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Obama Has Been Moving Away from the Center, Not Towards It

Posted by libhom Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Obama looking towards the rightIf you follow the corporate media, you cannot help but notice how they insist that Democratic candidates "must move to the center" in the general election. Equally blatant, is the general absence of similar advice to Republican presidential hopefuls. Instead, Republicans are advised to take right wing positions to "shore up their base." In both cases, there is a strong commonality.

The corporate media is almost always pressuring candidates to shift their policies and positions to the right.

This alone should make sensible people skeptical about the news stories on Obama supposedly moving to the center. However, there is a bigger oddity at work here. Obama already was a centrist candidate during the Democratic primaries. If you think I'm making this up, try examining many of the biggest issues of the day.

Iraq War
Liberal Position: "Immediate Withdrawal," which in practical terms means getting all of our troops and all of the mercenaries out of the country in a few weeks, which is all it would take in military terms. (Pundits and politicians who claim that it would take 6 months to a year are not only lying, but they also are accusing the US military of being colossally incompetent.)

Centrist Position: Slow, incomplete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

Conservative Position: Maintain the occupation of Iraq forever, and keep current or higher numbers of troops and mercenaries there.

Healthcare
Liberal Position: Enact a single payer healthcare plan that gets the HMOs and insurance companies out of the healthcare business. Such a plan would provide universal care and cut dramatically on the percentage of GDP spent on medical care.

Centrist Position: Give the HMOs and insurance companies more money to provide more people the kind of inadequate care that the insured currently get. Provide some government funding, but also make people who can't afford insurance pay some of the costs anyway.

Conservative Position: Get rid of Medicaid, Medicare, and employer provided healthcare.

Iran
Liberal Position: No attack on that country. Build friendly relations with Iran.

Centrist Position: Try diplomacy first, but keep military force as an option. Talk tough, and do a lot of saber rattling.

Conservative Position:
Hurry up and attack Iran already.

Economic Stimulus
Liberal Position: Massive government spending on infrastructure repair, expanding public transportation, and alternative energy, an approach creating real jobs and creating long term economic security and growth. Also include expanded unemployment insurance.

Centrist Position: Massive tax cuts for wealthy and corporate interests. Small one time rebates for middle class people. Also include expanded unemployment insurance.

Conservative Position: Massive tax cuts for wealthy and corporate interests. Small one time rebates for middle class people.

Impeachment
Liberal Position: Strongly supports impeachment as a constitutional obligation of Congress.

Centrist Position: Split down the middle. An issue of rule of law vs. perceived practical politics.

Conservative Position: Offended by the notion anyone would want to impeach Bush or Cheney.

FISA
Liberal Position: Add more safeguards for civil liberties to the legislation.

Centrist Position: Leave the FISA bill the way it was.

Conservative Position: Give the executive branch more powers to spy on political opponents, and give the Telecoms immunity.

ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act)
Liberal Position: Strengthen ENDA to give it more enforcement powers than the version offered before Pelosi and Frank weakened it this session.

Centrist Position: Keep ENDA bill the way it was.

Conservative Position: Oppose it all together or riddle it with loopholes rendering it irrelevant (the Pelosi/Frank approach)

Abortion Rights
Liberal Position: Abortion on demand without apology or restriction.

Centrist Position: Some restrictions on abortion.

Conservative Position: Criminalize abortion.

Handguns
Liberal position: Restrict or ban handguns.

Centrist position: Give up on gun control because it might offend people who never vote for Democrats anyway.

Conservative position: Flood our country with handguns.

Election Fraud
Liberal Position: Hand count paper ballots. Crack down on efforts to illegally disenfranchise voters.

Centrist Position: Try to choose the best of the electronic voting methods (e.g., touch screens) or counting methods (e.g., Scantrons). Take some steps to avoid voter disenfranchisement.

Conservative Position: Use machines owned by Republican companies. Disenfranchise as many non-white people as possible, since conservatives never supported extending the franchise beyond whites anyway.

If you look at the main issues facing the country, Obama's stance was right down the middle on nearly all of them during the primaries. Since then, he has been moving to the right of center on some important matters.

We are getting some major bs from corporate "news outlets" and their parade of prattling pundits. We need to fact check all of this.

 

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