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

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Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,433
11,679
136
Originally posted by: mshan
Do you think Larry Kudlow believes that if we reduce the corporate tax rate to 0%, government revenues will increase?
Kudlow is no fan of Bush or McCain Text

Here's another good new article out of the National Review. Lowry finally gets one right.

http://article.nationalreview....IzODEwZDNhODI3NjU2N2E=

'?A Fire Bell in the Night?
The public has lost confidence in Republicans.

By Rich Lowry

In 2006, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel had an inspiration: Run culturally conservative Democrats in culturally conservative congressional districts.

This doesn?t sound like the stuff of strategic brilliance, but it meant overcoming the cultural condescension of most national Democrats. In his 2006 book The Plan, Emanuel knocked What?s the Matter With Kansas? author Thomas Frank for declaring cultural issues less important than economic ones: ?It?s insulting to suggest that blue-collar workers are wrong to make faith or conscience, not money, their bottom line.?

Emanuel?s relatively conservative candidates carried districts in 2006 that Democrats had little business winning, and his approach is still working now. In Mississippi, Republicans just lost a special election in a congressional district they thought would be a showcase for the drag Barack Obama will have on his party. They ran ads linking Democrat Travis Childers with Obama and featuring a raving Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

But Childers is pro-gun and pro-life. A local businessman, he has deep roots in the community. No one was going to mistake him for Obama. Nor were they going to hold the fulminations of the Rev. Wright against him, unless the pastor were to come out of retirement to lead the East Booneville Baptist Church, where Childers is a member. He won by eight points. In post-mortems, Republicans had a plaintive air, as if it?s no fair that Democrats won?t run down-the-line liberals anymore.

Republicans have become adept at explaining special-election defeats in formerly Republican districts, after losing three in a row: in Illinois, in the seat that had been held by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert; in Louisiana, in a district they had held for the past 33 years; now in Mississippi, where Bush won with 62 percent of the vote in 2004. The typical excuse has been poor candidates. But Republicans used to win these kinds of districts even with lackluster candidates, and what does it say about the party that it can?t recruit better candidates?

For Republicans, Mississippi should be a ?fire bell in the night,? as Thomas Jefferson said of a sectional flare-up prior to the Civil War. The National Republican Congressional Committee spent $3 million on the special elections, about 40 percent of its cash-on-hand as of March. Fundraising will be hurt by the losses, with business donors scrambling to curry favor with the ascendant Democrats. As the Politico reports, freshman Democrats in traditional Republican districts who were thought ripe for the picking during a presumed Republican rebound in 2008 aren?t facing serious challenge.

And all this before Republicans face a financial onslaught in the fall from Democratic independent expenditures, left-wing 527s, the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee. If Republicans lose another 20 seats in the House, they?ll be down roughly 70 overall, and if Obama wins the presidency on top of it, as the NBC political tipsheet ?First Read? has noted, ?it will be the biggest mandate any Democrat has had for governing since LBJ in ?64.?

The chairman of the NRCC, Tom Cole, hasn?t tried to minimize the implications of the Mississippi loss. In a conference call with reporters the next day, he said so often that the public has lost confidence in Republicans that it could have been a Democratic call. Republicans readily admit that they have work to do reformulating their agenda, but are at a loss as to how exactly to go about it.

For now, they?ll have to hope that John McCain finds a way to distance himself from his party and pick up independents while not losing his own base. Philippe Petit, who famously did a high-wire walk between the towers of the World Trade Center, had a less treacherous course. Over the longer run, they have to become identified with a domestic-reform agenda on health care, energy and family income that addresses middle-class concerns.

But renovating a party?s public standing isn?t the work of a few months. At least time in the minority provides opportunity for reflection.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
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Originally posted by: Vic
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.
Are you on drugs today Vic?

link1
Here is the national journals list of 99 Senate votes used to determine their ranking.

Obama votes the 'conservative' position ONE time ("Express the sense of Congress that funds for U.S. troops in the field should not be cut off") Hillary voted the conservative position five times.

On economic policy Obama ranked second.
On social policy Obama ranked second.
On foreign policy he ranked eight.

