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President Obama: The Radical Moderate
The Radical Moderate
With the general election coming up in November and the Republican Party finally selecting its candidate in the form of Mitt Romney, the rhetoric has already started. Actually it started long ago during the Republican Primary with every Republican candidate bashing President Obama at every turn. However, the new rhetoric coming from the right is both a replay of their favorite hits and a new strategy. Generally, the Republican Party will try to convince the American People this November that President Obama is a Socialist Muslim Terrorist who hates America. Some will even try to convince the American People that President Obama isn't even an American.
The troubling part of the Republican strategy is that it might work despite the fact that none of it is true. President Obama is not a radical socialist. He is not a Muslim. He is not a Terrorist. He is not even a liberal. President Obama was born in Hawaii and is, in fact, an American. The toughest argument that Republicans can make is that President Obama is a radical moderate and strangely would have been a Republican himself in the early 1990's.
Don't Believe it, Check The Record.
Newt Gingrich is quoted as calling President Obama the "most radical Leftist President in History." Senator Marco Rubio, someone who may run as Vice President with Romney and is certainly a Presidential contender in the future, called President Obama the "most divisive figure in American history." Mitt Romney as of late refuses to call President Obama a socialist. However, he has gotten the wrath of those that run the Republican Party these days, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. The core Republican constituency, namely Fox News, has tried to scare the American People since the President took office by claims of death panels and Muslim law.
But a look at what the President has done shows a much different story. In fact, the President's record is hardly socialist. Its not even liberal. In today's standards, it is moderate. In the standards of 20 years ago, it is Republican. In 1994, then Senatorial Candidate Mitt Romney told the New Republic that he supported a national mandate for health insurance. Mr. Romney was not alone as the individual mandate was also supported by Newt Gingrich and President George H.W. Bush. Cap & Trade environmental policy was first supported by President Ronald Reagan, and then by President Bush. In fact, The Clean Air Act of 1990, signed by President Bush, included a Cap & Trade system to reduce sulfur pollution from power plants. This bill was supported by the likes of Mitch McConnell and Newt Gingrich. Were these efforts lefty policy destroying American when New Gingrich did them in the 1990s? Of course not, so why are they no destructive now?
So, why the outrage?
Bill Maher has stated, correctly, that Republicans are trying to label President Obama as a radical leftist because they need him to be a radical and not because he actually is. A true liberal would have fought for Universal Health Care. A true liberal would have pulled troops out of Iraq sooner and Guantanamo Bay would be closed. A true liberal would have supported marriage equality sooner. A true liberal would defend the environment. A true liberal would try to regulate guns. A true liberal would have raised taxes. A true liberal would have ordered an investigation into this Country going into war under false pretenses.
President Obama has not done any of this. President Obama has not raised taxes, he has lowered them. President Obama has not protected the environment, in fact, there is more drilling going on today than ever before. President Obama not only still has troops in Afghanistan, he ordered the killing of Osama Bin Laden. President Obama has decreased the size of the federal government. President Obama has cut spending. Oh, and the economy is better than it was when he took office. Yet, despite these facts, Republicans are trying to convince Americans otherwise. Why?
The answer is simple. Republicans want to win and they know by questioning the legitimacy of President Obama's election, birth, and his motives, they will tap into their core constituency: the radical right. Yes, the overt and closet racists. The ones that hate President Obama.
The Republicans also know that many Americans are still struggling. So instead of advancing ideas that will help ordinary Americans, they appeal to their patriotism. They appeal to the American dream and claim that the President won't let you dream. But if Americans aren't careful, they will wake up in a nightmare with Gordon Gecko at the helm. And they will miss the radial moderate Barack Obama.