Is Obama in reality a pragmatic centrist in the mold of George H. W. Bush?

mshan

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EDIT: (article link added 5/18): "Pragmatic Politics, Forged on the Southside" --> http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05...olitics/11chicago.html




Reason I ask is that I saw a PBS piece on George H. W. Bush ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bush41/ ) and his style of governance, particularly in foreign policy, seemed very much like what I would hope Obama would do domestically.

I haven't studied Obama's positions deeply, and I know the PBS piece probably paints H. W. Bush in a very positive light, but his fiscal policies (doing the unpopular but necessary, by compromising with democrats and raising taxes and cutting back on spending) were apparently what is really responsible for the Reagan legacy and also for up to 60% of the surplus that Bill Clinton later claimed under his presidency (I think this was all mentioned in second hour of series).

This guy was a true elistist (re. grocery store scanner incident), but at least he was competent and had a true sense of noblesse oblige (unlike the intellectually lazy and morally corrupt pos currently occupying the White House).

 

CADsortaGUY

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As a Conservative an Obamarama administration would be disastrous for the nation IMO... but your scenario would be make a bad situation less sucky... however I don't buy the idea of him being a pragmatist or a centrist.
 

mshan

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From watching that PBS series, if not for George H. W. Bush, Reagan's legacy would be much like that of "W" (though not quite as bad).

And according to that series about 60% of the budget surplus that Bill Clinton claimed was actually due to the politically unpopular compromise he made with Democrats while trying to clean up the savings and loan mess.
 

Harvey

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Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY

As a Conservative an Obamarama administration would be disastrous for the nation IMO...
Which is exactly why he'll be a great President. We've had more than e-fucking-nough of fear-mongering, war-mongering liars and traitors.
 

RY62

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Mar 13, 2005
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Just out of curiosity, what makes you think there is anything centrist about Obama?
 

mshan

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Because, just like George H. W. Bush, that is what I believe his style of governance will be (no stupid us vs. them, left vs. right, democrat vs. republican labels, but pragmatic, non-idealogical attempts to improve the long term health of America, even if it were to cost him reelection in 2012).

Watch the PBS series linked above and decide for yourself (Reagan would probably currently be viewed almost as badly as "W" if it were not for George H. W. Bush cleaning up the mess he created).
 

chowderhead

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Dec 7, 1999
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Obama talks a good game about post-partisanship with his puppy-love praise of Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush and his disdain for the Clinton years. Too bad his Senate record shows he is the most liberal Senator in the Congress.
 

spidey07

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Aug 4, 2000
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Originally posted by: RY62
Just out of curiosity, what makes you think there is anything centrist about Obama?
I'd like to know as well. He's way to the left on everything I've ever heard him say.
 

Robor

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Originally posted by: chowderhead
Obama talks a good game about post-partisanship with his puppy-love praise of Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush and his disdain for the Clinton years. Too bad his Senate record shows he is the most liberal Senator in the Congress.
So the OP is worried Obama will be too close to center and you are claiming he's the furthest left. Probably the truth lies somewhere in between - as usual. Sounds good to me! ;)
 

mshan

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I am not talking about wedge issues; I'm talking about actual style of governance and actual RESULTS in solving the many problems that will affect the long term health and prosperity of this country.

And I believe Obama has said that many bills were written specifically to be as polarizing as possible, rather than actually try and achieve anything. (gotcha politics)

Time will tell, but I hope I'm right. :)
 

alphatarget1

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Dec 9, 2001
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Originally posted by: mshan
Reason I ask is that I saw a PBS piece on George H. W. Bush ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bush41/ ) and his style of governance, particularly in foreign policy, seemed very much like what I would hope Obama would do domestically.

I haven't studied Obama's positions deeply, and I know the PBS piece probably paints H. W. Bush in a very positive light, but his fiscal policies (doing the unpopular but necessary, by compromising with democrats and raising taxes and cutting back on spending) were apparently what is really responsible for the Reagan legacy and also for up to 60% of the surplus that Bill Clinton later claimed under his presidency (I think this was all mentioned in second hour of series).