Where did you get the idea that he is 'moderate'??? He makes Kennedy and Kerry look moderate by comparison.
Face it, the Democrats have nominated their MOST liberal candidate ever.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
35,590
5,765
126
Obama is not a pragmatist, he's an idealist. GHWB was a pragmatist with real world experience as wartime aviator, CIA chief and VP. He's much more like McCain than Obama.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
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Originally posted by: SViscusi
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
Incorrect.

In his three whole years in office he has ranked 16th, 10th and 1st on the liberal scale.
His composite score is 88 meaning he votes more liberal 88% of the Senate.
 

Jhhnn

IN MEMORIAM
Nov 11, 1999
62,365
14,677
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Depends on how "centrist" is defined. Recent repub leadership has been so far rightwing as to skew any sort of realistic definition- anybody who's not them is a "Leftist" in their terminology.

And the funniest thing about it is that many self-styled "conservatives" are increasingly recognizing that, and also recognizing that they're not really "conservative" on legitiimate issues, at all.

Two thirds of America wants out of Iraq, and 2/3 want a more comprehensive and lower cost healthcare system. The vast majority don't want the govt to go broke, and also depend on having SS when they retire. Most recognize that some degree of wealth redistribution is necessary in this capitalist system if we're to maintain democracy. It goes on from there...

As Lowry points out, the electorate has lost faith in repubs, for good reason. The vast majority of middle and working class families have gained nothing from trickle down economics, and they know it. They also know that those at the top have benefitted tremendously.

They also know that repubs simply refused to implement the smaller govt they promised, along with the stay at home foreign policy, too... they blew their big chance, preferring instead to engage in an orgy of greed and red ink.

People also realize that taxes have to go up, and that the best place to get money is from those who have it. In the real world, the budget simply can't be balanced on the basis of cuts alone.

So I'll rate Obama as a pragmatic Liberal- with a democratic congress, and the exit of the leadership of the lootocracy, he'll likely be able to do some things that the majority of Americans want and will benefit from... the very wealthy few who sponsor the thinktanks of the right will be whining like little princesses, and that's a good thing. Anytime that those at the top aren't whining, it means that the rest of us are getting screwed...

Trust me when I say that paying more in taxes won't affect their lifestyles in the slightest... claims of victimhood from that quarter being more along the lines of crocodile tears than anything else...
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
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www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: Vic
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... "
Uh... well you made a claim in a thread about BHO and I've not seen any evidence of what you claim. Also, since this is a BHO thread - your duhversion is noted. ;)
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
77,975
36,253
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: SViscusi
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
Incorrect.

In his three whole years in office he has ranked 16th, 10th and 1st on the liberal scale.
His composite score is 88 meaning he votes more liberal 88% of the Senate.
And as has been referenced before that scale is utter, utter crap. I've posted this response to you numerous times but you have never addressed it. How do you rate a system that places Ron Paul as a mid range conservative?
 

b0mbrman

Lifer
Jun 1, 2001
29,471
1
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Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
Originally posted by: senseamp
Obama is not a pragmatist, he's an idealist. GHWB was a pragmatist with real world experience as wartime aviator, CIA chief and VP. He's much more like McCain than Obama.
/thread
Strange bedfellows a contentious primary campaign makes :)
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
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Originally posted by: eskimospy
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: SViscusi
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
Incorrect.

In his three whole years in office he has ranked 16th, 10th and 1st on the liberal scale.
His composite score is 88 meaning he votes more liberal 88% of the Senate.
And as has been referenced before that scale is utter, utter crap. I've posted this response to you numerous times but you have never addressed it. How do you rate a system that places Ron Paul as a mid range conservative?
Paul is not a conservative. He is a libertarian.

Which means he will tend to vote conservative on economic issues, which he does.
And liberal on social issues, which he does.
This is why he ranks down the middle.

You can call the rankings crap but the fact is they are viewed as the definitive rankings in DC.

There are a lot of other rankings out there and Obama is off to one side or the other on all of those too.
ACLU he ranks around 20.
Tax Payers Union he ranks near the bottom.

