In the midst of so much progaganda that terms Barack Obama a “socialist”, the very intelligent and perceptive Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, published an article last week in the Washington Post, in which he declares that, based on the 15 months so far of the Obama Presidency, it is clear to him that the President is a “pragmatic moderate”!
Hooray to Norman Ornstein, who is absolutely correct in his assessment! He dismisses the attacks of Newt Gingrich, Liz Cheney, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and numerous others who regularly assault the President as not only “socialist”, but also “radical”, “totalitarian”, and willing to promote “retreat” and “surrender” in foreign policy.
Ornstein points out that the new Health Care reform is not radical at all, and that most of it was backed by moderate Republicans in the time of the failed Bill Clinton health care plans, and that Mitt Romney had made that moderate Republican plan the basis of the Massachusetts health care system in 2006. Now the former Massachusetts governor is trying to separate himself from what Obama has done, even though it is very similar to what was enacted in the Bay State!
The economic stimulus was not radical, according to Ornstein, and could have done much more on public works programs, but has thankfully started to have an effect on the economy in a positive way as shown by recent economic statistics. And most of the funds loaned to banks, insurance companies and auto companies are being paid back already!
The nuclear treaty with Russia was supported by Senator Richard Lugar, the leading Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and pushed also by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served also in that capacity under George W. Bush.
On the subject of terrorism, Obama has had successes, and is following the similar strategy of Bush. His energy policies, while opposed by many, includes some off shore oil drilling and nuclear power development. He is also trying, with some criticism, to promote accountability in education reform.
Ornstein’s conclusion is that Obama is mainstream, pragmatic and moderate, operating in the center of American politics, with a tip to the left. Ornstein calls it “center-left”, but not left of center!
What Ornstein states is precisely the view of the author, and the extremist language from Talk Radio, Fox News Channel, and many Republican and conservative spokesmen, is really starting to wear thin!
Barack Obama is in the tradition of earlier Democratic Presidents–Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson–and in some respects Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Republican President Richard Nixon in his better moments–moderate, pragmatic centrist!