Is Obama a Liberal or a Moderate?

It’s more than a little frustrating to observe accusations from the far-left that the president is too moderate, while the far-right claims he’s too liberal. Voters, on the other hand, believe he’s squarely liberal but not too liberal.

obama_romney_liberal

This is one of many myths compiled in a post by Georgetown University’s Dan Hopkins and George Washington University’s Danny Hayes and John Sides in which they debunk the lingering myth that the Republican Party is nearing extinction. But I thought it was fascinating to see how actual voters pegged the president’s record and it’s just about where I’ve always thought it was.

This entry was posted in Election 2012, Liberalism, President Obama and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • eljefejeff

    I agree with that analysis but of course republicans ridiculously claim Romney was actually liberal, so Obama is obviously more liberal than that, and firebaggers will claim Obama is a right wing puppet so far out of the mainstream that you can’t tell him and Romney apart. plus the rest of us just aren’t paying attention. Because drones.

    • bphoon

      Typical bullshit from the extremes is what you’re describing. In my view, if Obama (or anyone else for that matter) is pissing off both extremes, he (or she) is doing a pretty good job.

      • muselet

        Correct to a point, but one must be careful not to drift into unthinking, triangulating centrism. (Not pointing fingers, just noting a potential problem.)

        –alopecia

        • nathkatun7

          What exactly does “unthinking triangulating centrism mean”? Is it possible to govern a country that is ideologically split without trying to find a middle ground between extreme ideologies?

          • muselet

            What I meant was the sort of thing Bill Clinton (cynically) did in his second term: find a midpoint between what the Ds wanted and what the Rs wanted and claim to have found a reasonable compromise (he managed to enrage both sides, true, but most of what was achieved was nonsense like school uniforms). It’s also what our glorious news media do constantly, although they have the (poor) excuse of institutional amnesia (“What, John McCain doesn’t have the same position on immigration policy as he had five years ago? Unpossible!”).

            We should be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking the truth must lie between two ideological extremes, especially now, when the Rs have mounted the goalposts on wheels to make moving them easier. The truth may instead lie between the Ds’ position and the position the Rs held six months ago.

            I hope that clears things up (I’m typing this in a bit of a rush, so I may be making things worse).

            –alopecia

    • muselet

      Righties even claim GWB wasn’t a Real Conservative, so his administration shouldn’t be considered a failure of conservatism.

      –alopecia

  • nathkatun7

    These days, I think the “far left” tries to compete with the tea baggers when it comes to who hates President Obama the most.