Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Center-Right Obama

William Greider describes the cynical interpretation of Obama's recent actions:

There is a more cynical interpretation of Obama's flexibility. He is coming
out right about where he wanted to be. Forget the good talk, it is said, this
president never really intended to do deep reform that truly alters the
industrial power structure dominating our dysfunctional healthcare system. He
just wanted minimalist reforms he could sell as "victory." Not until years later
would people figure out that nothing fundamental had been changed.

In this scenario, Obama has always been more comfortable with the
center-right forces within the Democratic party--Senator Max Baucus and the Blue Dogs--and the
Clintonistas of DLC lineage who now fill his administration. His real political
challenge was to string along the liberals with reassuring talk until they were
stuck with lousy choices-- either go along with this popular president's pale
version of reform or take him on and risk ruining his presidency. This sounds a
lot like the choices Democrats faced during the Clinton years. Candidate Obama
said it was "time to turn the page." We are still waiting to see what he

I do not subscribe to the manipulative, deceptive portrait (not
yet), but you can find lots of supporting evidence in Obama's behavior.

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