnap civilians and imprison them without trial (extraordinary renditions). We have not investigated a single instance of all this nor charged anyone with a crime. Obama is probably a prisoner of the system. He is powerless to change the way the CIA, NSA, DHS, and Pentagon operate. He probably believes that his advisors know best when they tell him these methods are keeping America and Americans safe. But that is not an excuse at any level of power. Obama is the Commander and Chief, the Decider-guy. He is a torturer, kidnapper, and murderer. QED.

    ~~~

    BR: No, your comments are factually incorrect.

    Obama ordered that the CIA immediately cease using any interrogation techniques that are not already authorized in the U.S. Army Field Manual (Newsweek) The big criticism was not on his ordering an end to further torture, but rather, criticism is that he avoided investigating or prosecuting what Bush administration officials had done. See WaPo, Pro Publica

  65. barbacoa666 says:

    Obama is a “Democrat In Name Only” (DINO). If the Rs can have “RINOs,” the Ds can have “DINOs.”

  66. Moss says:

    I think he mirrors the fact that wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, corporatism is the predominate force behind economic policy, social norms are more liberal, the US is a militaristic state.

    He goes with the flow, is a creature of his environment. Knows where the wealth is and therefore the source of power. His mixed racial identity allows him to connect with a wider swatch of the population but serves to alienate him from a shrinking demographic.

    If he were to ever try to change the system with serious campaign reforms then he could be looked upon as different. He will not however since he now part of the elite class and has one eye on his post presidency role within the broader elite class.

  67. mathman says:

    i too voted for Jill Stein, hoping for real change. yeah, right.

    i’ve been completely amazed that no president in the last 4 has even addressed climate change (the issue has been around since the 1970′s) when this problem has become the number one threat to all life on earth. Mankind and most of the other species will be extinct before the middle of this century as the feedback loops we’ve triggered make the weather we rely on completely erratic and unpredictable, the flooding and drought continually worse and the heat rising (like sea level as the ice continues to melt away). i used to think we were homo-sapiens, but it’s clear that we’ve been mis-named. We may be clever but we sure as hell aren’t wise. We have no future.

  68. Lukey says:

    I think the only reason he appears to be a liberal Republican is because so many people erroneously believe George W. Bush was a conservative Republican. To me he (like Bush) is just another failed big government spendaholic who won’t level with the American people that his spending will require that EVERYBODY’S taxes go way way up (eventually).

  69. Savage1701 says:

    Agree with your points. I’ll add one more:

    The Newtown tragedy may change things, but we might also note that, up until now, he has not done much of anything on gun control either. As a matter of fact, for a Democrat he has been strangely silent on the matter, especially given his Chicago political roots and how that area in particular feels about guns, especially handguns.

    Depending on how conservatives trend on this issue, he may still keep that Liberal Republican label when it comes to gun control as well.

  70. JimRino says:

    I love the new right attack. Obama goes after the terrorists they “hate”, and now he’s a “war criminal”.

    Obama is a Moderate Republican, I see little “liberal” there.
    Building a functioning economy for 100% of the population, vs. 1% of the population is the issue.

    Republicans are BLIND to the takeover of the party by the sociopath John Birchers the party resoundly Rejected 40 years ago, lead by the Koch Brothers. The “new” republican platform is nothing more then a John Bircher Rebirth.

    And the return of Southern Slave Economics, whereby the 1% take all, is justified from the Bible to bought out Economists. How did it not become news that the Koch’s attempted to stop hurricane Sandy relief efforts?
    Fox News won’t cover it.

    So, just like Romney-will-win-in-a-landslide Fox News, they are blind to all other information sources, and Clearly Don’t Know what’s Really Going On.

  71. dougc says:

    Liberal democrats recognized that Obama was Bush lite early in his first term, they would of run a candidate in the last primaries but that would of destroyed the Democrat coalition, Now they are stuck with him, smiling on the outside and seething underneath.

  72. Orange14 says:

    I agree with BR’s assessment here and have been saying the same thing to friends over the past four years. The only redeeming feature I can find in his Presidency is that he has appointed some reasonable Supreme Court justices and this is perhaps the only thing that keeps me voting Democrat for Prez rather than some 3rd party throw away vote (though in Maryland my vote hardly matters anyway). I don’t have much faith in his second term and the fact that he has not really surfaced any plausible candidates for Treasury is troubling.

  73. AtlasRocked says:

    “BR: “The republicans have moved far to the left of where the 1960s democrat party was.”
    NO, THE GOP HAS TACKED HARDER AND HARDER TO THE RIGHT. SORRY, BUT YOU HAVE NO IDEA WTF YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.”

