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(Salon)   Two can play at that game: Why, I, a lifelong Republican, am voting for Obama   (salon.com) divider line 160
    More: Interesting, President Obama, Republican, Larry Pressler, congresses, Chuck Hagel, Salon  
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4211 clicks; posted to Politics » on 09 Oct 2012 at 12:26 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-09 12:42:56 AM  

hubiestubert: As a Republican, I voted for Obama last time around.

The party refused to do the thinking that should have gone into wondering how McCain lost, and so badly. It then doubled down on the very idiocy that turned the national arena against him, and bolstered candidates who are not just poor for their districts, but poor for the nation, and then lionized them for their obfuscation and obstructionism.

It disgusted me so, that after the Primary, I changed my registration. I did so, because the party no longer serves the ideals that brought me to her. And that was a life long Republican. After more than 20 years. Mind you, that life long Republicanism has been with caveats. I have never held with idea of voting strictly for a party candidate. You vote for the person you think will best do the job. In some cases, that was a Democrat, in some cases that was an independent candidate, and in some cases it was the Republican, but that means actually looking down the slate, and looking at the positions and the candidates themselves. Over the years, I kept my party membership, in many races, just to vote against candidates in Primaries who were NOT fit for service. In this case, I was glad to cast a vote against Romney, and I was saddened that Johnson wasn't on the ticket, because while I don't agree with the man on many economic issues, he is far more sane a candidate and far more ideologically appealing to me than Mittens will ever be. Then again, I have despised Romney since his involvement with the UMaine system from those college days, and perhaps my antipathy for him has held true over the years, but for a man who has been essentially running for this office for six years now, there's a LOT to dislike the man for.

I will be voting for Obama again. Plain and true. I'd like a better candidate than either Romney or Obama, but of the folks running this time around, I think that Obama will do the least damage to the nation and to the office. And sometimes, that's the choice you are faced with. If Snowe had run, and made it through the Primaries, I'd probably still be Republican, because I worked her campaign in college, and truly believe her to be a good choice. Good for the state of Maine, and good for the nation. But that wasn't in the cards, and more's the pity, because Snowe would have given this country what it needs: a strong Republican voice that is tempered with solid experience and solid leadership qualities, not just the glad handing and cheerleading that folks seem to want...


Another long winded liberal douchbag claiming to be a Republican. Only a true dyed in the wool idiot would fail to realize what a disaster we'd have with four more years of Obama.
 
2012-10-09 12:44:28 AM  

Soymilk: Mrtraveler01: Soymilk: Mr Soy is a lifelong Republican, and still considers himself one. However, he's voting Obama since he believes the Christian Right and crazy teabaggers have highjacked the party.

No offense and all, but is he just realizing this now?

Well he did vote for Obama last time and he despised W. So, I guess not much of a Republican really...


Well I apologize for not giving him enough credit then.
 
2012-10-09 12:44:45 AM  

heidinoele: Soymilk: Mrtraveler01: Soymilk: Mr Soy is a lifelong Republican, and still considers himself one. However, he's voting Obama since he believes the Christian Right and crazy teabaggers have highjacked the party.

No offense and all, but is he just realizing this now?

Well he did vote for Obama last time and he despised W. So, I guess not much of a Republican really...

No. He just recognized stupid when he saw it and voted for the right guy for a change.


Yah and we got really stupid in the Whitehouse right now.
 
2012-10-09 12:44:47 AM  

legalgus: Another long winded liberal douchbag claiming to be a Republican. Only a true dyed in the wool idiot would fail to realize what a disaster we'd have with four more years of Obama.


Account created: 2012-09-28 23:46:02

Another troll alt.

Ploink.
 
2012-10-09 12:46:07 AM  

legalgus: hubiestubert: As a Republican, I voted for Obama last time around.

The party refused to do the thinking that should have gone into wondering how McCain lost, and so badly. It then doubled down on the very idiocy that turned the national arena against him, and bolstered candidates who are not just poor for their districts, but poor for the nation, and then lionized them for their obfuscation and obstructionism.

It disgusted me so, that after the Primary, I changed my registration. I did so, because the party no longer serves the ideals that brought me to her. And that was a life long Republican. After more than 20 years. Mind you, that life long Republicanism has been with caveats. I have never held with idea of voting strictly for a party candidate. You vote for the person you think will best do the job. In some cases, that was a Democrat, in some cases that was an independent candidate, and in some cases it was the Republican, but that means actually looking down the slate, and looking at the positions and the candidates themselves. Over the years, I kept my party membership, in many races, just to vote against candidates in Primaries who were NOT fit for service. In this case, I was glad to cast a vote against Romney, and I was saddened that Johnson wasn't on the ticket, because while I don't agree with the man on many economic issues, he is far more sane a candidate and far more ideologically appealing to me than Mittens will ever be. Then again, I have despised Romney since his involvement with the UMaine system from those college days, and perhaps my antipathy for him has held true over the years, but for a man who has been essentially running for this office for six years now, there's a LOT to dislike the man for.