The idea that he is a 'moderate' is a joke.
 

mshan

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2004
7,868
0
71
Exactly how does his experience as a world war 2 aviator make him qualified to be president of the united states?

And as "the professor" should know, the results of any poll / survey can be easily manipulated based upon what you specifically ask and how you ask it, to say nothing of the fact that relative terms like left / right, liberal/conservative depend upon how you define center or neutral.
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
65,469
5
76
Originally posted by: mshan
Exactly how does his experience as a world war 2 aviator make him qualified to be president of the united states?

And as "the professor" should know, the results of any poll / survey can be easily manipulated based upon what you specifically ask and how you ask it, to say nothing of the fact that relative terms like left / right, liberal/conservative depend upon how you define center or neutral.
Not really. The ideas of the political spectrum are very well defined being bounded by the extremes.

To Vic, I understand your point. My views are about as economically liberal as they come and right down the middle socially. AKA - capitalist.

But please concede that the points I made about Obama's words that define his platform. I just really disagree with that platform. My disagreement with what he's running with is opinion, what he is running on however is FACT.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
77,975
36,253
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: eskimospy
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: SViscusi
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
Incorrect.

In his three whole years in office he has ranked 16th, 10th and 1st on the liberal scale.
His composite score is 88 meaning he votes more liberal 88% of the Senate.
And as has been referenced before that scale is utter, utter crap. I've posted this response to you numerous times but you have never addressed it. How do you rate a system that places Ron Paul as a mid range conservative?
Paul is not a conservative. He is a libertarian.

Which means he will tend to vote conservative on economic issues, which he does.
And liberal on social issues, which he does.
This is why he ranks down the middle.

You can call the rankings crap but the fact is they are viewed as the definitive rankings in DC.

There are a lot of other rankings out there and Obama is off to one side or the other on all of those too.
ACLU he ranks around 20.
Tax Payers Union he ranks near the bottom.

The idea that he is a 'moderate' is a joke.
They are in no way 'definitive' rankings in DC, because nobody there actually cares about this stupid crap. I love how things like voting to fully implement the 9/11 commission's recommendations is a vote that counted for him being 'liberal'. Voting for an independent body to oversee corruption in the Senate was considered 'liberal'.

If you actually look at the national journal's ranking of him on social issues you will see that calling him 'liberal' on them is a joke as he is ranked at absolute worst a moderate on them. Of course I would agree with you that Ron Paul is liberal on social issues... which again takes us back to why the National Journal's rankings are shit.

I know you're not going to change your mind, because this is a party line Republican talking point, and you don't really deviate from them. This is more just an informative post for other people.
 

sprok

Member
Mar 10, 2008
101
0
0
Originally posted by: eskimospy

They are in no way 'definitive' rankings in DC, because nobody there actually cares about this stupid crap. I love how things like voting to fully implement the 9/11 commission's recommendations is a vote that counted for him being 'liberal'. Voting for an independent body to oversee corruption in the Senate was considered 'liberal'.
More government regulations means bigger government in turn meaning it's a liberal ideology. So there.
 

b0mbrman

Lifer
Jun 1, 2001
29,471
1
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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.
Do you have a subscription? It doesn't show McCain's rating for 2007...
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
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McCain was not rated for 2007 because he missed too many votes.

But over his career he has been towards the middle.

The best quote about McCain is one that said he was 'conservative' but not 'a conservative.' Meaning he votes in a conservative manor, but he is a not a champion of conservative causes or issues.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
77,975
36,253
136
Originally posted by: sprok
Originally posted by: eskimospy

They are in no way 'definitive' rankings in DC, because nobody there actually cares about this stupid crap. I love how things like voting to fully implement the 9/11 commission's recommendations is a vote that counted for him being 'liberal'. Voting for an independent body to oversee corruption in the Senate was considered 'liberal'.
More government regulations means bigger government in turn meaning it's a liberal ideology. So there.
But police state measures such as the Patriot Act and the PAA are more government regulations and therefore bigger government but are considered 'conservative' votes by the esteemed folks at the National Journal. Please explain the difference.