    How big was the Kennedy deficit relative to GDP? was it going up or down?
    What % of federal spending was on social programs in the Kennedy era?
    What % of federal spending was on Social programs in the FDR era?

    Compare these numbers to today – you won’t do it Barry. You won’t compare the numbers that clearly show the pre-1970s democrats and and republicans had less then 5% of federal spending on social programs, nor were they demanding the spending go higher. the role of the federal gov’t was to regulate, not to do handouts.

    both parties are far far to the left of the 1950s democrats and republicans. social spending was tiny.

  74. Chad says:

    @BR

    Yes, Obama did disavow torture, but as this lawyer and former CIA officer point out he has no power to disavow or authorize torture.

    http://barryeisler.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-obama-effect.html

    By not prosecuting those who commented the crimes he is essentially legitamizing it. So, as far as I’m concerned, he has basically committed torture by giving everyone a free pass.

  75. joepie2 says:

    Tweet from The Borowitz Report: The Dow Jones just hit a 4-year high, which means Obama is the crappiest socialist in history.

  76. ilsm says:

    Obama is Quisling.

    Only advantage over Rmoney, Obama might not reverse the supremes.

    Worse than Chamberlain in pursuing peace with the internal terrorist cabal.

  77. AtlasRocked says:

    Spot on, Lukey – W was not conservative at all, he was a lefty. he raised social spending 3.5X more than war spending, but the liberals deny this and claim the wars caused the debt, it is a bald faced lie.

    But these kinds of arguments are a waste of time with liberals, they constantly redefine terms to win arguments.

    Both parties, if you look at social spending, are far far to the left of the 1950s democrats.

    Once one party decides that deficit spending is OK, it is of huge political disadvantage to not deficit spend. You’ll just loose the next election. reducing deficit spending, now 10% of the economy, results in a direct impact on the GDP, which directly includes deficit spending, borrowing, as true GDP.

  78. denim says:

    Obama is hard to classify as a Democrat or Republican when compared to the historical presidential giants of either party.

    Obama:
    2004 Keynote for Kerry’s nominaion
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19751-2004Jul27.html

    2006 “Call to Renewal’ Keynote Address”
    http://obamaspeeches.com/081-Call-to-Renewal-Keynote-Address-Obama-Speech.htm

    2008 Presumptive Democratic Nominee for President
    http://obamaspeeches.com/E09-Barack-Obama-Final-Primary-Night-Presumptive-Democratic-Nominee-Speech-St-Paul-Minnesota-June-3-2008.htm

    2009 First speech as elected President
    http://obamaspeeches.com/P-Obama-Inaugural-Speech-Inauguration.htm

    2009 Obama, by executive order, forms The Cat Food Commission
    On February 18 of 2009, FDL broke the news:
    ” Hedge Fund Billionaire Pete Peterson Key Speaker At Obama “Fiscal Responsibility Summit,” Will Tell Us All Why Little Old Ladies Must Eat Cat Food
    Pete Peterson, the hedge fund billionaire who made his money by not paying his fair share of taxes, has pursued a decades-long quest to destroy Social Security and has pledged $1 billion to achieve that goal. So when President Obama announced he would convene his first “fiscal responsibility” summit on February 23, it didn’t bode well that Peterson was to be the keynote speaker.”
    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/08/26/dear-president-obama-time-to-can-the-catfood-commission/
    http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Issues/Simpson-Bowles/
    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/national_commission_on_fiscal_responsibility_and_reform/index.html

    “The Simpson-Bowles Commission was a perfect example of what went wrong with the first Obama Administration. The notion that what we needed to solve the economic damage done to the country over the previous decade was a gathering of Wise Men led by a prickish member of the Republican Undead and a charter member of the Democrats For Plutocrats Club. It was another attempt at bipartisanship for its own sake and an attempt at a deal for a deal’s sake and it was shot through with the kind of political naivete and magical thinking that drove people — well, me — crazy over the way the president did things.”
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/obama-should-end-simpson-bowles-120312

    2012 “Leaked “grand bargain” document details Obama’s plan for cuts in entitlement programs”
    By Barry Grey 15 November 2012
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/11/aust-n15.html

