Monday, January 24, 2011

The Centrist President

Our sentiments exactly.  No one can say it better that this IBDEditorial. We present it to you in full form.


Editorial: Our So-Called 'Centrist' President

Posted 06:59 PM ET


Politics: Will the man who conned the public into believing he was a moderate, but who has governed as the most immoderate leftist in the country's history, now try to pull the same con so he can be elected again?

How naive does he think we are? Well, pretty darn naive, given the polls that everyone is bending over backward to cite. They show President Obama's approval rating turning up in large part because he didn't let the Bush tax cuts expire, enlisted cronies to help him appear more "business friendly" and paid lip service to regulatory reform.

Such moves, according to the spinmeisters, are part of a grand "repositioning" of the president as a "centrist" who "got the message from the November election" and who is now less hostile to the free-enterprise system he's been trashing for more than two years.

Give us a break. Does anyone think that the Barack Obama who set out to "transform" the America that he found so distasteful has himself been transformed? Does anyone believe that if the mid-terms went the other way and the odds of his re-election hadn't gone south, Obama would be considering any detour whatsoever on the leftist low road he has charted?

Call us skeptics, but we don't. But then, we were among the few in the media who saw through Obama's facade in 2008, who feared he'd put the U.S. on a path that could only be described as socialist (the day after the Nov. 5, 2008 presidential election, we expressed our concern that "we may be installing the first president who openly favors 'change' that ... can only be described as socialistic") and then watched as it all came to pass.

Based on the polls, however, many Americans are paying no more attention now than they were two years ago. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in January found that fewer people — 45% — consider Obama to be "liberal" today than they did during the 2008 campaign, when 56% attached that label to him.

This after he effectively nationalized the auto industry, signed an $862 billion "stimulus" bill, used the $700 billion TARP program to reward union cronies, placed Wall Street under national supervision, oversaw the passage of a U.S. takeover of the health care system, and approved a record surge in U.S. federal spending.

The "new Obama" Kool-Aid has gone down so smoothly that a supposed conservative commentator, Ben Stein, thinks the president is the Republican Party's — yes, the Republican Party's — best alternative come 2012. "What's not to like?" Stein asked on CBS' "Sunday Morning," given Obama's decisions on keeping tax rates in place and troops in Afghanistan.

The sometimes-tongue-in-cheek Stein notwithstanding, the president has made the most progress among independents who backed him in 2008 but then turned against him last year. Well, they may be "fickle," but they aren't stupid.

In our own polls, independents have shown themselves to be dead-serious when it comes to government spending. And until Obama makes some serious moves to address the deficit and debt he has run up, we doubt he'll win over that many in the middle.

We also doubt that the president's alleged moves to the middle are going down very well with the liberals who form the president's base. In fact, we're surprised we haven't heard more from them if the stories are true that Obama is prepared to leave them high and dry to improve his chances for re-election.

Then again, the silence among liberals may signal they're no more confident than we are that Barack Obama intends to do anything substantive that qualifies him as a moderate.

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