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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:53 PM

The Conservative Left. Obama is trying to seize conservatism from Republicans

I'm interested in reading thoughtful DU'ers comments about this! DV

The Conservative Left

Obama is trying to seize conservatism from Republicans. Should they become the new reformers?

By William Saletan|Posted Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at 1:19 PM ET


The reviews are in. Left and right agree: The hallmark of President Obama’s second inaugural address was his push for a liberal agenda.

I disagree. I think the president’s speech will be remembered for its reframing of history. Obama isn’t just trying to shape the future. He’s trying to reshape the past. He’s challenging the foundations of conservatism. And conservatives, in turn, must rethink what they stand for.

Obama infuriated the right with his invocations of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Founding Fathers. But what made his account potent is that it didn’t end there:

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together. Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers. Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

This is the key to Obama’s story: History is progress, and progress is history. Ideas that were once progressive—regulation, entitlements, federal management of education and the economy—are now rooted in our past. They’re conservative.

-snip-

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2013/01/obama_s_inaugural_address_stonewall_seneca_falls_and_american_history_as.html

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Conservative Left. Obama is trying to seize conservatism from Republicans (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Vincardog Jan 2013 #1
CheapShotArtist Jan 2013 #4
Vincardog Jan 2013 #6
Leopolds Ghost Jan 2013 #2
Proud Liberal Dem Jan 2013 #3
BlueDemKev Jan 2013 #5
frazzled Jan 2013 #7
DonViejo Jan 2013 #8
winter is coming Jan 2013 #9

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:14 PM

1. Conservatives by definition resist every "liberal agenda", they exist only to

perpetuate the status quo.

PBO's agenda has been to insult and ignore the left while providing cover to the right's crimes.

Witness: Prosecuting OCCUPY, and Medical Marijuana facilities
Codifying Financial fraud, torture, illegal surveillance and illegal drone attacks.

By their acts shall ye know them.

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Response to Vincardog (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:31 PM

4. I'll concede on the marijuana and Occupy,

but what about him ending DADT, winding down the 2 wars, strengthening student grants and Affirmative Action, raising top tax rates, signing the Lily Ledbetter Act, and trying to pass the Jobs Act in summer 2011?

For someone trying to insult the left, I'm not feeling very insulted by Obama at all. And he even called out the Right for blocking important bills that he wanted to pass. How on Earth is that covering for their crimes?

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Response to CheapShotArtist (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:09 PM

6. The accomplishments mentioned are tinkering around the edges while he and we

ignore the real problems and issues facing us.

Income inequality,
Human initiated Climate change and its' associated environmental collapse,
The hijacking of governments' in service to the wealthy class,
The surrendering of National liberties to Corporate interests
(AKA the Wealthy or Monied Class)

We are asked to applaud symbolic acts and efforts (ending DADT, winding down the 2 wars (Why not end them and bring the troops home now?, strengthening student grants and Affirmative Action, raising top tax rates Slightly, signing the Lily Ledbetter Act, and trying to pass the Jobs Act in summer 2011? )

Where is the call for Universal Single Payer?
Full employment at a livable wage?
Government financed elections?
The end to the farce of Corporate Personhood?
The replacement of "Free trade deals" FAIR TRADE DEALS?
The criminal prosecution of:
Banksters/War Criminals/Environmental crimes/Eavesdropping on ALL OF US?

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 07:55 PM

2. The main stream of the Dermocratic Party has already succeeded in redefining liberalism.

It is now more in common with the socially liberal business conservativism of Bismarck than the progressivism of Teddy Roosevelt.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:47 PM

3. President Obama isn't trying to "seize" anything

The Republicans are moving so far rightward that they are very nearly at the point of falling off of it entirely. Of course, another way to look at it is that Democrats have become the "conservative party" as they want to conserve New Deal/Great Society programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. It's the Republicans whom have become the radicals in their zeal to tear down these programs and, indeed, shred the entire social safety net.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 05:31 PM

5. Aww...MAN!

I misread your post. I thought it said "The Conservatives Left" meaning they'd all packed up and left America for good.

Well, I can keep hoping...

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:05 PM

7. Yo, folks: Saletan is NOT saying Obama is conservative ...

or plying conservative ideas. He's saying that Obama, in his speech, was taking all the progressive policies that have occurred over the decades—from civil rights and the regulation of businesses to Social Security and Medicare—and rooting them in the basic principles of the Founding Fathers: the territory that conservatives always used to claim as their own. And he's saying that conservatives are furious about this because he's reinterpreted their precious fairy tale about the intentions of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and the writings of the founding fathers.

Read it again: he's saying that Obama is reclaiming progressive ideals for the mainstream of American history, and taking that mainstream away from conservatives. Don't be confused by this sentence: "Ideas that were once progressive—regulation, entitlements, federal management of education and the economy—are now rooted in our past. They’re conservative." By conservative here, he is meaning merely that they are rooted in the past, and thus established; that they are nothing dreamed up or far away from the intentions of the founders.


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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:22 PM

8. Exactly!...

Thanks for reading the entire post/article.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 05:32 PM

9. "conservative left"? That's stealing "moron" from "oxymoron". n/t

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