I will be voting for Obama again. Plain and true. I'd like a better candidate than either Romney or Obama, but of the folks running this time around, I think that Obama will do the least damage to the nation and to the office. And sometimes, that' ...


2012-09-28 23:46:02

You learn quick.
 
2012-10-09 12:46:57 AM  
Pressler, eh? Yeah, that will be an influential endorsement.
 
2012-10-09 12:47:10 AM  

Mrtraveler01: tenpoundsofcheese: FTA: the veterans are offended by Romney.

Reality: Military favors Romney 2:1

oopsie.

explains the shenanigans about getting ballots to the military.

Hey, If I were the military, I'd support the guy trying to protect all the waste and pork in the budget as well.


Well you see, the active military are alot like recording artists. They don't realize how badly they're being farked over until their master's have taken everything from them. Then they do a 180 on the streets as they scrap for food.
 
2012-10-09 12:47:53 AM  
Both parties are losing members... but it's mainly Democrats.

I'm amused by all the Ex-Republicans out there online. Apparently with everyone leaving the party they must have an incredible turnover rate to lose so many each election cycle yet still take a larger percentage of voter affiliations.

Apparently the whole country is composed of GOP current and ex members.
 
2012-10-09 12:48:20 AM  

legalgus: heidinoele: Soymilk: Mrtraveler01: Soymilk: Mr Soy is a lifelong Republican, and still considers himself one. However, he's voting Obama since he believes the Christian Right and crazy teabaggers have highjacked the party.

No offense and all, but is he just realizing this now?

Well he did vote for Obama last time and he despised W. So, I guess not much of a Republican really...

No. He just recognized stupid when he saw it and voted for the right guy for a change.

Yah and we got really stupid in the Whitehouse right now.


Trolly McTrolly, it's spelled " The White House". You know, as in:

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-10-09 12:50:57 AM  

EnviroDude: I_C_Weener: Lifelong?  
 
"A moderate, Pressler voted for Obama in 2008".  
 
Huh.

He voted for Obama to prove he wasn't stupid. Now, he is going to prove that he is stupid by voting for Obama again.

/lol


Would you vote for George W. Bush over Obama? Because Romney is advocating the exact same positions, right down to "Bullshiat invasion of a Middle Eastern country". And it'll already take decades just to clean up after that retarded pseudo-cowboy.
 
2012-10-09 12:51:58 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: tenpoundsofcheese: FTA: the veterans are offended by Romney.

Reality: Military favors Romney 2:1

oopsie.

explains the shenanigans about getting ballots to the military.

FTA: "The Military Times Poll is a secure email survey of active-duty, National Guard and reserve members who are subscribers to the Military Times newspapers"

So, not veterans.


If it was veterans he'd be screwed as Romney flat out stated they don't deserve anything more.
 
2012-10-09 12:52:21 AM  

Mrbogey: Both parties are losing members... but it's mainly Democrats.

I'm amused by all the Ex-Republicans out there online. Apparently with everyone leaving the party they must have an incredible turnover rate to lose so many each election cycle yet still take a larger percentage of voter affiliations.

Apparently the whole country is composed of GOP current and ex members.


Did you read the article you just posted? They only tracked in eight states.
 
2012-10-09 12:52:36 AM  
Wait till Pressler finds out that Obama's policy is fairly much the same as Bush's.
 
2012-10-09 12:53:11 AM  

heidinoele: Soymilk: Mrtraveler01: Soymilk: Mr Soy is a lifelong Republican, and still considers himself one. However, he's voting Obama since he believes the Christian Right and crazy teabaggers have highjacked the party.

No offense and all, but is he just realizing this now?

Well he did vote for Obama last time and he despised W. So, I guess not much of a Republican really...

No. He just recognized stupid when he saw it and voted for the right guy for a change.


My Asian immigrant naturalized citizen mother who is socially somewhat conservative (deport the illegals, no to gay marriage, but yes to abortion - go figure) is voting for Obama because in her elderly Asian lady way of putting it: "Romney seems like a rich smug bastard who doesn't care about anyone else."

And in regards to Romney's war stance: "Of course he's pro-war. It's easy to be pro-war when you can send other people's sons to die."
 
2012-10-09 12:55:57 AM  

Soymilk: heidinoele: Soymilk: Mrtraveler01: Soymilk: Mr Soy is a lifelong Republican, and still considers himself one. However, he's voting Obama since he believes the Christian Right and crazy teabaggers have highjacked the party.

