Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barack Obama is Center-Right... nudge nudge, wink wink

There's a meme going around that Obama's policies are surprisingly center-right, supposedly to the consternation of those of us who supported him. At first my reaction was to resist that, since, ya know, it's BS. But I realized I'd rather embrace it. Here's why.

As far as I've ever been able to tell (and I have no good data to back this up, mostly because I don't feel like spending a lot of time researching this post), Americans tend to gravitate to the center without necessarily knowing what that means. That might be just as unfair as the Obama=center-right meme, but it feels true. I even thought I was moderate until I started to really learn what words like "liberal," "conservative," (politically) "left," and (politically) "right" meant.

So, what the heck, let's call Obama center-right. Closing Gitmo? Fine, let's call that a center-right position, and pretend that the real centrist position is fixing the FISA courts (nudge nudge, wink wink). Putting people to work through a public works program that simultaneously repairs our infrastruture? Sure, what the heck, that's a center-right position. Raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment, that's the real centrist position.

What do you think, would that work?


Jeffrey D. said...

I love it. And in 2012, when Obama is running against Bloomberg, we can officially declare ourselves victors for having moved the center WAY over to the left.

Jessica said...

Yes! That will totally work. Now we need to perpetuate this as a nation-wide rumor. I can even pretend to be upset about it if that helps.

Die Anyway said...

I kind of hope he is "center-right" and I suspect even you wouldn't want him to be a Hugo Chavez-style leftist. Based on the full range of political views around the world, our Democrats really are pretty much centrist.

Jon the Geek said...

Yes, and that's the cover I'm sure the people making the claim would go to... but they clearly imply that they mean on the American spectrum, not on the world-wide spectrum.

Of course, I'm left of Kucinich on the political compass, so I'd prefer he be a bit left on the global compass. Moving where American left is considered to be would work for me :)

Libby Hickson said...

LOL - left of Kucinich. Did you see the primary debate - think it was Anderson Cooper - they asked some silly question like 'name one thing you don't like about the person on your left' (and lame old edwards said he didn't like hillary's suit she was wearing or something equally cheesey) and then they got to kucinich, who was on the end. Anderson made a joke about nobody being left of Kucinich. :D

Die Anyway said...

Ok, I went to the political compass link. I scored Economic Left/Right: 1.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.56
That put me in the purple block as I expected but very close to the center. I did think that some of the questions were either misleading or ambiguous which might have thrown off my placement a bit, ie. I expected to show up more strongly libertarian. Anyway, I looked at the 2008 political spread and see that Kucinich is barely into the green box and that Nader is much further left. And that Obama and McCain aren't that far apart up in the blue zone. Even Ron Paul, the paragon of libertarianism, doesn't fall into the libertarian side of the Authoritarian/Libertarian dividing line.