An End to the “Obama is a Radical Socialist” Meme12.08.10
Given the fact that Obama agreed to extending the Bush-era tax cuts for everyone – including for the richest 1% of Americans – I’d be curious to hear the explanation for people who still hold the belief that he’s a socialist.
I’m sure that they’d point to the debt and how he’s done nothing about it. Or bring up the stimulus again (even though I don’t hear them screaming about socialism at the moment when – gasp – nearly a trillion dollars added to the deficit to help get the economy going sounds a lot like the stimulus plan). Or maybe they’ll mention that unemployment is at roughly the exact same place that it was when he took office and claim that his goal is to have everyone living off the government’s dime so that he can control everyone. Or they might say that this is all a tactic to improve the economy so that he can win re-election in 2012 and then he’ll implement all of the truly devastating aspects of his socialist agenda onto the American people.
The reality is that people who perceive Obama as a weak, un-American, Muslim, socialist/fascist “other” will continue to do so regardless of what he says and regardless of what he does.
- He can cut taxes (which he’s already done before to the tune of nearly $300 billion as part of the Recovery Act);
- increase the number of troops fighting in Afghanistan;
- continue to keep troops in Iraq to support the nation-building there;
- say he’s against DADT but seek out an appeal when a court finds it unconstitutional;
- declare an end to torture in America yet protect all of those involved in that disgusting enterprise;
- and, back off on his moratorium for Israelis building settlements in the Gaza Strip.
Yet, he’s a leftist radical? Not just some annoying liberal, but radical. Really? In what Beckian nightmarish world, exactly?
(And as for all the Internet emails about how Obama is actually a Muslim and doesn’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance and was sworn in on a Koran or something — please, stop getting your information from mass emails of which you don’t know the source. Do some investigation of your own and at least get your facts straight.)
What’s interesting about this deal is that the most grief he’s taking is from the left, not the right. The conservatives might not be stoked about some of the elements of the deal, but overall they seem relatively cool with it. After all, they did get the one thing they wanted: making sure that Americans making over a million dollars a year (the new definition of millionaire, by the way, is not for people who have a million dollars, but rather those who make seven figures annually) get $100,000 extra in their pockets.
Sure, they lost on the whole making sure the unemployment extension was paid for, but that wasn’t really that big of a deal. It’s not like they weren’t going to eventually agree to unemployment benefits — their base might want fiscal austerity during elections, but much like the whole lack of atheists in a foxhole, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who has been unemployed for over a year with a family to feed saying no to extending unemployment just because it’s paid for by the deficit. National concerns become rather minuscule when faced with the personal stresses of being able to put food on the table.
Idealists on both sides lost this one. Regardless of the health of the short-term economy, the progressives wanted to win this battle against the conservatives. They wanted some justice for the decade-long tax holiday the rich had been enjoying at the expense of the overall national debt. And no matter what they got in return — college tax credits, tax rebates, 13 more months of unemployment benefits — the true leftists feel like they lost big time with this deal. They probably feel betrayed by this president who was supposed to be some progressive savior — while others still wax hyperbolic about how much of a socialist radical he truly is.
Seems like both were wrong about him after all. He’s still the left-of-center pragmatist who puts governance over ideology every single time. Just like he’s always been. And you can still dislike him all you want — but at least dislike him for what he really is and what he’s really done, not for what you project onto him to be.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
Posted in Politics | Tagged American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Barack Obama, bush-era tax cuts, Centrist, Conservatives, leftist, Obama, pragmatic, President Obama, radical, Republicans, socialist, Stimulus, tax cuts |
Comments are closed.