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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:52 AM

Andrew Sullivan is Right: Obama Has Governed as a Conservative

http://www.alternet.org/story/153867/andrew_sullivan_is_right%3A_obama_has_governed_as_a_conservative/

Sullivan took Obama's critics to task for not recognizing his accomplishments--sadly, those accomplishments only appeal to "conservative-minded independents" like him.

Last week, Newsweek magazine and The Daily Beast published an article by Andrew Sullivan, “How Obama’s Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics,” which excoriated left-wing critics for failing to appreciate how much Obama has accomplished, while at the same time trying to convince conservatives that Obama is not a liberal, let alone a socialist, and that, in fact, he has governed as a conservative. The fact that these two critiques are internally inconsistent has somehow managed to escape Mr. Sullivan.

The main case Mr. Sullivan, a self-described “conservative-minded independent,” makes for Obama is that, “he continued the bank bailout begun by George W. Bush, he initiated the bailout of the auto industry, and he worked to pass a huge stimulus package of $787 billion.”

In fact, Obama deserves even more credit for the bank bailout (TARP) than Sullivan gives him: Obama did not simply “continue the bank bail-out,” he, more than Bush, was the main reason TARP passed Congress, as Congress first rejected TARP, then passed it by a narrow margin when Obama, then far in the lead of McCain in the Presidential race, endorsed it and actively campaigned for its passage. It was the first, but not the last, example of Obama promoting a Republican plan.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Andrew Sullivan is Right: Obama Has Governed as a Conservative (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2012 OP
Inuca Jan 2012 #1
zipplewrath Jan 2012 #2
auburngrad82 Jan 2012 #3
dawg Jan 2012 #8
auburngrad82 Jan 2012 #10
Major Nikon Jan 2012 #14
dawg Jan 2012 #15
Major Nikon Jan 2012 #16
dawg Jan 2012 #18
Proud Liberal Dem Jan 2012 #4
kctim Jan 2012 #5
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2012 #9
truebrit71 Jan 2012 #21
uponit7771 Jan 2012 #6
AtomicKitten Jan 2012 #20
theaocp Jan 2012 #22
AtomicKitten Jan 2012 #24
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2012 #7
Zorra Jan 2012 #11
Douglas Carpenter Jan 2012 #12
Cali_Democrat Jan 2012 #13
MNBrewer Jan 2012 #23
Tierra_y_Libertad Jan 2012 #17
VKaz Jan 2012 #19

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:55 AM

1. That is NOT the point of the Sullivan article

Did you actually read it?

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Response to Inuca (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:06 AM

2. It's not the point

But it does in essence support the point the OP is making. A conservative finds his accomplishments very significant. He's not the only conservative to mention this. Several conservative think tanks went very quite during the HCR debate because they were getting so much of what they wanted.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:09 AM

3. I consider myself a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.

Last edited Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:41 PM - Edit history (1)

I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. I think you have to be fiscally conservative if you are to be successful. You cannot just go and give all your rich cronies tax breaks like Bush did. That's not fiscally conservative, that's fiscally irresponsible.

I'm not unhappy with Obama. I think Democrats are much better at running the government because they're not so focused on one thing. They can balance fiscal responsibility with social responsibility.

What's wrong with being fiscally conservative? To us as Democrats "conservative" has become a bad word, just like "liberal" is a bad word to republicans. We need to be able to recognize that the words have different meanings from what they've become. Conservative, now, means batshit crazy. Liberal, to the GOP, means batshit crazy.

As I said I'm socially liberal. I'm all for equal rights for all, for protecting the environment, for taking care of our kids and the elderly. But I think we need to be fiscally conservative by managing the country's debt and doing what is right for the country in the long term. The GOP doesn't do that. I think Obama thinks more long term. I don't have a problem with that.

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Response to auburngrad82 (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:29 AM

8. Why fiscal conservatism is bad.

Fiscal conservatives have the whole "balanced-budget" thing ass-backwards. When the economy is doing poorly, large government deficits are good. To cut spending at such a time only serves to reinforce a negative cycle of job losses, falling tax receipts, and further budget cuts.

The time to cut spending (and raise taxes if necessary) is during expansions. Then, the contractionary effect on the economy is not nearly so damaging, and may actually serve a useful purpose in curbing irrational exuberance, asset bubbles, and inflation.

Fiscal conservatism (aka austerity) is about to drive Europe into a deep recession. We will be lucky if our economy escapes with no significant collateral damage.

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Response to dawg (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:33 PM

10. Maybe I'm defining fiscal conservative differently

I'm not talking about the GOP's version of conservatism. To me you spend what needs to be spent to keep the economy on track and to make lives better for Americans. You don't just cut taxes because it's the thing to do to get votes. Sometimes you have to raise taxes. Sometimes you can cut taxes. I don't mind paying taxes.

Maybe I'd be better off to phrase it as fiscal responsibility. The Democratic presidents tend to have smaller goverments with better economies that the GOP presidents. It irks me to no end when I see "tax and spend Democrats" and "Dems are the party of big government" bumper stickers. It seems to me that overall our side tends to be more responsibility in their handling of the government and tax money than the GOP. At least we don't hand it all over to our buddies.