No offense and all, but is he just realizing this now?

Well he did vote for Obama last time and he despised W. So, I guess not much of a Republican really...

No. He just recognized stupid when he saw it and voted for the right guy for a change.

My Asian immigrant naturalized citizen mother who is socially somewhat conservative (deport the illegals, no to gay marriage, but yes to abortion - go figure) is voting for Obama because in her elderly Asian lady way of putting it: "Romney seems like a rich smug bastard who doesn't care about anyone else."

And in regards to Romney's war stance: "Of course he's pro-war. It's easy to be pro-war when you can send other people's sons to die."


Your mom sounds pretty awesome.
 
2012-10-09 12:57:17 AM  

Fart_Machine: legalgus: Another long winded liberal douchbag claiming to be a Republican. Only a true dyed in the wool idiot would fail to realize what a disaster we'd have with four more years of Obama.

Account created: 2012-09-28 23:46:02

Another troll alt.

Ploink.

 

I'm surprised he didn't write 0bama actually.
 
2012-10-09 12:58:01 AM  

fusillade762: I'm afraid the extreme wing will say that we weren't conservative enough.

You mean they're going to get even crazier?  I'm sorta terrified to wonder what that would consist of.


I don't think you can get much crazier than advocating the legalization of child murder as punishment for a kid acting up. Unless you want to go full Nazi.
 
2012-10-09 12:58:43 AM  

deadcrickets: Wait till Pressler finds out that Obama's policy is fairly much the same as Bush's.


Well, except for tax policy (advocates raising taxes, repeatedly blocked by Republicans), defense policy (Drone strikes and targeted raids instead of invasions, issued an executive order to close Guantanamo but was, again, blocked by Republicans), foreign policy (isn't a complete hand puppet for Israel, isn't a complete dick to everyone, hasn't massaged any heads of state against their will), economic policy in general (Brought us out of the Great Republican Recession, backed numerous jobs bills that, again, the Republicans blocked), social issues...

Yeah, he's not as liberal as I'd like, but he's much better than Bush. If you don't see that, you have blinders the size of Romney's ego.
 
2012-10-09 01:00:40 AM  
Off-topic, somewhat:

What's with Democrats all claiming that Obama is suddenly a moderate Republican? Is this a mere election-season pivot to the center, or do people actually believe that?

From my point of view, Obama is no moderate. He's a liberal Democrat with liberal policy preferences, who has been forced into centrist governance by circumstances (lack of a veto-proof liberal majority) rather than by any desire for moderation. Dennis Kucinich wouldn't be able to govern much further to the left, except perhaps on civil liberties.
 
2012-10-09 01:03:13 AM  

taxandspend: My roommate's a veteran, wouldn't vote for Romney is his life depended on it.

I'm voting for Obama because in four years, we'll have better candidates from both parties to choose from.


This ^.

These modern Republicans have absolutely no business being in power. Their ideas have been repeatedly proven not to work; trickle-down is a scam designed to crush the middle class and funnel their money into the pockets of the wealthy, their social policies are barbaric, and their foreign policy is insane.

The GOP has been rotting since Reagan. And now that the crazies aretaking over, they're dragging the GOP's corruption into the spotlight. As a political party, the GOP needs to collapse so a sane party can take its place.
 
2012-10-09 01:04:42 AM  

deadcrickets: Wait till Pressler finds out that Obama's policy is fairly much the same as Bush's.


Not really, not even close to the extent that Romney's policy is the same as Bush's (to the extent that his team consists of most of the neocons in Bush's administration). Obama is more of someone who uses the military strategically in accomplish fixed goals rather than having open ended occupations. Obama certainly knows better than to get into a fight with Iran, which is what Romney is dumb enough to do, and also is what Bush was pushing for.
 
2012-10-09 01:07:17 AM  

LordJiro: taxandspend: My roommate's a veteran, wouldn't vote for Romney is his life depended on it.

I'm voting for Obama because in four years, we'll have better candidates from both parties to choose from.

This ^.

These modern Republicans have absolutely no business being in power. Their ideas have been repeatedly proven not to work; trickle-down is a scam designed to crush the middle class and funnel their money into the pockets of the wealthy, their social policies are barbaric, and their foreign policy is insane.

The GOP has been rotting since Reagan. And now that the crazies aretaking over, they're dragging the GOP's corruption into the spotlight. As a political party, the GOP needs to collapse so a sane party can take its place.


Good luck replacing a billion dollar empire fueled by big business of the most powerful country on earth. You might as well solve world peace.
 
2012-10-09 01:09:45 AM  

Captain Dan: From my point of view


home.comcast.net

Delusion is a type of point of view.
 
