Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Center Movement

Patrick Appel of the Daily Dish catches Clive Crook with a distorted sense of center.

Clive Crook writes that should the Democrats in Congress get beaten badly in November, Obama "would have to be a centrist president or an outright failure." Brendan Nyhan counters:

Bill Clinton's much-vaunted move to the center may have helped boost his margin in 1996, but improvements in the state of the economy surely played a more important role in the outcome. The "best hope for the Obama presidency" isn't a "drubbing for Democrats in November"; it's a period of sustained economic growth that will boost Obama's approval numbers and increase the likelihood that he'll be re-elected in 2012.

Clinton history aside. Crook is completely off base with his assumption that Obama has not being governing from the "center." This is a vehemently false premise often trumpeted by the Village and journos. If we assess Obama's past year in office it is rather clear he has been a pragmatic center Democratic President. There is no "have to be"...he is.

The left approach to health care from day one would have been single payer. Looking at our current health care plan and the one recently unveiled at the summit by the administration. No single payer, not even a word on it and to progressives the public option IS THE COMPROMISE.

The left approach to unemployment would have been a works program. Similar to the New Deal days. Right now on the table is a $15 billion jobs bill in the Senate and the administration's acceptance of 10% unemployment rate well into the end of the year.

The left approach to the economy and our current recession would have been swift action and effectively large stimulus. Instead we received quite less on infrastructure, more tax cuts than preferred and no repeal of the Bush Tax Cuts as of yet.

The left approach to financial reform would be have been reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 as well as the introduction of a Consumer Protection Agency with writing powers. No word on how the administration is responding to Chris Dodd's powder puff policy suggestions and a weak reform bill. But one can predict it will be lauded as a "great step forward."

The left approach on immigration would be...well anything better than our current system as the administration seems to have forgotten something should be done.

I could go further, however I will let it be enough of example of the complete misconstruing by media heads, journos and pundits. Obama's does not lack centrism, he is center quite often. Some of these results are products of a dysfunctional Congress as well, but let's be fair the White House has applauded every vote on health care as bipartisan and triumphant. Obama's record to date is that of a centrist. Anyone stating otherwise is either clearly living in a bubble or knows not a single person of the Left.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

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