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Obama in the Desert of Centrism (Thomas Frank in Sept Harper's)

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The right labels Obama a 'socialist' precisely because he has embraced so many Republican programs. Obama's signature health care reform was borrowed from the Heritage Fdn and Romney's MA program. Obama's bank bailouts were just like GWBush's. He renewed all Bush's tax cuts for the rich. His stimulus plan was mostly business tax cuts. He appointed Simpson-Bowles to promote the necessity of cuts in the civilian economy while war remains sacrosanct. And yet, if the nominal Democrat Obama is beaten this fall, it is as an accused Red that he will go down. Committing yourself heart-and-soul to a bipartisan approach allows the opposition to completely reconfigure the political spectrum, continually moving the 'center' in their direction. Maybe the reason he seems more like Hoover than FDR is that a 2nd NewDeal is precisely what Obama came here to prevent. Maybe that was the hope all along.

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