    Praise God, Obama and Congress choose to serve God and not Mammon…
    “Perspective on the Deal”:
    “To make sense of what just happened, we need to ask what is really at stake, and how much difference the budget deal makes in the larger picture.
    So, what are the two sides really fighting about? Surely the answer is, the future of the welfare state. Progressives want to maintain the achievements of the New Deal and the Great Society, and also implement and improve Obamacare so that we become a normal advanced country that guarantees essential health care to all its citizens. The right wants to roll the clock back to 1930, if not to the 19th century.
    There are two ways progressives can lose this fight. One is direct defeat on the question of social insurance, with Congress actually voting to privatize and eventually phase out key programs — or with Democratic politicians themselves giving away their political birthright in the name of a mess of pottage Grand Bargain. The other is for conservatives to successfully starve the beast — to drive revenue so low through tax cuts that the social insurance programs can’t be sustained.”
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/01/perspective-on-the-deal/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/01/wonkbook-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-fiscal-cliff-deal/

  79. Theravadin says:

    JimRino: Actually, the people who are saying he is a war criminal are mostly on the left… the real left… I haven’t heard a right winger say it yet, although I’m sure that someone, somewhere…

  80. Chuck says:

    Arguing if Obama is a Republican or a Democrat is like arguing if a cheesehead is a Wisconsinite or a Packer fan. Today they are all mostly liberal progressives – destroying the bedrock of society (American Liberalism – sex, animal rights, and redefining marriage) while increasing the size of the Federal government and putting power in the hands of un-elected government (progressives – government by administration).

    The only real difference between the parties is who they will dole out the favors to – and ‘we the people’ get the short end of the stick – nobody in Washington represents the average American.

    ~~~

    BR: Interesting — despite overwhelming evidence that BOTH parties have tacked hard to the right, you see things in a VERY conservative light.

  81. hue says:

    more from Jon Swift: “For years conservatives have been saying that racism doesn’t exist anymore. The election of Barack Obama proves we were right all along. Throughout the campaign we reminded people at every opportunity that while it might be frightening that Obama is a socialist who pals around with terrorists, probably wasn’t born in this country and is secretly a Muslim, it made no difference whatsoever that he was black. ‘America actually is more post-racial than most realize,’ wrote The Anchoress before the election. ‘Think about it. Obama can’t break 50%. Neither could Kerry, Gore or Clinton. So, Obama is being treated precisely like every other Democrat politician of the last 16 years. His race is not holding him down. His race is not propping him up. This should be cause for celebration, I think. We’ve clearly moved past race.’ So even if Obama had lost the election it would have proven that racism doesn’t exist because white people lost elections, too.”

    Perhaps, McConnell ended up having to negotiate with Biden (the closer) this week on the deal to kick the fiscal can down the road for 2 months because the president is near (as in Blazing Saddles).

  82. scalxndr says:

    There is no difference between the parties other than where they concentrate their control.
    the rails of politics have been flipped on its side. the reason it appears that O is just as “republican” as the republicans is because we are not looking at our politicians stances through political philosophy, but rather through the view of who we want in power – one group favors different but the same special interests.
    On the Far Right is Anarchy (pure democracy becomes led by the mob), on the Far Left is Totalitarianism (Communism, Fascism both big governments) – this has been flipped on its head while our R and L intersect looking like a “t”. Conversations between the parties are the same – Romney definitely showed this in the last debate agreeing with almost every stance Obama had with exception to very few. No difference between Barry, Bush, Clinton, etc…..we are stuck in a corporatocracy/plutocracy/oligarchy. Is this truly about the People – no. It’s about maintaining control, it’s about self-preservation. The moment any person becomes a career politician their interest supersede the people they claim to represent.

  83. webmartians says:

    Everybody kvetches about all of the branches of the government. The new news is that everybody is beginning to realize that even the elected branches … DON’T CARE (http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/03/16309992-unloved-for-so-long-congress-not-fazed-by-publics-disapproval). Is O a Republican? Is McConnell a Communist? Is Barney Frank a fascist? You may care; they don’t! I suspect that bodes bad times ahead.

  84. Toxicadam says:

    I think this could be said just about any modern President that went two-terms. You can take anecdotal quotes, policy stances, signed legislation from Reagan, Clinton and Bush Jr. and make the case that they were opposite of what you would expect from. Especially in Reagan and Clinton’s terms.

    I think if you want to draw historical comparisons, Obama is more like Bush Sr. A pragmatist through and through. Bush Sr. didn’t really buy into Reaganomics and was a bit more socially liberal than many of his counterparts. The biggest difference between the two was that Bush Sr. was a pretty weak campaigner and Obama might be one of the best of all time.