2012-10-09 01:10:01 AM  

Captain Dan: Off-topic, somewhat:

What's with Democrats all claiming that Obama is suddenly a moderate Republican? Is this a mere election-season pivot to the center, or do people actually believe that?

From my point of view, Obama is no moderate. He's a liberal Democrat with liberal policy preferences, who has been forced into centrist governance by circumstances (lack of a veto-proof liberal majority) rather than by any desire for moderation. Dennis Kucinich wouldn't be able to govern much further to the left, except perhaps on civil liberties.


Your point of view is incorrect. And many of us here have not "suddenly" started claiming Obama is right of center- we've been saying it all along. He's definitely no liberal on almost any stance he takes. Your definition of "liberal" has been handed to you by arch conservatives. And it's incorrect.
 
2012-10-09 01:10:16 AM  

heidinoele: Soymilk: heidinoele: Soymilk: Mrtraveler01: Soymilk: Mr Soy is a lifelong Republican, and still considers himself one. However, he's voting Obama since he believes the Christian Right and crazy teabaggers have highjacked the party.

No offense and all, but is he just realizing this now?

Well he did vote for Obama last time and he despised W. So, I guess not much of a Republican really...

No. He just recognized stupid when he saw it and voted for the right guy for a change.

My Asian immigrant naturalized citizen mother who is socially somewhat conservative (deport the illegals, no to gay marriage, but yes to abortion - go figure) is voting for Obama because in her elderly Asian lady way of putting it: "Romney seems like a rich smug bastard who doesn't care about anyone else."

And in regards to Romney's war stance: "Of course he's pro-war. It's easy to be pro-war when you can send other people's sons to die."

Your mom sounds pretty awesome.


It's even more awesome when she's saying it in our heathen lingo and calling him "Low Moo Nee".

Mom's hard to profile politically. She's a huge Hillary fan, is pro-choice, pro-birth control, yet she remains convinced that gay marriage is an abomination and enthusiastically voted for Prop 8. She invites any local candidate to put a sign in her yard but doesn't care if they get stolen.

I love the crazy old lady.
 
2012-10-09 01:10:57 AM  

Captain Dan: From my point of view, Obama is no moderate. He's a liberal Democrat with liberal policy preferences, who has been forced into centrist governance by circumstances (lack of a veto-proof liberal majority) rather than by any desire for moderation. Dennis Kucinich wouldn't be able to govern much further to the left, except perhaps on civil liberties.


While I partly agree with you, Kucinich was also much farther to the left in terms of views on defense. He wanted to create a Department of Peace, and we'd certainly be out of Afghanistan under a Kucinich administration (and probably wouldn't be using drones as well).

Anyway, Obama is somewhat to the left that governed in the center, but he certainly isn't the libbyist lib who ever libbed left.
 
2012-10-09 01:14:54 AM  

taxandspend: My roommate's a veteran, wouldn't vote for Romney is his life depended on it.

I'm voting for Obama because in four years, we'll have better candidates from both parties to choose from.


One would hope. (I don't have much hope left)
 
2012-10-09 01:16:09 AM  
my own father, who voted for goldwater for goodness sakes, said after the conventions that if clinton could run again he'd have his vote.
 
2012-10-09 01:17:44 AM  
In 2008, Pressler revealed that he cast an absentee ballot for Barack Obama, noting that he had never voted for a Democrat before.

Broken record.

On November 10, 2009 President Barack Obama named Larry Pressler to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad
 
2012-10-09 01:18:17 AM  

Fart_Machine: Did you read the article you just posted? They only tracked in eight states.


I grabbed the first article I found but the trend isn't isolated there.

Link
 
2012-10-09 01:21:46 AM  

Gwyrddu: Anyway, Obama is somewhat to the left that governed in the center, but he certainly isn't the libbyist lib who ever libbed left.


I don't think he's the libbyist lib, or a socialist, or any of that crap. Just a standard liberal Democrat. He compiled a near 100% liberal voting record as a legislator. His foreign policy is the same that almost any Democrat would execute (have any Democratic congressmen raised objections to his policies?).

On domestic policy, he's mostly governed as leftward as he could get away with. Put another way: if Congress managed to pass a tax increase, on anything, set at any level, can you imagine Obama vetoing it? I can't.

(Kucinich, now that I'm thinking about it, was a bad idea for comparison. He's an anomaly, the left's version of Ron Paul.)

James F. Campbell: Delusion is a type of point of view.


Ad hominem is a type of argument.
 
2012-10-09 01:24:56 AM  

Captain Dan: Off-topic, somewhat:

What's with Democrats all claiming that Obama is suddenly a moderate Republican? Is this a mere election-season pivot to the center, or do people actually believe that?