This guy was a true elistist (re. grocery store scanner incident), but at least he was competent and had a true sense of noblesse oblige (unlike the intellectually lazy and morally corrupt pos currently occupying the White House).
I highly doubt it, based on Obama's past votes and who/what he associated himself with. What makes you think that a democrat-led congress won't just be another rubber-stamp congress like the first 6 years of Dubya's presidency?

Obama wants income redistribution and Hillary wants to help the middle class. Fvck communism.
 

RY62

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Mar 13, 2005
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That's where I figured this was going to go. Since he's pretty much a blank canvas, we can paint him up any way we want and "Hope" that's what he'll be. I prefer to look at a person's record and, so far, Obama is all the way over to the left.

It'd be nice if there was cooperation across the aisle to get things done but I'm afraid that's not going to happen. Things will probably get done but it'll be because the left will have full control to rubber stamp whatever they want.
 

Vic

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Jun 12, 2001
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Originally posted by: spidey07
Originally posted by: RY62
Just out of curiosity, what makes you think there is anything centrist about Obama?
I'd like to know as well. He's way to the left on everything I've ever heard him say.
Yeah well, first you'd have to listen to him say something now wouldn't you?

Obama is a liberal who campaigns as a populist/progressive, but on the left-to-right scale comes pretty close to the middle. Altogether, he's pretty moderate, with a strong record of compromise and (most importantly IMO) of learning and changing from past mistakes (instead of clinging to ideological principle). More like Bill Clinton than GHW Bush IMO though, but I see the OP's point.

And for those of you who received the bulk of your polisci education off talk radio, liberal != leftist/socialist/communist. In fact, the ideologies are antithetical to each other, particularly WRT economics. Just like standing armies, endless foreign wars, massive budget deficits, etc. are all antithetical to basic conservative principles.
I understand that there are many fascists in this country who like to pretend they're conservatives, and many socialists in this country who like to pretend they're liberal, but you're not (on either side), and I'm sick of this shit getting in the way of politics in this country.
 

mxyzptlk

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Originally posted by: chowderhead
Too bad his Senate record shows he is the most liberal Senator in the Congress.
I hear this repeated time and time again, but I do not know what it means.

Could you enlighten me please? What makes one the "most liberal senator in congress" ?? Who makes this list, and what criteria do they use to determine the standings?



 

bamacre

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Jul 1, 2004
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Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: spidey07
Originally posted by: RY62
Just out of curiosity, what makes you think there is anything centrist about Obama?
I'd like to know as well. He's way to the left on everything I've ever heard him say.
Yeah well, first you'd have to listen to him say something now wouldn't you?

Obama is a liberal who campaigns as a populist/progressive, but on the left-to-right scale comes pretty close to the middle. Altogether, he's pretty moderate, with a strong record of compromise and (most importantly IMO) of learning and changing from past mistakes (instead of clinging to ideological principle). More like Bill Clinton than GHW Bush IMO though, but I see the OP's point.

And for those of you who received the bulk of your polisci education off talk radio, liberal != leftist/socialist/communist. In fact, the ideologies are antithetical to each other, particularly WRT economics. Just like standing armies, endless foreign wars, massive budget deficits, etc. are all antithetical to basic conservative principles.
I understand that there are many fascists in this country who like to pretend they're conservatives, and many socialists in this country who like to pretend they're liberal, but you're not (on either side), and I'm sick of this shit getting in the way of politics in this country.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

Vic

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Originally posted by: alphatarget1
I highly doubt it, based on Obama's past votes and who/what he associated himself with. What makes you think that a democrat-led congress won't just be another rubber-stamp congress like the first 6 years of Dubya's presidency?

Obama wants income redistribution and Hillary wants to help the middle class. Fvck communism.
Because the first thing Obama is going to do when elected into office is nationalize Exxon and outlaw private property ownership, right?