    I think that’s another key to remember when talking about Obama and his legacy. I can’t think of another president in my lifetime that has shaped and molded his policy decisions so acutely to public opinion and what it will do for the next election. That’s why I am curious to see what happens in the second term when those concerns are lifted.

  85. jlj says:

    Dems used to tax and spend; Reps borrow and spend. As tools of the FFIRE economy the “elected” officials with bills written by the lobbyists now do both.

  86. jlj says:

    Dems used to tax and spend; Reps borrow and spend. As tools of the FFIRE economy the “elected” officials with bills written by the lobbyists now do both.

  87. ilsm says:

    Better not to have coffee in hand…………

    @postman,

    I slurped my coffee through my nose on this:

    Obama: “Disappoints Poland and Czech Republic on missile defense”

    Yeah, he is supposed to be their savior! TheCzechs and Poles lost a bunch of make work jobs slinging hash for Halliburtion, and the NMD (aka star wars) welfare program lost a bunch of missiles that are not connected to a working “kill chain” if they were any more able to launch on time than the space shuttle…………………….

    @AtlasRocked,

    But war spending is surprisingly constant, while 1950 enemies have evaporated and humane technology is rising vis a vis the golden age of Donna Reed’s doctor husband with a home office and all!

    War seonding enarly doubled under W!! To attack terrists!

    Hey I made a lot of money “working” to make stuff to expensively kill goatherds.

    Good thing my key board survived the splashing.

  88. pdtrader says:

    Um, are we assuming there’s actually a difference between the Republicans and the Dems? Liberal Republican, Conservative Democrat, Wacked-Out Bureaucrat. Is there really a difference?

  89. louiswi says:

    You all seem to have missed the obvious here. It doesn’t matter what you or I think. George Carlin effectively captured this in this short video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIC0eZYEtI

  90. DeDude says:

    Bob A nailed it.

    “I’d say he’s a pragmatist who accomplished an incredible number of goals despite extraordinary efforts by most radical extreme disingenuous republican opposition in history to sabotage him every single step of the way.”

    Obama does not pass laws he is an administrator. He can prod congress to pass certain laws and he has strong power to prevent the passage of laws with a veto. But it appears that most people engaged in debates of what Obama has done or not done, are frightfully ignorant of their own constitution.

    Even in the first two years, democrats never had 60 votes in the senate. So the health care reform became a soft GOP version (to pull in Liberman), and the stimulus package became something that was to small and had way to little true stimulus in it. Pretty much all other legislation he has tried to negotiate with congress has had to be defensive rather than constructing, because the GOPsters had the single-minded goal of making the country fail to ensure that he became a one-term president. With the GOP intend on crashing the country he could either be hard-core fighting them – and get absolutely nothing done as the country crashed (and the GOP got their will of him becoming a one-term president), or he could go the pragmatist way and just accept the best he could get every time. The later was off course also the only way he could get reelected (we do not reelect presidents with a double digits unemployment number and single digit job approval ratings).

    Now I am not saying that he is a real democrat at heart. When he has had the chance to make decisions at the administrative level, he has usually acted more as a “Bob Dole” republican than as a moderate democrat.

  91. WFTA says:

    Clearly we prefer the discussion of politics to the discussion of anything else.

    Have to agree with Petey W; there really is no progressive political movement in the United States today.

    I find it strange since when we were taught history, the founders, despite being generally very privileged, were depicted as abhorring the landed nobility of feudal Europe (read: estate tax.) I grew up believing that the “arc of history” would bend ever more toward equality and justice. Maybe that was just the New Deal propaganda of 1960’s schooling.

    I think we miss a very important point about Obama: he is a BLACK Republican and the Republican Party and most of its supporters have morphed into the Confederacy circa 1861. Our pundits and journalist think it is about taxes (which everyone hates) and entitlements (which everyone loves,) but what is motivating Republican politicians is what will happen if they reach agreements with—forgive me—a nigger president.

    I’ve lived almost sixty years from Charleston to Houston and watched them vote a straight Democratic ticket up to the Voting Rights Act and straight Republican through the Affordable Healthcare Act. They loved the New Deal provided it was being dealt to white folks. And the only Marx they ever heard of was Groucho.

  92. Edoc says:

    Aka the ratchet effect. Repubs move to the right, Dems then move to the right and appeal to more independents, Repubs become more extreme to distance themselves from Dems. Lather, rinse, repeat for the past 30 years.

