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Barack Obama: Not Moderate.
Barack Obama. He's a media darling. He routinely receives praise for being a "moderate" from talking heads and columnists alike.
So what did Obama do to earn such esteem? What specific actions or words earned him his moderate reputation?
It couldn't have been his October 2002 speech to a group of anti-war activists:
"What I am opposed to is the attempt by potential hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income - to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics."
So the liberation of Iraq was cooked up by the ubiquitous, mysterious Karl Rove in order to distract Americans from a (Bush-induced, of course) Hooverian economic meltdown.
Do moderates typically accuse the President of the United States of concocting wars for political purposes? Sounds more Michael Moorean than Nelsonian (as in, moderate Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson) or Breauxian (as in, moderate former Senator John Breaux of Lousiana).
Obama even got so upset about being classified as a moderate while gearing up for his 2004 Senate race that he went out of his way to fire off a letter to The Black Commentator disavowing any connection to the DLC (the *relatively* moderate Democratic Leadership Conference), typically the voice of sanity within the otherwise Deaniacal Democratic Party. In the letter, Obama came across as anything but moderate:
I'm proud of the fact that I stood up early and unequivocally in opposition to Bush's foreign policy (and was the only U.S. Senate candidate in Illinois to do so). That opposition hasn't changed, and I continue to make it a central part of each and every one of my political speeches. Likewise, I spend much of my time with audiences trying to educate them on the dangers of both the Patriot Act, Patriot Act 2, and the rest of John Ashcroft's assault on the Constitution.
Obama went on to describe in the letter how, in the preceding 3 months as state representative, he was responsible for "25 pieces of major progressive legislation."
Twenty-five pieces of major progressive legislation in three months!
Unadulterated Obama, entirely in his own words. Does that sound like the handiwork of a moderate? Not even close.
Obama, before becoming a Senator, enjoyed bragging-- very publicly-- about his liberal record, something moderates typically do not do. Take this ad the Obama campaign took out in the Windy City Times, Chicago's gay newspaper, boasting, among other things, about Obama's "100% Pro-Choice voting record" (.pdf):
Every candidate, Democrat or Republican, moves to the left or right for party primaries, then back to the center in the general election. That's how the game is played. But Obama's pandering to the left-wing of the Democratic Party was decidedly atypical, spanning his entire career as State Representative:
But, hasn't Obama moderated since his election?
Well, if voting against confirming Janice Rogers Brown, voting against giving John Bolton an up-or-down vote, voting against confirming Priscilla Owen, voting against confirming Alberto Gonzales, and voting against bankruptcy reform, all makes one "moderate," sure.
But Obama is not moderate. He wasn't a moderate before his 2004 election, nor has he become moderate since joining the Senate.
Indeed, Obama recently went out of his way to compare President Bush's vision for an Ownership Society to "Social Darwinism-- every man or woman for him or herself," in a commencement address at Knox College:
It’s a tempting idea, because it doesn’t require much thought or ingenuity. It allows us to say that those whose health care or tuition may rise faster than they can afford—tough luck. It allows us to say to the Maytag workers who have lost their job—life isn’t fair. It let’s us say to the child who was born into poverty—pull yourself up by your bootstraps. And it is especially tempting because each of us believes we will always be the winner in life’s lottery, that we’re the one who will be the next Donald Trump, or at least we won’t be the chump who Donald Trump says: “You’re fired!”
This kind class warfare, so typical on the left, completely mangles the fundamental features of an Ownership Society, while ignoring America's historical exceptionalism, rooted in free enterprise.
Obama is no moderate. His Senate voting record, moving forward, will make his leftist credentials indisputable. His left-wing record, interestingly enough, will place Barack Obama on the inside track to win the Democratic nomination for President in 2008.
Posted by Will Franklin · 12 June 2005 09:33 PM
Obama!...is moderate as compared to? ... How do they get away with saying he is moderate? I don't get it? ... Is my political balance off? OR! is something wrong with that picture? Hmmmmm...
Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 13, 2005 09:16 AM
Remember that the media was fairly successful at passing off Hanoi John Kerry as moderate. They will of course define "moderate" ever further to the left if people don't call them on it.
Posted by: Van Helsing at June 13, 2005 12:10 PM
don't know why I bother but...It's hardly extreme to be pro choice. Nor is it extreme to think the war in Iraq was rash and politically motivated, as evidenced by the facts that Iraq was in no way connected to al qaeda and did not possess weapons of mass destruction. Maybe a war for Iraqi liberation, as it's so often referred to these days, could have been justified, but that's not what Bush was selling. The skepticism that turned to anger experienced by much of the US population can hardly be characterized as extreme.
Posted by: Noah at June 13, 2005 04:36 PM
When Osama-Obama was on Oprah, she said, "Seeing him in the race was like a breath of fresh air!" He is the perfect democrat... good looking, charismatic, and "NO" substace! The man is as left as they come. But, as long as he stands there and smiles the lefties think he's God! Socialist Obama even plays the race card often even though it was his white grandparents who raised him while his real dad died of alcoholism in Nigeria visiting him once. I guess you get a feel for what I think. Huh?
Posted by: Jim Hoft at June 13, 2005 05:15 PM
Noah... Pro choice Social Security or pro choice abortion?... Is the war in Iraq not justified when Saddam IS the weapon of mass destruction? Is the war Iraq not justified, when freedom and democracy are being spread through out the Mideast as we speak?... Is the war in Iraq not justified when our President and leaders of our country agree that our country is threatened by such an evil dictatorship?... Do you really believe that it is wrong for our troops stationed in Iraq are not justified in being there? To characterize anyone as being extreme for the way an individual believes is not my intent! Freedom and Democracy in my country still rings free! That I am very thankful for!!!!! AND THAT IS SOMETHING I AM EXTREMELY THANKFUL FOR!...
Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 13, 2005 05:19 PM
Uh Oh! ...Uh Uh uh uhmm! Hmmmm?
Posted by: Chip at June 13, 2005 08:15 PM
What a jackass you are!!! Grow up!
Posted by: Bob at June 17, 2005 04:23 PM