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. jimc1004 says:

    Wow, I’ve been saying he is more Conservative than Nixon for five years only to be treated like the crazy uncle escaped from the attic [from every flavor of the political spectrum!]. Lots of good points made above.

    Thanks, everyone!

  2. Edoc says:

    @Chuck
    “[American Liberalism] redefining historical traditions such as marriage”

    Your concept of “historical” can’t be longer than 50 years. Marriage has evolved considerably over the past 2,000 years, even after the christian church became the dominant arbiter of family law in Europe in the 12th century.

  3. hue says:

    Frilton, it’s satire.

    One of the late Jon Swift’s funniest blogs was “Why The Kennedys Are Endorsing Obama http://bit.ly/RwL2zs

    “Like Kennedy, Obama is young, handsome and inspiring and he represents the passing of the torch to a new generation. But it is not just that Obama reminds them of Kennedy, it is also that the Clintons remind them of Lyndon Johnson. And if there is anything that the Kennedys don’t like, it’s a bunch of hillbillies in the White House, which is being kept in trust until a competent Kennedy can be groomed to take it back for its rightful owners. Until that time Obama will do.”

  4. Edoc says:

    Apropos of Barry’s post, here’s Bruce Bartlett’s take:

    How Democrats Became Liberal Republicans
    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2012/12/21/How-Democrats-Became-Liberal-Republicans.aspx#page1

  5. ES says:

    Obama is not a republican. He is an incompetent. He continues certain policies because he doesn’t know enough to change or imporove them.
    He is also beholden to corporate itnerests, just liek any politician.
    His main achievement – the AHA reform, his constant railing against the rich; these are hallmarks of a democrat.

  6. J. Francis says:

    Edoc, your link is really helpful as i have seen Bartlett on Bill Moyer’s Journal make a similar argument which I am agreeing with more and more. However, I don’t think Obama is Republican so much as he is a small c conservative. He loves process, institutions, existing norms/networks/conventional wisdom etc while a reasonable/liberal Republican a la Rockefeller, Nixon, or even Daddy Bush would probably not be looking to the active federal role as a first best for policy, would nevertheless not try rip out existing programs but rather would aim to contain and prudently manage federal programs and policy.

    But maybe the most accurate way of describing him is not with partisan labels on a right/left spectrum. As I have said since the bank giveaway in Feb. of 2009, he is a status quo player above all else. He basically held on to all of our prior economic structure by a) preserving and then tweaking financial regulations (along with auto-centric development via GM bankruptcy help) b) didn’t pursue climate-change legislation with nearly as much ardor as he did for healthcare, c) didn’t really change the conduct on the war on terror even as he did wind down the wars in Iraq and (hopefully) Afghanistan come 2014.

  7. Chuck says:

    @Edoc

    At least 200 years . . . . :)

  8. eideard says:

    Nixon and all the other moderate or liberal Republicans notes wouldn’t get near a smell of running for presedent in the party-formerly-known-as-Republican.

    Much more relevant discussion. What will replace this rightwing house of crap? I have kin who spent 50 years as loyal Republicans who left that party between Bush and the Tea Party.

  9. Edoc says:

    @Chuck
    Consider 1967 for an important example of change: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

    :)

  10. Frilton Miedman says:

    hue Says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 12:32 pm
    “Frilton, it’s satire.”

    ~~~

    Had I checked the link, I’d have found out myself -

    “I am a reasonable conservative who likes to write about politics and culture. Since the media is biased I get all my news from Fox News,…”

    In the same respect, I’ve heard a lot of completely ridiculous things said by Neo-cons, while keeping straight faces – specifically when it comes to ludicrous & disproven economic theory that coincides with the gain of their bribers.

    Reaganomics founder, Paul Criag Roberts called it –

    “The United States and the welfare of its 300 million people cannot be restored unless the neocons, Wall Street, the corporations, and their servile slaves in Congress and the White House can be defeated.”

    http://www.infowars.com/the-ecstasy-of-empire/

    The founder of Reaganomics is irate -Meanwhile, Neo-cons and Austrians claiming to be Libertarians continue citing Reaganomics as their objective.

  11. AHodge says:

    there is a good article title
    The Globalist today
    The Republican Endgame–The Democrats as a Conservative Party.
    game over

  12. Robert M says:

    Hats off to WTFA and Frilton Miedman for calling out the racism working against him and the whole spectrum of America is guilty of this.
    That said I agree that it is a liberal Republican point of view, a la Sen Chuck Percy of Il ’64 70 ’85. the failure to prosecute the FI’s is what is going to destroy his presidency. The next recession will destroy the banks and he will be responsible as he did nothing to restrain them.

