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
49,403
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: Vic
Well, somebody let me know when the Republicans decide to run a REAL conservative for President. Otherwise, you're getting Obama for giving us 8 years of GW Bush, whether you like it or not.
I don't think we get Obama for 8 years.

He has all the makings of Carter part 2.

Also recent experience tells us that when one party rules both the Presidency and the Congress they make a mess of things and turn it right back over to the other party.

Clinton had both houses of congress for two years and made a mess of things and turned control back over to the Republicans. Newt and congress then moved the country to the right for the rest of Clinton's term.

Bush did similar, it just took him longer to give control back over to the Democrats. But it looks like the country will move to the left for a bit. But eventually the Dems will push to much spending or tax increases or too many government programs and the country will move back to the right.
Well then, this will give your party time to sit on the sidelines and reflect on your fuck-ups.

Sorry, man, I argued this logic in 2000 and 2004. You didn't listen to me then, when I was arguing it out of genuine interest for the country, I certainly won't listen to you when you're arguing it solely for your own partisan hackery.

And Carter part 2? :roll:
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Moderator
Aug 23, 2003
25,375
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Originally posted by: senseamp
Not mutually exclusive.
Just because a Republican activist president with a Republican rubber stamp Congress was a disaster does not mean that a Democrat activist president with a Democrat rubber stamp Congress won't be.
The Democrats can spend money to high-heaven for all I care.

At least we KNOW what they'll be spending it on: domestic programs.

Democrats: Funding child health care in the US.
Republicans: Funding child health care in Iraq/Afghanistan.

Democrats: Funding border security on the US/Mexico border.
Republicans: Funding border security on the Iraq/Iran border.

Democrats: Building roads/schools/hospitals in the US.
Republicans: Building roads/schools/hospitals in Iraq/Afghanistan.

See a pattern? Both parties will tax us into the ground and spend money like there's no tomorrow. Democrats will spend that money domestically. Republicans will spend it nation building. When given those two very clear choices, I choose Democrat. Especially since McSame is a tax(cut)-and-spend conservative just like his predecessor.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
77,854
35,974
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: eskimospy
You should be happy about this Pro-Jo? Nobody is perfect, but you've had the hardest right wing president in history in power for 8 years. Isn't that what you wanted? I for one can't believe you're even trying to argue that GWB isn't a hard right conservative. That boggles my mind.
You still don't get it.

A hard right conservative would not create another massive government program in the form of Medicare Part D.
A hard right conservative would not have increased domestic spending at the rate Bush did.
A hard right conservative would not have pushed for amnesty for millions of illegals.
A hard right conservative would not have allowed Ted Kennedy to write his education reform bill.

Bush did not even run as a hard right conservative. He claimed to be a 'compassionate conservative.'
He sure did CLAIM to be a compassionate conservative, but then look what he did when he got into office. Why would it possibly matter what he claimed in the election? Of course you can find specific things he did that weren't conservative, it's not like he's a conservative-bot or something. You want to play that game though? Okay.

A hard right conservative WOULD massively cut taxes for the rich.
A hard right conservative WOULD attempt to privatize social security.
A hard right conservative WOULD oversee a massive increase in military spending.
A hard right conservative WOULD attempt to insert religion into government through the 'faith based' initiatives.
A hard right conservative WOULD attempt to massively expand police powers.
A hard right conservative WOULD veto life saving stem cell research.
A hard right conservative WOULD nominate judges based on the mold of Thomas/Scalia
A hard right conservative WOULD shred environmental protections.
A hard right conservative WOULD make compliance with FDA/USDA regulations voluntary.
A hard right conservative WOULD implement Ted Kennedy's bill in a way to further school privatization.
A hard right conservative WOULD shun multilateralism in foreign policy
A hard right conservative WOULD restart research into new nuclear weapons.

Oh, but Ted Kennedy helped write a bill that Bush later ignored large provisions of. WOW. What does that even mean? Liberalism by association? I can go on all day with these things, but in the end they don't mean a lot. For the third time, I would like for you to mention a president that you consider further to the right then GWB when you take foreign policy, economics, and social issues into account. I don't think even Reagan meets that standard, and that's saying a lot.
 

Jhhnn

IN MEMORIAM
Nov 11, 1999
62,365
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
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.

Whew! Now that's spinorama, wishful thinking, and extreme denial all rolled together into a remarkable bit of conservative contortionism.

