A President’s Fake Centrism


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What bipartisan measure of such import can Obama point to?

Put another way, there is much in President Clinton’s pre-1994 history that indicated governance from the center. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has been thoroughly marinated in the culture of the Left.

The child of, in Obama’s words, “a lonely witness for secular humanism, a soldier for New Deal, Peace Corps, position paper liberalism,” the future president weaned himself on dorm-room discussions of “neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy.” He worked for Ralph Nader’s NYPIRG and later as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. His constituents during his sojourn in the Illinois state senate were poor blacks and affluent white academics, enabling him to take the most extreme positions without fear of electoral repercussions. Surrounding himself in adulthood with such extremists as Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Barack Obama could no more be Bill Clinton than Bill Clinton could be Barack Obama.

The most glaring sign that the president’s post-election positioning is not genuine has been his propensity to circumvent the legislative process. Quietly slipping end-of-life counseling, the so-called “death panels” excised from the health-care legislation, into the Federal Register suggested Obama’s post-’10 approach. So, too, did the Environmental Protection Agency’s imposition of new carbon limits despite the similar cap-and-trade bill getting nowhere in a Democratic Congress. Ditto for the Federal Communications Commission’s “net neutrality” empowering itself to regulate the internet despite Congressmen of both parties warning the FCC of the illegality of such a heavy-handed usurpation by the unelected body.

As egg-on-their-face pundits learned after trying to cast the Tucson tragedy as the Oklahoma City Bombing redux, facts don’t always cooperate with the narrative. Though 2010 may have been 1994 all over again, Obama isn’t the new Clinton. Events alone don’t preordain the future. Actors matter too. The reactions of very different men to very similar events will necessarily vary.

Bill Clinton worked with Republicans after 1994. Barack Obama will work around Republicans after 2010.

Daniel J. Flynn is the author of A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). He has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, Sky News, PBS, CSPAN, and other broadcast networks. His articles have appeared in National Review, the Boston Globe, and City Journal. He blogs at www.flynnfiles.com.

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    He moved to the center after the nomination…and once elected, veered sharply back to the left. Now, he's trying to save his tattered presidency. If re-elected, he will once again return to his radical roots.

  • Wesley69

    His leftist policies earned Obama the shellacking of 2010. Obama now presents himself as have learned his lessons. But has he?

    The big key is regulation. Has the EPA reversed course on its plan to regulate greenhouse gases? This is an economy and job killer. The answer is no.

    Is the FCC rescinding its regulations(net neutrality) dealing with the Internet? No.

    Are the oil drilling operations in the Gulf returned to near normal? No, and there are tougher regulations of offshore drilling, but also onshore drilling imposed by Salazar's Interior Department. Watch those energy prices, people. In the President's own words, they will skyrocket.

    While he gave in on the renewal of the Bush tax rates, Obama got the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and the START Treaty in return. Both are Liberal policy positions.

    Has he replaced a Far Leftist (Socialist) Elizabeth Warren who is setting up the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? No and wait until this gets running in July – regulations galore.

    Talk is cheap, but it seems to be the coin of the realm in this administration. Obama talks a good game, but has anything changed in the Executive Agencies and Departments? No, and nor will it. Every now and then, Obama will throw a bone to the opposition and the Leftist media will declare this is evidence of his move to the center. Such action, unfortunately, will fool many citizens, citizens who were fooled the first time.

    One last point to those people – Has Obama ordered the release of any documents dealing with his birth or schooling? Once again, no. We are expected to take his move to the center on blind faith? Release all these documents and maybe I’ll start to believe.

  • Wesley69

    His leftist policies earned Obama the shellacking of 2010. Obama now presents himself as have learned his lessons. But has he?

    The big key is regulation. Has the EPA reversed course on its plan to regulate greenhouse gases? This is an economy and job killer. The answer is no.

    Is the FCC rescinding its regulations(net neutrality) dealing with the Internet? No.

    Are the oil drilling operations in the Gulf returned to near normal? No, and there are tougher regulations of offshore drilling, but also onshore drilling imposed by Salazar's Interior Department. Watch those energy prices, people. In the President's own words, they will skyrocket.

    While he gave in on the renewal of the Bush tax rates, Obama got the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and the START Treaty in return. Both are Liberal policy positions.

    Has he replaced a Far Leftist Elizabeth Warren who is setting up the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? No and wait until this gets running in July – regulations galore.

    Talk is cheap, but it seems to be the coin of the realm in this administration. Obama talks a good game, but has anything changed in the Executive Agencies and Departments? No, and nor will it. Every now and then, Obama will throw a bone to the opposition and the Leftist media will declare this is evidence of his move to the center. Such action, unfortunately, will fool many citizens, citizens who were fooled the first time.

    One last point to those people – Has Obama ordered the release of any documents dealing with his birth or schooling? Once again, no. We are expected to take his move to the center on blind faith? Release all these documents and maybe I’ll start to believe.

  • BLJ

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck…….

    This guy is a committed Marxist. He is going to play the same fools who voted for him in 2008. Hopefully enough of them will have the sense to see through this. I have my doubts.