EDIT: Or actually just admit that their selection of liberal or conservative for a lot of issues is completely arbitrary, which is why their rating system sucks.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
77,975
36,253
136
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
McCain was not rated for 2007 because he missed too many votes.

But over his career he has been towards the middle.

The best quote about McCain is one that said he was 'conservative' but not 'a conservative.' Meaning he votes in a conservative manor, but he is a not a champion of conservative causes or issues.
Not according to factcheck.org. As shown here.

According to them McCain voted with the Republicans 90% of the time in 2007, and voted in line with George Bush's opinion NINETY FIVE percent of the time. According to Govtrack.us McCain is considered a 'rank and file republican'... ie: not centrist.

So unless you consider voting with Bush, one of the most radical right wing presidents in American history 95% of the time, McCain is nowhere approaching moderate. His views on national security in particular are off the deep end to the right.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
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Originally posted by: eskimospy
Not according to factcheck.org. As shown here.

According to them McCain voted with the Republicans 90% of the time in 2007, and voted in line with George Bush's opinion NINETY FIVE percent of the time. According to Govtrack.us McCain is considered a 'rank and file republican'... ie: not centrist.

So unless you consider voting with Bush, one of the most radical right wing presidents in American history 95% of the time, McCain is nowhere approaching moderate. His views on national security in particular are off the deep end to the right.
ummm you need to work on your view of Bush.

He is far from a radical right winger.

The only thing really right wing about him is his war on terror policies. i.e. Iraq, homeland security etc.

Beyond that he has over seen a HUGE increase in government spending during his term and that is in no way shape or form 'right wing'
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
77,975
36,253
136
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: eskimospy
Not according to factcheck.org. As shown here.

According to them McCain voted with the Republicans 90% of the time in 2007, and voted in line with George Bush's opinion NINETY FIVE percent of the time. According to Govtrack.us McCain is considered a 'rank and file republican'... ie: not centrist.

So unless you consider voting with Bush, one of the most radical right wing presidents in American history 95% of the time, McCain is nowhere approaching moderate. His views on national security in particular are off the deep end to the right.
ummm you need to work on your view of Bush.

He is far from a radical right winger.

The only thing really right wing about him is his war on terror policies. i.e. Iraq, homeland security etc.

Beyond that he has over seen a HUGE increase in government spending during his term and that is in no way shape or form 'right wing'
Nice double standard you're working here. The big reason why Obama's vote to fully implement the recommendations of the 9/11 commission is considered 'liberal' by the National Journal is because of Bush's/Republican opposition to parts of it.

As far as the only thing right wing about Bush being his war on terror policies, wake the hell up man. Name a single president in US history that has been further to the right then GWB. One. You might be able to make a case for Reagan, but even Reagan wasn't as far to the right as GWB is on social issues.

Bush is an extreme right winger on foreign policy, police powers, judicial nominations, taxes, abortion, stem cells, gay marriage, the military, the environment, government regulation, health care, social security... need I go on? Ohhhh, but government spending increased under Bush. I guess that one thing means we should ignore every other facet of his presidency and decide he's not a radical right winger.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
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Healthcare?? Didn't Bush create Medicare Part D?? Not sure I think of that as a 'right wing' thing to do.
No Child Left Behind? Written by Ted Kennedy, not exactly a right winger.

Also, the majority of what the President and Congress does is spending.

No one talks about the Clinton legacy when it comes to "judicial nominations, taxes, abortion, stem cells, gay marriage, the military, the environment, government regulation, health care, social security" instead they talk about his spending and how the budget was balanced while he was in power.

I suspect that if Bush had controlled domestic spending and kept something close to a balanced budget his Presidency would be viewed in a very different light.
 

Red Dawn

Elite Member
Jun 4, 2001
57,530
3
0
Originally posted by: CADsortaGUY
As a Conservative an Obamarama administration would be disastrous for the nation IMO.
A disasterous Administration didn't stop you from voting for Bush a second time.

 

Tab

Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
12,145
0
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Originally posted by: bamacre
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:
:thumbsup:
 

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