  13. bear_in_mind says:

    As for race, America is anything but post-racial! The most basic inquiry into demographic and economic research would demonstrate this without a shadow of a doubt, from rates of unemployment, incarceration, poverty, household income, etc. And as others rightly noted, the Republican efforts in the last few elections to disenfranchise and/or deny access to voting for people of color is anything but accidental.

    To comments about deficits and taxation, there’s a huge difference between running deficits to keep the economy from crashing (or investing in infrastructure) versus running deficits to destroy the government’s ability to fund programs which don’t align with a party’s ideology. The former has carry-on benefits which are felt up and down the socioeconomic strata, while the latter have been extremely biased toward benefitting the upper 1 percent.

    I agree with the general principle that our government shouldn’t run deficits, but there are definite times when it’s a necessity to help rebuild or use money to seed projects for future development. But in an era fighting two separate wars is certainly not a rational time to under-fund government by offering lavish tax breaks to the wealthy. That’s akin to burning our seed corn for light on a warm, summer’s night, but that’s exactly what Bu$hCo did.

    A nice piece by Darrell Delamaide over at MarketWatch looks at the strategic implications of Obama’s maneuver to retain the Bu$h tax cuts for the ‘middle class’ which essentially concretizes the continued under-funding of government, likely laying the groundwork for “having” to curb future benefits from entitlement programs:

    Tactical deal on ‘cliff’ risks long-term damage
    Jan. 3, 2013
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tactical-deal-on-cliff-risks-permanent-damage-2013-01-03

    The core problem with entitlement programs isn’t that we contribute less that we draw from the program; no, it’s that we have fewer young people contributing to the programs, and we don’t save the funds contributed from payroll taxes and allow for compounding over time. For a country of our size and perceived wisdom, that has to be one of the stupidest approaches to policy of any developed nation.

  14. A Droyd says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!

    You have managed to upset virtually all your correspondents with a balanced note about a moderate and practical set of political policies. It sounds to me as if you have got it about right.

    To a European observer, it is difficult to understand the Tea Party policy of letting “failures” wallow in the mire. The “Christian” right seems to have deserted charity (isn’t that a core value?) for a Randian lack of understanding. Unfortunately, the Democrats seem to be intent on fighting in Republican territory, so it is difficullt to understand what they are standing for.

  15. louis says:

    I think he’s part of the Choom Gang.

  16. Glen says:

    I’ve been saying this a while (since late 2009 when the size/scope of the bailout was being uncovered) only to get crazy looks from most everybody.

    Question is, will polices put forward by someone with Obama’s views be effective at solving the country’s problems?

    I don’t think he can since fundamentally his views and policies are what caused our current problems.

  17. DuchessGateau says:

    As BR has said previously, it’s a Corporate-ocracy! Political philosophy is irrelevant. If he needs one, there are speech writers. Politicians must get as much done for their bank and corporate bosses as possible, before anybody notices and tries to stop them. How anyone performs as a liberal or conservative is only important to voters and pundits.

    If anyone still wonders what Congress or the President will do regarding ANY issue, ask this question: What would Jamie (Dimon) do?

    The public and politicians themselves have lost patience with trying to make or believe crazy explanations regarding ideologic inconsistency. It’s about money. How much can they print or steal? Siphon off? How much debt can be disguised? How many no-bid contracts can they obtain? How long will the public remain confused? Wave the flag! Launch the ships! It requires continual crisis and distraction. Also continual discussion of right and left politics, as if that matters. It does not matter one whit.

    How to get around the requirement that all government spending originate in the House? Automatic taxes! Empower Paulson and Geithner! How to get around the constitution? Supreme Court! Terrorism! How to nullify the rule of law? Executive Order! International Treaty! MERS deal! How to tax little children, old ladies, and people with no income? Sales tax or consumption tax! How can corporations bypass government to tax the people directly? Privatize highways! Carbon credits! Utility fees! Government mandated private health insurance!

    And if it all crashes, how to stick us. with one final, outrageously over-sized debt? World War, of course! It’s on the back burner at all times.