From my point of view, Obama is no moderate. He's a liberal Democrat with liberal policy preferences, who has been forced into centrist governance by circumstances (lack of a veto-proof liberal majority) rather than by any desire for moderation. Dennis Kucinich wouldn't be able to govern much further to the left, except perhaps on civil liberties.


No one can read Obama's mind and discover his true policy preferences. I think you're buying into the Republican narrative that he is some sort of radical sleeper agent just waiting to unleash his socialist voodoo on the American people. Also, as others have said, the center of American politics has been moving right for a long time now. Legislatively, Obama is closest to a Rockefeller Republican.

The one thing that seems clear to me that the President is a pragmatist, not an ideologue and much prefers getting things done to advancing an agenda.
 
2012-10-09 01:26:28 AM  

Captain Dan: Ad hominem is a type of argument.


Silly batguano crazy conservative, thinking he's worth anything more than an ad hominem.
 
2012-10-09 01:30:48 AM  

Captain Dan: Off-topic, somewhat:

What's with Democrats all claiming that Obama is suddenly a moderate Republican? Is this a mere election-season pivot to the center, or do people actually believe that?

From my point of view, Obama is no moderate. He's a liberal Democrat with liberal policy preferences, who has been forced into centrist governance by circumstances (lack of a veto-proof liberal majority) rather than by any desire for moderation. Dennis Kucinich wouldn't be able to govern much further to the left, except perhaps on civil liberties.


Maybe you should answer the question on how you think Obama is a liberal?

You apparently have no clue what liberalism is.

- Healthcare: took the plan conservatives in the 90s had touted. Cut Medicare costs while preserving benefits.
- Foreign policy: got out of only one war so far, killed Bin Laden in Pakistan, got involved in Libyan uprising.
- Tax policy: kept taxes low his entire term, even lowered payroll taxes. Wants to let Bush's ridiculous policies expire in favor of Clinton-era (a centrist) taxes. Lowered taxes to small businesses on several occasions.
- Energy: favors energy independence, has been in favor of oil drilling, coal, and natural gas as part of energy policy. Also favors clean energy because he believes it's a good investment for a number of reasons.
- Jobs policies: has been more favorable toward private sector jobs than public sector jobs.

Contrary to popular rhetoric, there has been no government takeover of healthcare. It's still an insurance market, with better overall outcomes.

Face it, Obama's policies have favored the private sector and businesses in most ways. Those are centrist policies. And the Democratic party, along with the rest of the country, is continuing to shift right on policy. In many ways it has been forced to do so fiscally by the exploding debt and deficits which were mostly the result of GOP leaders and their overspending and undertaxing.

The fact that the economy has been sluggish is 90% the fault of Bush and the European debt crisis. The housing bubble was a total disaster, one that Obama had no part in other than cleanup. The other 10% is the fault of GOP leadership, who have no interest in giving Obama a win on economics - they ate it hard in 1996 when Clinton's robust economy left them in the dust.
 
2012-10-09 01:37:37 AM  

Mitt Romneys Tax Return: No one can read Obama's mind and discover his true policy preferences. I think you're buying into the Republican narrative that he is some sort of radical sleeper agent just waiting to unleash his socialist voodoo on the American people. Also, as others have said, the center of American politics has been moving right for a long time now. Legislatively, Obama is closest to a Rockefeller Republican.

The one thing that seems clear to me that the President is a pragmatist, not an ideologue and much prefers getting things done to advancing an agenda.


I don't think he has a secret socialist agenda, or any of that nonsense. He's a standard liberal Democrat. In terms of policy preferences, I consider him more-or-less interchangeable with John Kerry, Dick Durbin, Barbara Boxer, et al.

Maybe I'm wrong. If I am, then there should be some issues on which Obama deviates from his party. What are those issues? What are the issues on which Obama is further to the right than his Democratic colleagues in the Senate (or House, if we exclude Kucinich)?

Have any elected Democrats put forth an agenda which is to Obama's left? And are any parts of those agendas capable of being enacted, given the same circumstances that Obama had to deal with?

James F. Campbell: Silly batguano crazy conservative, thinking he's worth anything more than an ad hominem.


Yeah, I probably shouldn't expect any better than logical fallacies.
 
2012-10-09 01:45:26 AM  

Mugato: tenpoundsofcheese: every military person and veteran I know are voting Romney.

Well if that's true, what does it say about the military people and veterans that you know that they're voting for someone who will cut their benefits and send them into another useless war?


Well to be sure, the Republicans are master social engineers. They've consistently convinced tens of millions of people to vote against their own best interests (the voters interests) for decades now, because jesus...
 
2012-10-09 01:48:55 AM  

Captain Dan: Off-topic, somewhat:

What's with Democrats all claiming that Obama is suddenly a moderate Republican? Is this a mere election-season pivot to the center, or do people actually believe that?