Medicare part D? Pandering to the senior base, and a giveaway to his best campaign contributors, big pharma.

NCLB? Intended as a carrot and stick methodology, it's just a stick w/o full funding, which repubs never provided. Standard deception.

WRT the reference to GWB, I suppose that if pigs had wings, they'd fly, too...

Big military and big security are oxymoronic within the whole concept of "smaller govt", that conservative battle cry, but somehow overlooked by those screaming it the loudest... yet entirely compatible with the kinder and gentler form of fascism offered up by current rightwing leadership...

If what we've been experiencing isn't the merger of corporate and state interests, I'd appreciate it if somebody would explain how that's not true...
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
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Originally posted by: mshan
The Professor really should be on Fox Noise.

The surveys cited don't have the validity of randomized double blind studies because left and right are meaningless relative terms until you define the neutral center.

How can you do that? It's not like you can take the extreme left, extreme right, divide by 2, and get an objective definition of neutral center.

And that says nothing about the fact that everyone one of these surveys probably has a political agenda, rather than a true search for truth.
Explain this to me then...

There are at least a dozen different groups that survey congress and the senate and give them rankings. Every thing from taxes and spending to civil liberties. On nearly everyone of those surveys Obama ranks near the top or bottom of the list depending whether it is a liberal or conservative list.

Examples:
Club for Growth gives Obama a 0
American Conservative Union rates Obama an 8
Citizens Against Government Waste gives Obama a 30% (he ranks 42)
National Tax Payers Union gives Obama an F 5%

For a good list of "progressive" groups go here it is from 2005 but you can see the groups and where Obama rates. His mean score was 98, tied for highest in the Senate.

The points is that by nearly every measure you can find Obama ranks as very liberal. The claim that Obama is a 'pragmatic centrist' is not backed up by this data.

If we are suppose to ignore his record and instead vote based on what he is saying to get elected then we would be making a foolish mistake since the last three President all broke major campaign promises. Clinton promised us a middle class tax cut. Bush 41 promised us 'no new taxes.' And Bush 43 said he would not engage in nation building. And I am sure we can find dozens of other promises they guys broke.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,403
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Originally posted by: jpeyton
Originally posted by: senseamp
Not mutually exclusive.
Just because a Republican activist president with a Republican rubber stamp Congress was a disaster does not mean that a Democrat activist president with a Democrat rubber stamp Congress won't be.
The Democrats can spend money to high-heaven for all I care.

At least we KNOW what they'll be spending it on: domestic programs.

Democrats: Funding child health care in the US.
Republicans: Funding child health care in Iraq/Afghanistan.

Democrats: Funding border security on the US/Mexico border.
Republicans: Funding border security on the Iraq/Iran border.

Democrats: Building roads/schools/hospitals in the US.
Republicans: Building roads/schools/hospitals in Iraq/Afghanistan.

See a pattern? Both parties will tax us into the ground and spend money like there's no tomorrow. Democrats will spend that money domestically. Republicans will spend it nation building. When given those two very clear choices, I choose Democrat. Especially since McSame is a tax(cut)-and-spend conservative just like his predecessor.
It was exactly this logic right here that caused me to throw my support behind the Dems this year. Either way, we're screwed, but at least the Dems are going to use lube.
 

Excelsior

Lifer
May 30, 2002
19,048
18
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Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: jpeyton
Originally posted by: senseamp
Not mutually exclusive.
Just because a Republican activist president with a Republican rubber stamp Congress was a disaster does not mean that a Democrat activist president with a Democrat rubber stamp Congress won't be.
The Democrats can spend money to high-heaven for all I care.

At least we KNOW what they'll be spending it on: domestic programs.

Democrats: Funding child health care in the US.
Republicans: Funding child health care in Iraq/Afghanistan.

Democrats: Funding border security on the US/Mexico border.
Republicans: Funding border security on the Iraq/Iran border.

Democrats: Building roads/schools/hospitals in the US.
Republicans: Building roads/schools/hospitals in Iraq/Afghanistan.