    Also, I still read a lot of comments about Obama’s crazy spending. First of all, there was a major recession. If the government reduced spending to match revenues (like the states), we instead would have had a depression. Decent article today which puts spending in historical context:

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/01/we-dont-have-spending-problem-we-have-aging-problem#13573141034941&action=collapse_widget&id=1825037

  93. Chuck says:

    Arguing whether Obama is a Democrat or Republican is like arguing whether a Cheesehead is a Wisconsinite or a Packer Fan. They are all cut from the cloth of American liberalism (sex, animal rights, and redefining historical traditions such as marriage) mixed in with progressive ideals (the growth of government through administration and the rejection of the separation of powers).

    The other reality is that the only thing that changes is who gets the favors from the Federal Government, and it isn’t the average American . . . . .

  94. rj chicago says:

    @ theexpertisin Says:
    January 3rd, 2013 at 7:24 pm
    Comment:

    “I don’t think Barack knows who he is. Nor does he really care. So long as he accumulates power and can still fool the low information voter and wishful progressive elites, he’s a smiling, happy fellow.

    We had a term in Chicago for this type of person years ago, but it would not pass muster with the PC’s in this day and age.”

    Response: Completely agree with you and like you what he is known as here in Chicago cannot pass muster in the PC of today!!! Just glancing over the commentary herein – I honestly don’t think we really understand who the occupant in the WH is thereby verifying all that he is – a liar, a sycophant, a narcissist and a Chicago thug cheat. Otrauma only cares about one thing – HIMSELF and to hell with all the rest of ya. That’s it – that my friends is the Chicago Way -and unless you live in this cesspool called Ch*tcago, ILL-ANNOY you have no clue what you are dealing with!!

  95. Frilton Miedman says:

    Moss Says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 6:53 am
    “… If he were to ever try to change the system with serious campaign reforms then he could be looked upon as different. ”
    ~~~
    If the U.S. finally put a stop to political bribery, all else would fall in place.

    I Voted McCain in ’08 for the fact that he was the only one talking campaign finance reform. (Voted Obama this time)

    ***

    hue Says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 9:36 am
    ” …more from Jon Swift: “For years conservatives have been saying that racism doesn’t exist anymore. The election of Barack Obama proves we were right all along. ”
    ~~~
    Swift has a lot of nerve making that claim.

    The worst demographic for Obama this November was white men in southern/midwestern states, states with Republican senates tried to restrict or obstruct voting in urban minority districts in an attempt to recreate Bush v Gore.

    Ohio even tried to eliminate early voting for urban minority area’s, while allowing it in rural area’s.

    That’s racism.

    After the last four years I’ve reversed any past opinion that racism is gone, in area’s south and mid-west I was absolutely amazed at how bad it is, so bad that in many cases politicians were campaigning on “dog whistle” racism.

  96. [...] Republicans r deluded fascists, liberals r deluded dreamers Posted on January 4, 2013 by thecrosspollinator From here: [...]

  97. AtlasRocked says:

    FYI: I quite the republican party in 2004, I walked the walk. I did not vote for bush in 2004, nor the republicans in 2008. There was nothing conservative at all about Bush’s tenure.

    When the gov’t is allowed to deficit spend, both parties must engage in it in order to be re-elected.

    If we don’t outlaw gov’t spending, we’ll never fix our problems, the majority will just keep voting to enrich themselves, it is a decadent democracy at that point.

  98. AtlasRocked says:

    FYI: I quite the republican party in 2004, I walked the walk. I did not vote for bush in 2004, nor the republicans in 2008. There was nothing conservative at all about Bush’s tenure.

    When the gov’t is allowed to deficit spend, both parties must engage in it in order to be re-elected.

    If we don’t outlaw gov’t DEFICIT spending, we’ll never fix our problems, the majority will just keep voting to enrich themselves, it is a decadent democracy at that point.

  99. robertso2020 says:

    Excellent post…additionally, I would note that he became pro gay marriage at the “technical” end of his term. And he was forced into it by his Vice President.

  100. Expat says:

    @BR: I suppose Obama’s order to stop torture was made at the same time as his promise to close Gitmo. As Politifact points out, it is almost impossible to verify anything these days. While this is a weak logical argument (lack of evidence that torture has stopped is not evidence that torture continues), it is a valid concern given the present state of our Big Brother Regime.

    There are concerns that US personnel no longer rendition or torture but that they point out targets to third parties who then kidnap and torture. CIA personnel may or may not be present but we certainly get the “intelligence”. I find it hard to believe that in this period of zero accountability and maximum secrecy that the rendition/torture/secret prison gulag has simply been shut dozn and all the staff sent out to dig wells for poor Africans.

    I also remind you that Bush said “We do not torture.”