From my point of view, Obama is no moderate. He's a liberal Democrat with liberal policy preferences, who has been forced into centrist governance by circumstances (lack of a veto-proof liberal majority) rather than by any desire for moderation. Dennis Kucinich wouldn't be able to govern much further to the left, except perhaps on civil liberties.


Look at all the "I'm a Republican, but since ____ I'm voting for Obama" comments and contrast them with the "I'm a liberal and I'm pissed that Obama did/didn't do this, but he's still better than Romney" comments. 

If Obama leans to the left, he has a funny way of showing it.
The closest thing was the reluctant "okay maybe gays are people" announcement after Biden didn't hit any mines.
 
2012-10-09 01:54:58 AM  

God-is-a-Taco: If Obama leans to the left, he has a funny way of showing it.
The closest thing was the reluctant "okay maybe gays are people" announcement after Biden didn't hit any mines.


That's basically it. If there is any way in which Obama is even in the center, let alone actually left-leaning in any way, it's domestic social policies. His economic policies? Solidly conservative capitalist. Foreign policy? Conservative hawk.

The Republicans have successfully pushed the Overton window so far right that the Dems can just repackage the Republican platform from two presidential terms ago, put some social issue paint on it and sell it as "liberal". And liberals eat it up, because the fact of the matter is that most people in this country liberal or conservative, think things are basically fine.
 
2012-10-09 02:05:46 AM  

bdub77: Maybe you should answer the question on how you think Obama is a liberal?


I consider his actions as president, with a few exceptions (e.g. civil rights, drone policy) to be as liberal as he could practicably get away with.

I'm not comparing his governance to the ideal of liberalism (e.g. to exaggerate, comparing Obamacare to government-run health care, funded entirely by military cuts and higher income taxes), but how liberal some realistic legislation could be. Military cuts and higher income taxes weren't realistically available in 2009; Congress would never support them. So Obama had to do the best he could with the Congress he had.

There was no legislation that went through Congress but was too far to the left for Obama. He can only be considered a moderate if you compare him to idealistic liberal legislation that couldn't pass through Congress.

- Healthcare: took the plan conservatives in the 90s had touted. Cut Medicare costs while preserving benefits.

This was the most liberal health care reform that was available to him. If he had the votes for single payer, he clearly would have pursued that instead.

- Foreign policy: got out of only one war so far, killed Bin Laden in Pakistan, got involved in Libyan uprising.

Expansive government intrusion in foreign policy is pretty liberal - it's just that Republican foreign policy has become so aggressive that nobody remembers what conservative foreign policy looks like. Obama's a Wilsonian on foreign policy, just like his predecessors Bush and Clinton.

- Tax policy: kept taxes low his entire term, even lowered payroll taxes. Wants to let Bush's ridiculous policies expire in favor of Clinton-era (a centrist) taxes. Lowered taxes to small businesses on several occasions.

From my point of view, admittedly slanted, I don't see Obama as a guy who believes that lower taxes are helpful for the economy. I see these as provisional measures, designed to buy time before a 2013 tax hike.

- Energy: favors energy independence, has been in favor of oil drilling, coal, and natural gas as part of energy policy. Also favors clean energy because he believes it's a good investment for a number of reasons.

That's pretty standard for most liberal Democrats. Have any Democratic Senators advocated otherwise?

- Jobs policies: has been more favorable toward private sector jobs than public sector jobs.

How so? Almost all of the cuts to public sector jobs have been done at the state and local level - i.e. outside of Obama's purview. Federal government employment has remained steady since 2009, even as the private sector was losing millions of jobs. Where was the shared sacrifice?

Contrary to popular rhetoric, there has been no government takeover of healthcare. It's still an insurance market, with better overall outcomes.

I attribute this to a reticent Congress rather than any decision of Obama. By his own admission, he was unable to get the healthcare reform he wanted.

Face it, Obama's policies have favored the private sector and businesses in most ways. Those are centrist policies. And the Democratic party, along with the rest of the country, is continuing to shift right on policy. In many ways it has been forced to do so fiscally by the exploding debt and deficits which were mostly the result of GOP leaders and their overspending and undertaxing.

There's no evidence that I've seen of a Democrat saying "theoretically, this level of taxation is too high for me." The only limits on government expansion that Democrats abide by are the limits placed upon them externally, not by any internal desire for moderation.

The fact that the economy has been sluggish is 90% the fault of Bush and the European debt crisis. The housing bubble was a total disaster, one that Obama had no part in other than cleanup. The other 10% is the fault of GOP leadership, who have no interest in giving Obama a win on economics - they ate it hard in 1996 when Clinton's robust economy left them in the dust.

I don't blame Obama for the economy. It's 99% not his fault.
 