Communism is not on anyone's agenda in the US, and sorry, but you're an idiot for even thinking so.
 

spidey07

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Aug 4, 2000
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Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: alphatarget1
I highly doubt it, based on Obama's past votes and who/what he associated himself with. What makes you think that a democrat-led congress won't just be another rubber-stamp congress like the first 6 years of Dubya's presidency?

Obama wants income redistribution and Hillary wants to help the middle class. Fvck communism.
Because the first thing Obama is going to do when elected into office is nationalize Exxon and outlaw private property ownership, right?

Communism is not on anyone's agenda in the US, and sorry, but you're an idiot for even thinking so.
He wants "windfall" profit tax. That's anti-american, anti-capitalism.
He wants wealth redistribution. Same
He wants to "go after those greedy corporations". Same
He wants to tax the crap out of business. Same
He want to tax people more (his words). Same

Face it, he's about as liberal/socialist as they come. He is death to this country and his agenda needs to be exposed. I honestly want to barf everytime he opens his mouth the crap that spews out of it.
 

bamacre

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Jul 1, 2004
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One more thing I hope Obama stumbles back upon, and I say this because he has flip-flopped a little on it, is the decriminalization of marijuana. Honestly, at this point in time, if only because there needs to be some serious talks about this issue in DC. The federal raids in CA are absurd.
 

Vic

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Jun 12, 2001
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Originally posted by: spidey07
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: alphatarget1
I highly doubt it, based on Obama's past votes and who/what he associated himself with. What makes you think that a democrat-led congress won't just be another rubber-stamp congress like the first 6 years of Dubya's presidency?

Obama wants income redistribution and Hillary wants to help the middle class. Fvck communism.
Because the first thing Obama is going to do when elected into office is nationalize Exxon and outlaw private property ownership, right?

Communism is not on anyone's agenda in the US, and sorry, but you're an idiot for even thinking so.
He wants "windfall" profit tax. That's anti-american, anti-capitalism.
He wants wealth redistribution. Same
He wants to "go after those greedy corporations". Same
He wants to tax the crap out of business. Same
He want to tax people more (his words). Same

Face it, he's about as liberal/socialist as they come. He is death to this country and his agenda needs to be exposed. I honestly want to barf everytime he opens his mouth the crap that spews out of it.
Spidey, the fact that you use "liberal/socialist" together like that proves you have no clue what you are talking about. Seriously. Turn off the Rush Limbaugh.

Do you know who coined the name "Capitalism"? Karl Marx. And it was meant to be a pejorative.
Do you know what it was called before then? Liberal economics.
So when liberals start calling for nationalizing industries and outlawing private property, instead of globalism and free markets, then you can use "liberal/socialist" together like that. But not until then.

As for your claims, businesses are facing these tax increases because they have been externalizing their own costs on the public and government for decades. Getting subsidies (which you probably believe is capitalism), getting cheap money from the Fed, committing fraud with ridiculously lucrative government contracts, using our courts and our government to monopolize (and enforce their monopoly on) intellectual property and content, not paying for their own impact and their workers, and dumping it all on the rest of us. This "trickle down/pour up" approach is as far from capitalism as anything could be.
If they want all those services from government, they can pay for it like the rest of us do.

And if you think that GW Bush didn't jack up your taxes with his $3.2 trillion budget... well, wake the fuck up. Because Bush's deficits are why your taxes are going up regardless of which party wins office this fall. Get a clue. The idea that massive budget deficits aren't a form of wealth distribution of their own is IMO the neocon's biggest delusion.

 

mshan

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Do you think Larry Kudlow believes that if we reduce the corporate tax rate to 0%, government revenues will increase?
 

