Man, it’s really tough getting a handle on this President. Is he Woodrow Wilson incarnate, or Ronald Reagan?
The Right wing thinks he is an anti-American, quasi-Christian (or maybe-Muslim) pseudo-intellectual who is hell-bent on forcing his national socialist agenda upon the United States, impoverishing it enough so that it will easily comply with the demands of a European-led New World Order. The deadliest of democracy’s enemies: a Progressive.
The Left wing believes he is a cowardly, vacillating Quisling, a pawn of the Republicans, who has arrogantly ignored his Democratic base by caving in to conservative congressional demands, kowtowing to Wall Street and perpetuating the policies of the Bush era. In short: he is no Progressive.
How can Limbaugh, Savage, Beck and the Teavangelistas label Obama a Progressive/Socialist who must be defeated in 2012 while Schultz, Rhodes, Miller and the Young Turks are questioning the wisdom of supporting him for another term?
I guess this shouldn’t be very surprising, when our only political choices are between two extremes. Or at least, that’s the way the politicians and pundits present things, particularly with this last election. Any moderates need not apply for office. We will accuse you of lacking ideals and convictions and you will likely lose the primary.
So, is Obama feeling this liberal heat for being a moderate: willing to negotiate terms with Republicans, just so that something might get done, even if it is something less than what he would have hoped? Are the Democrats really the liberal extremists the conservatives paint them ? And are the conservatives so intoxicated with political righteousness that it is impossible for them to see anyone on the left as something other than a Marxist demon?
Because the conservatives sure are unaware of any presidential diplomacy, any sense that Obama might be more of a centrist than a leftist. They crow about the victory of Republican ideals over Democratic snake oil, ignoring the fact that this victory would not have been possible without a Presidential willingness to play ball. The debate over whether or not to extend Bush the tax cuts and restore lapsing unemployment benefits could have stalled over political principles, presenting us with the worst case scenario – increased taxes on the middle class along with a loss of their jobless benefits.
It’s no wonder that so few politicians present themselves as thoughtful, reasonable people, willing to listen to both sides of the issue and take both sides seriously. Moderates raise the ire of both political parties. Besides that, the subtleties of post partisanship, the idea that both sides have good ideas and that the best practice is one that is not slavishly devoted to any one ideology, is lost on today’s voters. . Everything is a matter of black or white, left or right. And that’s how we like our Presidents.