See a pattern? Both parties will tax us into the ground and spend money like there's no tomorrow. Democrats will spend that money domestically. Republicans will spend it nation building. When given those two very clear choices, I choose Democrat. Especially since McSame is a tax(cut)-and-spend conservative just like his predecessor.
It was exactly this logic right here that caused me to throw my support behind the Dems this year. Either way, we're screwed, but at least the Dems are going to use lube.
:thumbsup:
 

mshan

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2004
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Originally posted by: mshan
The Professor really should be on Fox Noise.
The surveys cited don't have the validity of randomized double blind studies because left and right are meaningless relative terms until you define the neutral center.
How can you do that? It's not like you can take the extreme left, extreme right, divide by 2, and get an objective definition of neutral center.
And that says nothing about the fact that everyone one of these surveys probably has a political agenda, rather than a true search for truth.

"Explain this to me then...
There are at least a dozen different groups that survey congress and the senate and give them rankings. Every thing from taxes and spending to civil liberties. On nearly everyone of those surveys Obama ranks near the top or bottom of the list depending whether it is a liberal or conservative list.
Examples:
Club for Growth gives Obama a 0
American Conservative Union rates Obama an 8
Citizens Against Government Waste gives Obama a 30% (he ranks 42)
National Tax Payers Union gives Obama an F 5%
For a good list of "progressive" groups go here it is from 2005 but you can see the groups and where Obama rates. His mean score was 98, tied for highest in the Senate.
The points is that by nearly every measure you can find Obama ranks as very liberal. The claim that Obama is a 'pragmatic centrist' is not backed up by this data.
If we are suppose to ignore his record and instead vote based on what he is saying to get elected then we would be making a foolish mistake since the last three President all broke major campaign promises. Clinton promised us a middle class tax cut. Bush 41 promised us 'no new taxes.' And Bush 43 said he would not engage in nation building. And I am sure we can find dozens of other promises they guys broke."




This is all political propanda that makes for nice neat talking points (e. g. he's the most liberal member of the senate) targeted at individuals that can't bother to think for themselves.

I hope you are at least a blindly partisan warrior who really knows that all the data and rankings you are spewing is nothing more than political drivel. Otherwise, you are truly a fool.

 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
31,700
5,686
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Bush did not even run as a hard right conservative. He claimed to be a 'compassionate conservative.'
All those and more (mostly pertaining to amnesty/government expansion) are the very reasons I despise GWB and despise McCain for following suit. Compassionate conservatism is nothing more than pandering to Democrats.

Yet those who pander to them are assaulted by them and labeled right wing radicals. It's an interesting ploy to label the moderates as extremists as if to remove the existence or legitimacy of those of us who dare disagree with the pandering.

The time has come to remove those Republicans from the Republican Party ? or to remove ourselves from the party that no longer represents conservatives.

As for Obama being centrist ? his mentor, and his wife are the window into that man?s beliefs. I don?t need to speak for them ? they speak for themselves and my words would only insult the clarity his closest relations bring.

That is it. Association. That is perhaps why I can argue McCain is no conservative while Obama is no moderate. Look who crosses the isle and who does not.
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,030
2
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Bush did not even run as a hard right conservative. He claimed to be a 'compassionate conservative.'
And he's been just as compassionate as he has been conservative.
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
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356
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I've thought all this while that some Obama supporters hate the Clintons because of their pragmatist attitude? :confused:

(I'm being serious here. Moveon.org coming to mind)

Oh that NYT piece is a preemptive mouthpiece for any Dem candidate they throw in every election cycle. It's a necessary balancing act against WSJ, Washington Post, etc.

Dunno.. If this is really the rare moment in history, maybe Obama could go with the true Democrat identity? Changing the America's political culture from the bottom, once and for all.. Making it more like that of Europe.

Would it be possible at all?
 

mshan

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2004
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I used to never really have a much opinion about the Clintons before (accepted the main stream media view that he was great president with a brilliant mind, who was basically smeared by the Republicans).

I never could understand why they evoked such hatred among even mainstream Republicans, till they have shown their tactics and modus operandi during this primary campaign.

The positions where you always have to read the fine print about anything she says and the ruthlessness of the campaign in general, along with her blind personal ambition over all else, are what have personally turned me off to them.


