Invasion of the left-wing body snatchers

I largely agree with John’s take on the whole Obama-as-closet-radical idea being pushed by the (increasingly desperate) McCain campaign and its media fellow travelers. (Be sure to follow the links he provides too.) I have plenty of lefty friends, and they certainly don’t think Obama is a radical lefty. On everything from health care to taxes to foreign policy he’s staked out positions well to the right of hard-core lefties/progressives.

Of course, no matter how conservative the Democrat may seem, the GOP always tries to convince voters that he or she is “really” a wild-eyed liberal who, once in power, will turn America into a cross between Cuba, France, and the Harvard faculty lounge. Bill Clinton, easily the most conservative Democratic president since Grover Cleveland, received this treatment in spades. (Consider this Clinton/Gore campaign ad from 1992. Clinton promised in the ad to 1. cut welfare 2. be “tough” on crime 3. balance the budget–in other words, he would govern like a Republican. And, despite conservative hysteria about a pot-smoking draft dodger in the White House, that’s pretty much exactly what he did.)

If anything, my worry about Obama is that he’ll be too pragmatic, too prone to compromise, and too beholden to the Washington bipartisan consensus on a host of matters. Unlike John, though, I still think he’s worth supporting because he’s head and shoulders above the competition and could turn out to be an affirmatively good president. (Recognizing, of course, that John and I have different–though overlapping–criteria for what that would look like.)

3 thoughts on “Invasion of the left-wing body snatchers

  1. Pingback: In praise of diminished expectations « A Thinking Reed

  2. Pingback: What you see is what you get | A Thinking Reed

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