2012-10-09 02:07:45 AM  

A Dark Evil Omen: That's basically it. If there is any way in which Obama is even in the center, let alone actually left-leaning in any way, it's domestic social policies. His economic policies? Solidly conservative capitalist. Foreign policy? Conservative hawk.

The Republicans have successfully pushed the Overton window so far right that the Dems can just repackage the Republican platform from two presidential terms ago, put some social issue paint on it and sell it as "liberal". And liberals eat it up, because the fact of the matter is that most people in this country liberal or conservative, think things are basically fine.


No no no. I'm not comparing Obama's achievements to the vast possibilities of the ideological spectrum. I'm comparing Obama's achievements to all achievements that were theoretically possible for a president given the same political circumstances.
 
2012-10-09 02:08:15 AM  

Captain Dan: I don't think he has a secret socialist agenda, or any of that nonsense. He's a standard liberal Democrat. In terms of policy preferences, I consider him more-or-less interchangeable with John Kerry, Dick Durbin, Barbara Boxer, et al.

Maybe I'm wrong. If I am, then there should be some issues on which Obama deviates from his party. What are those issues? What are the issues on which Obama is further to the right than his Democratic colleagues in the Senate (or House, if we exclude Kucinich)?

Have any elected Democrats put forth an agenda which is to Obama's left? And are any parts of those agendas capable of being enacted, given the same circumstances that Obama had to deal with?


You're still making the argument that Obama is a liberal masquerading as a centrist, you're just not using the hyperbolic language that I used. When Obama has had the chance to take more progressive action without Congressional approval (such as trying bankers for malfeasance after the financial meltdown), he has still chosen a more centrist stance.

As far as a real liberal agenda, here is the Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Proposal for 2012. This is far to the left of anything Obama has proposed. I would argue that it is far to the left of anything Obama would propose even if he had the votes to pass it.

Individual Income Tax Policies
• Allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012, but extend marriage relief, credits, and
incentives for children, families, and education
• Immediately rescind the upper-income tax cuts in December's tax deal
• Index the AMT for inflation for a decade (the AMT patch is fully paid for)
• Schakowsky millionaire tax rates proposal (adding 45%, 46%, 47%, 48%, and 49% top rates)
• Tax all capital gains and qualified dividends as ordinary income
• Progressive estate tax (Sanders' estate tax, repeal of Kyl-Lincoln)
• Limit the rate at which itemized deductions can reduce tax liability to 28%for high earners
• Replace the tax exclusion for interest on state and local bonds with a subsidy for the issuer

Corporate Tax Reform
• Tax U.S. corporate foreign income as it is earned
• Eliminate corporate welfare for oil, gas, and coal companies
• Enact a financial crisis responsibility fee
• Financial speculation tax (derivatives, foreign exchange)
• Reinstate Superfund taxes

Health Care
• Enact a public option
• Negotiate Rx payments with pharmaceutical companies
• CMS program integrity and other Medicare and Medicaid savings in the president's budget
• Prevent a cut in Medicare physician payments for a decade (maintain doc fix)

Social Security
• Raise the taxable maximum on the employee side to 90% of earnings and eliminate the taxable
maximum on the employer side
• Increase benefits based on higher contributions on the employee side

Defense Savings
• End overseas contingency operations emergency supplementals starting in Fiscal Year 2013,
providing $170 billion in FY2012 to fund redeployment, while saving more than $1.8 trillion
from current law spending levels over ten years
• Reduce baseline defense spending by reducing strategic capabilities, conventional forces,
procurement, and R&D programs

Comprehensive Jobs Program
• Invest $1.45 trillion in job creation, education, clean energy and broadband infrastructure,
housing, and R&D
• Infrastructure bank
• Surface transportation reauthorization bill ($213 billion)
 
2012-10-09 02:08:31 AM  
The fact is, the Democrats have become the defacto centrist party now, and actually do have policies that conservatives can agree on.

At this point, it's up to us to start a new party that's politically to the left of the Democrats.

Obvious tag drinks all night.
 
2012-10-09 02:10:35 AM  

Captain Dan: A Dark Evil Omen: That's basically it. If there is any way in which Obama is even in the center, let alone actually left-leaning in any way, it's domestic social policies. His economic policies? Solidly conservative capitalist. Foreign policy? Conservative hawk.

The Republicans have successfully pushed the Overton window so far right that the Dems can just repackage the Republican platform from two presidential terms ago, put some social issue paint on it and sell it as "liberal". And liberals eat it up, because the fact of the matter is that most people in this country liberal or conservative, think things are basically fine.

No no no. I'm not comparing Obama's achievements to the vast possibilities of the ideological spectrum. I'm comparing Obama's achievements to all achievements that were theoretically possible for a president given the same political circumstances.