 

cubeless

Diamond Member
Sep 17, 2001
4,295
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81
obama is the manchurian candidate... after the election his poppa comes back into the picture as his mentor and then he starts shipping redneck w. virginians to africa as slaves...

the sad part about all this is that no one has any idea wtf he'll do... not only has he a limited track record, but the old guys in congress and the beltway buckgivers will bend his neophyte butt over...

but, as i have said before, bring it on... let's just get it over with and get on the road to the next thing...
 

mshan

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2004
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I don't understand why any thoughtful individual could really think that Rev. Wright, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc. are going to have any real pull within his presidency (except for perhaps some respectful lip service). Obama's power base is based that vast network of new donors and voters he has created. He's still a young man with many potential years left in politics, and this internet generation can google for information quite adeptly to keep him honest. He's probably undermining the sphere of influence of these other black leaders by pulling followers from them to him, and they probably have to hope to stay in his good graces if he becomes president.

McCain is the one who has no real leverage (new funding machinery or marked expansion of Republican voting base) against the entrenched establishment and special interests in Washington who presumably control his purse strings right now. IMO voting for him is just going to get you four more years of them raping and pillaging our country, while they distract us by keeping us hungry and fighting each other over wedge issues than won't do anything to improve the long term health and prosperity of this country.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,403
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Originally posted by: cubeless
obama is the manchurian candidate... after the election his poppa comes back into the picture as his mentor and then he starts shipping redneck w. virginians to africa as slaves...

the sad part about all this is that no one has any idea wtf he'll do... not only has he a limited track record, but the old guys in congress and the beltway buckgivers will bend his neophyte butt over...

but, as i have said before, bring it on... let's just get it over with and get on the road to the next thing...
I'm curious... have you ever actually read the Manchurian Candidate? Good book, I highly recommend it.
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
12,934
356
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Originally posted by: mshan
I used to never really have a much opinion about the Clintons before (accepted the main stream media view that he was great president with a brilliant mind, who was basically smeared by the Republicans).

I never could understand why they evoked such hatred among even mainstream Republicans, till they have shown their tactics and modus operandi during this primary campaign.

The positions where you always have to read the fine print about anything she says and the ruthlessness of the campaign in general, along with her blind personal ambition over all else, are what have personally turned me off to them.
Are you saying that Moveon.org is more generous towards GOP than the Clintons?
 

mshan

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2004
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I don't understand your question about MoveOn.org. :confused:

re. NY Times, or any other reputable newspaper (left or right): That's why I steered away from anything on their editorial or op-ed page. There may be political biases based upon the particular writers beliefs, but it does seem to be an attempt at factual description of his evolution as a politician.
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
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Well, to be realistic I think Obama has no choice but to be centrist.

And we will have another round of "Change" and a new JFK in next 20 years.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
77,854
35,974
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Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: cubeless
obama is the manchurian candidate... after the election his poppa comes back into the picture as his mentor and then he starts shipping redneck w. virginians to africa as slaves...

the sad part about all this is that no one has any idea wtf he'll do... not only has he a limited track record, but the old guys in congress and the beltway buckgivers will bend his neophyte butt over...

but, as i have said before, bring it on... let's just get it over with and get on the road to the next thing...
I'm curious... have you ever actually read the Manchurian Candidate? Good book, I highly recommend it.
It's awesome that Obama is the Manchurian candidate when his opponent is a military man who was captured and held for years by an Asian communist government.
 

cubeless

Diamond Member
Sep 17, 2001
4,295
1
81
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: cubeless
obama is the manchurian candidate... after the election his poppa comes back into the picture as his mentor and then he starts shipping redneck w. virginians to africa as slaves...

the sad part about all this is that no one has any idea wtf he'll do... not only has he a limited track record, but the old guys in congress and the beltway buckgivers will bend his neophyte butt over...

but, as i have said before, bring it on... let's just get it over with and get on the road to the next thing...
I'm curious... have you ever actually read the Manchurian Candidate? Good book, I highly recommend it.
yup... i'm an old guy and we was poor folk in days past... we done a lot of library sittin' 'cuz they had a/c...
 

cubeless

Diamond Member
Sep 17, 2001
4,295
1
81
Originally posted by: eskimospy
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: cubeless
obama is the manchurian candidate... after the election his poppa comes back into the picture as his mentor and then he starts shipping redneck w. virginians to africa as slaves...

the sad part about all this is that no one has any idea wtf he'll do... not only has he a limited track record, but the old guys in congress and the beltway buckgivers will bend his neophyte butt over...

but, as i have said before, bring it on... let's just get it over with and get on the road to the next thing...
I'm curious... have you ever actually read the Manchurian Candidate? Good book, I highly recommend it.
It's awesome that Obama is the Manchurian candidate when his opponent is a military man who was captured and held for years by an Asian communist government.