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Response to dawg (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:00 PM

14. Austerity and fiscal conservatism aren't the same thing

When the economy is good, the debt should be paid down to better prepare the government for times of a poor economy. This is what fiscal conservatism means to me. That doesn't mean that social services should be cut which is part of austerity.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:20 PM

15. Remember, not much of anything is as offensive as the "c" word.

What you describe, paying down debt in good times and allowing it to run when the economy is down, is countercyclical Keynesianism. It is anathema to conservatives, who believe booms and busts should be allowed to run their courses with no help from the government at all.

What you are actually in favor of is fiscal responsibility - something which has been the policy choice of liberals for at least two decades.

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Response to dawg (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:30 PM

16. It wasn't always that way for conservatives

During Raygun's presiduncy when the federal debt started to climb dramatically, Bob Dole led the charge to raise taxes. Newt Gingrich began the Republican era of complete fiscal irresponsibility.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:58 PM

18. Agreed.

Bob Dole, Howard Baker, even Poppa Bush were not anything like today's conservatives.

But today's conservatives are pieces of trash, and I'm not going to use that word without making my contempt for it apparent.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:23 AM

4. We might as well have had McCain/Palin in the WH since 2009

and everything would have pretty much been the same I suppose?


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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:29 AM

5. Seeing how something like 86% of Democrats

 

approve of the job President Obama is doing, are you saying that Republicans are correct and that we are a conservative nation?

Sorry, but I will have to respectfully disagree.

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Response to kctim (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:30 AM

9. If polls are reliable, then the Jan 14th poll showing Romney beating Gingrich by 25 points

 

for the South Carolina election resulted in a victory for Rmoney on Jan 21st.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/14/us-usa-campaign-poll-idUSTRE80D0U420120114

Plus, Dewey defeated Truman.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:56 PM

21. No shit.

86% my hairy white arse...

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:34 AM

6. ****BASHER LEAVES OUT THE EFFECTS OF CRAZY CONGRESS****

These people are opportunist to say the least, they act as if congress has NOT effect on what president do or say.

You want a progressive president get a progressive congress PERIOD

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:45 PM

20. Pres O's detractors have to ignore any facts that might -

Last edited Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:23 PM - Edit history (2)

mitigate their already set-in-cement opinion. Mischaracterizing Andrew Sullivan's OpEd is a cheap shot, a change from the nasty shit said about Andrew Sullivan personally but still nowhere in the ballpark of truth and reason.

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Response to AtomicKitten (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 03:07 PM

22. Pot/kettle

I'm rubber, you're glue... are you done being divisive?

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Response to theaocp (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 04:42 PM

24. lol

Last edited Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:29 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:20 AM

7. Respectfully, the first example was when he rejected the views of 27 Democrats

 

and Bernie Sanders (I) while joining the Republicans in voting for immunity for the telecoms that spied upon all of us for the Bush Administration. The vote was taken on July 9, 2008.

Except for Sanders, all of the Senators who voted in oppositon to the telecom immunity were Democrats:
Akaka (D-HI); Biden (D-DE); Bingaman (D-NM); Boxer (D-CA); Brown (D-OH); Byrd (D-WV); Cantwell (D-WA); Cardin (D-MD); Clinton (D-NY); Dodd (D-CT); Dorgan (D-ND); Durbin (D-IL); Feingold (D-WI); Harkin (D-IA); Kerry (D-MA); Klobuchar (D-MN); Lautenberg (D-NJ); Leahy (D-VT); Levin (D-MI); Menendez (D-NJ); Murray (D-WA); Reed (D-RI); Reid (D-NV); Sanders (I-VT); Schumer (D-NY); Stabenow (D-MI);
Tester (D-MT); and Wyden (D-OR).

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00168

Obama, in contrast, preferred the view of the Republicans.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:38 PM

11. occupy nt

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:53 PM

12. obviously - but not as rightwing as Clinton and no more rightwing than any credible Democratic Party

contenders in the past 20 to 30 years - and certainly no where even close to being iin the same league as the completely batshit CRAZY right-wing extremist who now comprise the mainstream of today's Republican Party.

But this is now our unfortunate choice. Either the conservatives lead by President Obama will win. Or the extremist will win - extremist so crazy and so extreme that they honestly and sincerely think that the conservatives lead by Obama are socialist. That is the choice on who will win. Given that choice - I for one will support the conservatives lead by the President. There simply is no alternative in the real world.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:55 PM

13. How did we go from liking people like David Sirota, Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi....

to getting all warm and fuzzy about people like Andrew Sullivan and David Frum? (yes, Frum was praised here not too long ago)

What the hell happened?

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 03:13 PM

23. What happened was the Obama presidency.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:34 PM

17. Just another 3rd Way Dem president pandering to the right. As expected.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:41 PM

19. Some of Obama's policies have not been all too different from Bush's

 

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