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Thu Nov 20, 2014, 01:29 AM

Media’s awful right-wing fetish: Why pundit calls for Obama centrism are deluded

The thing is that even liberals buy into this narrative that is designed to troll and exagerate splits between Democrats by arguing that President Obama should, of course, move more the right away from the left members of his party. Of course, this ignores the recent election where many Democrats in contested races ran to the right of the President! Nonetheless, watch as the media ignores Republican inaction and posturing on immigration, and buys into Republican efforts to paint the Presidents efforts to keep families intact in the enforcement of immigration laws as executive overreach.

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/19/medias_awful_right_wing_fetish_why_pundit_calls_for_obama_centrism_are_deluded/

On Monday we had Politico telling us President Obama needed Sen. Mitch McConnell to “save his legacy.” Wednesday the National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar takes his turn defining Obama’s legacy, explaining that Obama has big bad plans to “advance his legacy … at the expense of the Democratic Party’s long-term health.”

The problem with these narratives is that they leave the definition of Obama’s desired “legacy” in the hands of pundits not well qualified to define it. And both pieces posit that Obama and his party are at cross purposes: What’s good for one is bad for the other.

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Predictably, Kraushaar is riding the pony of false equivalence. Early in the piece he reveals “the dirty secret in Washington.” Wait for it: “While Obama (rightly) blamed Republicans for holding positions to the right of the American electorate, the president is pursuing policies that are equally as far to the left.” You can be forgiven if you stopped reading there.

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What these “legacy” pieces have in common is the fiction that securing a positive legacy for the Democratic president requires centrist compromise with Republicans, nothing else. Never mind that Obama delivered an important new social democratic program in the ACA, brought the country out of what might have been a second Great Depression and crafted imperfect but decent financial services reforms. Those are the things that historians will define as his legacy. Cozying up to Mitch McConnell or Joe Manchin won’t merit a footnote.

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