Is Obama a Centrist Republican?

Insofar as any exist. Which I know they do, in a Snuffleupagus sort of way.

Let’s consider some facts:

Obama loves business so much that he believes that market forces will improve our schools. And slow down climate change. And make quality health care more accessible.

He plans to bomb the what-what out of Iran if they don’t stop their ballyhooing and enriching. And his escalation of the drone program looks more like Elmer Fudd’s big gun than Bugs Bunny’s big carrot. Ruthlessness, collateral damage, kill lists. Everything Glen Greenwald says.

He didn’t fight, much, to regulate Wall Street, much.

Obamacare leaves the private health care industry infrastructure not only intact, but stronger. He booted out the “public option” without asking much (anything?) in return, despite the economic and moral costs of this decision.

Plus, Chris Rock.

I realize that our country has trended gently (the GOP more aggressively) rightward, such that, say, acknowledging in public that human-caused climate change is both a scientific fact and an urgent global crisis makes one a traitor to the nearly half of us red-staters.

But even in this bitterly partisan context, Obama’s pro-business and pro-war presidential actions do not smell lefty. At all. Not even close.

And yet…



What 3d world dictatorships systematically keep people from voting? Right. Swing state ones.



He supports full equality and bodily autonomy for women and LGBTQ people.

He hopes to spend his second term focusing on his secret passion: nuclear nonproliferation.

He fought hard to give tens of millions of people access to quality health care.

He supports marriage equality. He supports women’s rights to fair pay and control over their own health care decisions.

He ended an intractable, expensive war and plans to end another.

He used public money to stop a depression and save two massive industries.

His State Department prioritizes diplomacy and nation-building over warmongering and dick-swinging.

He believes that investments in infrastructure, education, and a stronger, expanded social safety net are good for our long-term economic prospects.


So let’s be reasonable, please. He’s no Che Guevara. But nor is he Bush II. Or I.

And lately, it seems that Romney’s trying to Obamafy himself into our hearts and ballots.

So whichever way you vote, if you have yet to vote (VOTE!), please know what you’re voting for.


PS, can the UN please come and supervise our elections from now on?



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5 thoughts on “Is Obama a Centrist Republican?

  1. Matthew says:

    You do a good job capturing the multiple sides of Obama. I wouldn’t call him a centrist Republican so much as what used to be known as a liberal Republican. Exponentially better than the uber-right wing platform of the contemporary Republican Party, of course! But it’s still important to keep pushing Obama (and the Democratic Party) to stand up for progressive causes, because they won’t do it if they’re not urged on from below.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Matthew, my wish list for term 2 is perhaps too long for a mere 4 years, at least some of which he’ll spend campaigning for his successor. But here goes, based on realism and knowledge of his priorities: 1. climate change. 2. nuclear nonproliferation (relying on maybe Kerry, since Clinton’s taking a rest?) 3. two-state solution (total fantasy on my part but) 4. income inequality at home.

      We already got implementation of Obamacare, with a full public option perhaps in the distant future, after this set of reforms takes full hold. And we already got the Supreme Court–I’m hoping he’ll give us another 2 women to make the court the only national institution that comes close to mirroring our society.

      None of these things are particularly progressive. But some of them rely on other countries’ participation. I would love to see more progressive solutions to #4 above, and that’s where I get skeptical and fully agree with you.

      I’monna write a post about the GOP, but in short: they’ve got to change their policies if they want to keep up. And if they do, lefties will be in trouble.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Also, your election coverage has been excellent. I’ve been enjoying your poems!

  2. Inder says:

    Yeah, at worst, he’s at least an old-school conservative. From back in the days when even republicans valued social security and unions. I’ll take it.

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