    Wall St controls the FBI now… they don’t bother with smoke-filled rooms anymore. Seamless service!
    Naomi Wolf: How Obama’s FBI coordinated with Wall St to infiltrate and attack OWS:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy

  18. AtlasRocked says:

    Voters are still driving the system, not lobbyists, not industry captains. Voters. Proof? They re-elected Obama. Debt is accumulating faster. The medical laws got worse, not better. he let $2 trillion of Bush era crime go unprosecuted, after all the liberals whined about it – they didn’t care about prosecution.

    They are getting more benefits now, and taxes are still way lower than benefits.

    and they re-elected Obama. they don’t care about regulations, lobbyists, or crime in fiscal system. history is clear how democracies regulate once benefits dominate are a role of the gov’t: they go nuts.

  19. AtlasRocked says:

    Summary of Bush complaints that Obama exacerbated and exceeded:

    1- He DIDNT cancel the Bush tax cuts, he re-adopted them and his overall tax rate is LOWER than Bushes: 15.1-15.4% of GDP for Obama, versus 16.4-18.5 % for Bush.

    2- He DIDN”T cut medical spending $2500 per family as he promised, they just upped the federal Obamacare budget 30%!!!

    3- He accelerated the deficit spending. He’s added MORE deficit per year than Bush by far. “Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.” ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

    4- He didn’t end the wars (I actually applaud his war policy so far, he’s been “pretty good”)

    5- Bush **ignorantly** allowed lawlessness in real estate, finance, and appraisals. Obama has **willfilly** dodged prosecuting according to CBS, Newsweek, huffington post, and the NY Times reports here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/opinion/will-wall-street-ever-face-justice.html
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_162-57336046-10391709/behind-the-financial-crisis-a-fraud-investigator-talks/?tag=cbsnewsMainColumnArea.1
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/05/06/why-can-t-obama-bring-wall-street-to-justice.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z29rE2J01DI – Good Chris whalen video on fraud
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-ferguson/bank-crimes_b_1675714.html
    http://maxkeiser.com/2012/07/19/ritholtz-a-concise-list-recent-bank-fraud/
    http://news.yahoo.com/no-one-charged-crime-mf-global-collapse-111056124–finance.html?_esi=1

    A Chief of Police refusing to prosecute massive crime in finance, real estate, appraisal, and loan business is a Chief of Racketeering.

    6- He had an american citizen killed without trial – this is equal or far worse than incarcerating enemy combatants captured in theatre at guantanamo, or waterboarding an enemy.

    7- Bush had the Patriot act as an afront to civil liberties, Obama’s congress re-approved it and now we have a new one: The military can now incarcerate a US citizen. Obama said he would not sign this, but he did. Cell phone tracking is increasing under Obama: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/us/police-tracking-of-cellphones-raises-privacy-fears.html?_r=2&partner=MYWAY&ei=5065

    8- Lobbyist revolving door: Steve Ricchetti, whose long list of lobbying clients included Fannie Mae, General Motors, the American Hospital Association and Eli Lilly, was tapped to be counselor to Vice President Biden, for example. No promises were kept about keeping lobbyists from getting cushy jobs.

    9 – Chronyism: Bush’s Haliburton buddies were his alleged cronies. Obama’s cronies are in Washington: “More than half of Obama’s 47 biggest fundraisers, those who collected at least $500,000 for his campaign, have been given administration jobs. Nine more have been appointed to presidential boards and committees.” This government gig pays pretty well eh?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-influence-industry-obama-gives-administration-jobs-to-some-big-fundraisers/2012/03/06/gIQA9y3txR_story.html?hpid=z2

    10. He decried unconstitutional executive orders, now he’s done 128 of them.

  20. serle says:

    Obama is a moderate Republican. His strength comes from his loyal core constituency (the majority are probably Dems), who vigorously support him, regardless of his actions/non-actions. I wouldn’t describe Obama as a Democrat. He’s a person who has his own specific plan. He has a clear strategy of what he wants to accomplish. He laser-focuses on his objectives. Other matters are irrelevant to him. Democrats with Progressive/Liberal leanings may be disappointed and/or disenfranchised.

    A true Progressive or Liberal Democrat won’t have a chance in the future of being elected. The Government (headed now by Obama), the Military & Big Business (Banks, Mfgrs, Big Retailers, etc…large Corps) run our Country.

  21. serle says:

    @ Petey W

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

    I agree. There ARE Left-wing people!

    Is there any chance the US will ever LOCATE and then have any chance of electing a genuine Democratic President? Or will Dems & Repubs simply retain their ‘Trade Names”, and continue to Govern – business as usual – as Corporatists/lackeys?