Yes, I see that. And in four years the first Bush term will be the "possible achievements for a president given the same political circumstances". And so on and so on, repeat until death. Farking centrist liberals.
 
2012-10-09 02:11:13 AM  

God-is-a-Taco: Look at all the "I'm a Republican, but since ____ I'm voting for Obama" comments and contrast them with the "I'm a liberal and I'm pissed that Obama did/didn't do this, but he's still better than Romney" comments. 


Most voters are pretty uninformed, so they see a centrist result and assume it sprang from a desire for centrism, rather than the inertia built into our political system.

If Obama leans to the left, he has a funny way of showing it. The closest thing was the reluctant "okay maybe gays are people" announcement after Biden didn't hit any mines.

Obama obviously supported gay marriage before 2008, but had to pretend otherwise because at that time it was politically toxic. He signaled this by claiming that his views on gay marriage were "evolving" - i.e. sorry, gay community, but Obama cares more about his re-election than he does about your civil rights.
 
2012-10-09 02:12:38 AM  

Captain Dan: Obama obviously supported gay marriage before 2008, but had to pretend otherwise because at that time it was politically toxic. He signaled this by claiming that his views on gay marriage were "evolving" - i.e. sorry, gay community, but Obama cares more about his re-election than he does about your civil rights.


um, derp?
 
2012-10-09 02:17:09 AM  

Mitt Romneys Tax Return: As far as a real liberal agenda, here is the Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Proposal for 2012. This is far to the left of anything Obama has proposed. I would argue that it is far to the left of anything Obama would propose even if he had the votes to pass it.


This is an agenda that has no chance of passing through Congress. Even withstanding Republican opposition, there would be too many Democratic Blue Dog defectors for it to pass. So I don't consider this a practicable agenda.

Hypothetically, just for the sake of argument, if Obama had a veto-proof super majority in Congress (90 Democratic Senators, 375 Democratic Representatives), I think that he'd support most of that agenda.

/end hypothetical

But he doesn't have that Congress, so he has to make do with the circumstances he's been given.
 
2012-10-09 02:19:17 AM  

whidbey: Captain Dan: Obama obviously supported gay marriage before 2008, but had to pretend otherwise because at that time it was politically toxic. He signaled this by claiming that his views on gay marriage were "evolving" - i.e. sorry, gay community, but Obama cares more about his re-election than he does about your civil rights.

um, derp?


Would you rescind your knee-jerk dismissal if I gave you a link to a liberal saying the exact same thing?
 
2012-10-09 02:23:55 AM  

Captain Dan: whidbey: Captain Dan: Obama obviously supported gay marriage before 2008, but had to pretend otherwise because at that time it was politically toxic. He signaled this by claiming that his views on gay marriage were "evolving" - i.e. sorry, gay community, but Obama cares more about his re-election than he does about your civil rights.

um, derp?

Would you rescind your knee-jerk dismissal if I gave you a link to a liberal saying the exact same thing?


I have a huge problem with someone who doesn't even support Obama telling us liberals how he supposedly "really" acts politically. Nothing quite screams "concerned."
 
2012-10-09 02:28:24 AM  

Captain Dan: Mitt Romneys Tax Return: As far as a real liberal agenda, here is the Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Proposal for 2012. This is far to the left of anything Obama has proposed. I would argue that it is far to the left of anything Obama would propose even if he had the votes to pass it.

This is an agenda that has no chance of passing through Congress. Even withstanding Republican opposition, there would be too many Democratic Blue Dog defectors for it to pass. So I don't consider this a practicable agenda.

Hypothetically, just for the sake of argument, if Obama had a veto-proof super majority in Congress (90 Democratic Senators, 375 Democratic Representatives), I think that he'd support most of that agenda.

/end hypothetical

But he doesn't have that Congress, so he has to make do with the circumstances he's been given.


Hypothetically, he might sign that budget even though it was too liberal for him (to use your reasoning).

The bottom line, though, is that you have no objective rationale for your belief, whereas many posters in this thread have provided example after example of Obama's moderate record.

So, I guess you're the only one who truly understands the real Barack Obama, secret liberal.
 
2012-10-09 02:33:42 AM  

whidbey: I have a huge problem with someone who doesn't even support Obama telling us liberals how he supposedly "really" acts politically. Nothing quite screams "concerned."


You have a problem with someone politically disagreeing with you? That's a bigger problem than I can solve.

As for "concerned" - the implication that I'm trolling - all I can say is that I've been straightforward about who I am: a moderate Republican who is voting for Romney. I'm voting for Romney because I think he's better suited for the job, not because I suffer some conspiratorial delusion about Obama (socialist, Kenyan, Muslim, etc. - the latter two wouldn't make any difference to my vote; I'd rather elect a Kenyan Muslim moderate Republican than an all-American socialist).
 
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