Vic

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Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
Originally posted by: Vic

a strong record of compromise
Uh... I've seen no evidence of this. You have ANYTHING to back that up?
His record in the Illinois statehouse of being a Chicago liberal working with downstate conservatives speaks for itself.
Yaknow why you guys are capable of saying, "ahh Wright!!" or "ahh Ayers!" when it comes to Obama? Because he's also worked with the other side as well, sometimes even in the same setting (for example, there are megacorp bigwigs on the board of the Woods Fund along with Ayers).
But why should I work hard trying to convince you and Spidey of this? No offense, but I don't care what you believe. And I can see the evidence for myself that the leaders you elected didn't do what they/you said they would do, and have failed in what they were supposed to do. Now Spidey comes back screaming the same tired and wrong rhetoric as to why we're to fear the lib-uh-rals and vote for yet another "great conservative" who isn't, and my first thoughts are "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... "
 

SViscusi

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Originally posted by: mxyzptlk
Originally posted by: chowderhead
Too bad his Senate record shows he is the most liberal Senator in the Congress.
I hear this repeated time and time again, but I do not know what it means.

Could you enlighten me please? What makes one the "most liberal senator in congress" ?? Who makes this list, and what criteria do they use to determine the standings?
When people say that they're using the National Journal rankings of votes. The problem with that is the methodology. When a Senator is running for president they miss alot of votes which would pull they're score to the center, National Journal doesn't take that into account. They only use votes cast which skews the rankings. Obama, to the best of my recollection has a moderate left score if you take into account all his rankings, but is skews left if you only limit it to the year they're running for president. The same thing happened four years ago with Kerry.

As an opposite to that you can look up the scores from Progressive Punch which paints a different picture and punishes people for missing votes so it gives Obama a more moderate score for the year than for lifetime.
 

ProfJohn

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Jul 28, 2006
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Originally posted by: mxyzptlk
Originally posted by: chowderhead
Too bad his Senate record shows he is the most liberal Senator in the Congress.
I hear this repeated time and time again, but I do not know what it means.

Could you enlighten me please? What makes one the "most liberal senator in congress" ?? Who makes this list, and what criteria do they use to determine the standings?
There is a nonpartisan group that rates votes on whether they are liberal or conservative.
link Nationaljournal. They have been doing this since 1981.

It is pretty well accepted at THE definite ratings of congressman and Senators.

Obama ranks among the most liberal of Senators and has since he took office, while McCain sits in the middle of the Senate.

The rates are based on votes on various issues, click the link and they list the votes they based the ratings on.

The reason we bring this up so much is because Obama the great uniter almost always votes along party lines. He has NO history of crossing over and working with the other side on anything. The idea that he will be a pragmatic centrist is laughable. If anything Obama will pushed further to the left by those around him. He could easily end up being Jimmy Carter part 2.
 

OrByte

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Jul 21, 2000
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: mxyzptlk
Originally posted by: chowderhead
Too bad his Senate record shows he is the most liberal Senator in the Congress.
I hear this repeated time and time again, but I do not know what it means.

Could you enlighten me please? What makes one the "most liberal senator in congress" ?? Who makes this list, and what criteria do they use to determine the standings?
There is a nonpartisan group that rates votes on whether they are liberal or conservative.
link Nationaljournal. They have been doing this since 1981.

It is pretty well accepted at THE definite ratings of congressman and Senators.

Obama ranks among the most liberal of Senators and has since he took office, while McCain sits in the middle of the Senate.

The rates are based on votes on various issues, click the link and they list the votes they based the ratings on.

The reason we bring this up so much is because Obama the great uniter almost always votes along party lines. He has NO history of crossing over and working with the other side on anything. The idea that he will be a pragmatic centrist is laughable. If anything Obama will pushed further to the left by those around him. He could easily end up being Jimmy Carter part 2.
Thats nice and all but BHO looks and more importantly SOUNDS more centrist compared to McCain who continues to fall lockstep with GWB on nearly every issue. In which case it doesn't matter where McCain is on the "right>left" spectrum because he will be associated with arguably the worst Presidential term in history.

 

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