damn... y'all figured out my misdirection too fast... chigafriggin' college educated smartiepantses...
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,403
11,584
136
Originally posted by: cubeless
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: cubeless
obama is the manchurian candidate... after the election his poppa comes back into the picture as his mentor and then he starts shipping redneck w. virginians to africa as slaves...

the sad part about all this is that no one has any idea wtf he'll do... not only has he a limited track record, but the old guys in congress and the beltway buckgivers will bend his neophyte butt over...

but, as i have said before, bring it on... let's just get it over with and get on the road to the next thing...
I'm curious... have you ever actually read the Manchurian Candidate? Good book, I highly recommend it.
yup... i'm an old guy and we was poor folk in days past... we done a lot of library sittin' 'cuz they had a/c...
So then you're aware that it's about a soldier, son of a prominent family, who was captured by the Chinese while fighting in Korea, brainwashed to follow orders without knowing it, and then returned to the US to be groomed for the Presidency... right?

So if one were to look at the life stories of Obama and McCain, which one more closely resembles that scenario? ...


edit: nm, saw your other post
 

Jhhnn

IN MEMORIAM
Nov 11, 1999
62,365
14,676
136
I think the important factor is to look past the candidates themselves and look at the party they'll nominally lead.

The Bush Presidency and the formerly Repub Congress weren't an accident, some strange and unintended twist of fate. Far from it. It's the culmination of 30+ years of effort and formulation by the thinktanks of the Right. They did what they wanted to do, regardless of the sales pitch they used to get there. And they'll keep right on doing it whenever possible if McCain is elected.

So far, they've sold us the fiscal and foreign policy version of an interest only ARM on a house we really can't afford, and it's due to reset RSN...

As far as the whole notion of "centrist" is concerned, one has to ask "center of where, of what?" and that's really the rub for repubs, because their leadership has staked out a position very far to the right of where most Amercans stand on real issues. There's a vast wasteland between their ideology and that of the vast majority of the rest of us. Yeh, sure, it's been appealing in a visceral and highly emotional way that captured the mythos of America, but it's really just a fairytale, not designed to actually function, but just to get votes. Now that the electorate has seen the results, they're none too pleased... too bad that tar and feathers have fallen out of fashion, because that's what repubs would've been wearing back in the days they've idealized for popular consumption... that, or a rope...
 

Bitek

Lifer
Aug 2, 2001
10,397
4,820
136
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: eskimospy
You should be happy about this Pro-Jo? Nobody is perfect, but you've had the hardest right wing president in history in power for 8 years. Isn't that what you wanted? I for one can't believe you're even trying to argue that GWB isn't a hard right conservative. That boggles my mind.
You still don't get it.

A hard right conservative would not create another massive government program in the form of Medicare Part D.
A hard right conservative would not have increased domestic spending at the rate Bush did.
A hard right conservative would not have pushed for amnesty for millions of illegals.
A hard right conservative would not have allowed Ted Kennedy to write his education reform bill.

Bush did not even run as a hard right conservative. He claimed to be a 'compassionate conservative.'
The Med D bill was corporate welfare for Pharma's, which is a conservative thing to do, that why price negotiating was barred. The last hard right conservative (Reagan) did give amnesty to millions of illegals. Then a hard-right Congress and president were complicit in not enforcing laws to get cheap labor into the country for the benefit of businesses. They are flip-flopping now bc their racist/xenophobic constituencies are crying louder than the pro-corporate welfare constituencies.

Reagan ran up the deficits on military spending and borrowing for domestic spending. Bush just took it to a whole nother level, and the Republican Congress under hard-righties of Tom Delay, Lott and Frist whipped out the check book faster than their dicks in a brothel. They loved spending...just not paying for it. [the real conservative spending policy.] Any earmark or program that might buy them a vote was handed out. The whole rest of your post is also Republican vote-whoring with taxpayer dollars. And the whole time the lot of conservative blowhardjobs were on here gloating about winning elections and the Dems not. Too bad bitches, your chickens have come home to roost.

Haha, trying to abort the NCLB bill as only Teddy's? That's why Bush has been dead set against amending it like the Dems want to do.


You are more delusional than Hillary to what you think "conservative governing" has meant. You may think you have some great ideal about low spending and lowering gov't control, but it has never ever been practiced that way. At least the Dems are honest in what they intend to do.

 

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