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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:55 AM
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Obama the radical
Interesting perspective from the UK

Yet Obama delivered a message that was anything but conservative, offering a thorough rebuttal of his predecessor's foreign policy and signalling a break in the nearly 30-year grip the notion of limited government has exerted on US politics. Taken together, what that brief spell under the blue winter skies of Washington DC suggested was an approach that may come to characterise the Obama presidency. It is conservative in style, radical in substance.

So note the exclusive presence of Protestant clergy in today's proceedings, despite the celebration of inclusivity that Obama's inauguration symbolised for so many. What's more, the invocation was given by Rev Rick Warren, a powerful evangelist who maintains a hard line against abortion, and backed last year's California campaign to outlaw gay marriage. That choice outraged many on the left among them those in the crowds who booed when Warren took the podium today but it reassured America's cultural conservatives.

But just listen to what he said. In one exquisite paragraph, he repudiated and terminated the with-us-or-against-us, force-first-not-last, macho foreign policy of the Bush era. Obama recalled the earlier generations who defeated "fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.
There is a precedent, albeit indirect, for this trick. It comes from the man Obama hailed during the 2008 campaign as a "transformational" president: Ronald Reagan. Once elected, Reagan did not look over his shoulder at the previous consensus. Instead he seized the moment to drive through his own small government agenda, assuming the public would soon come around. He did not feel obliged to meet the centre-left halfway. And yet he wrapped it all in a warmth and charm that ensured it was not threatening. He too was a radical on substance, no matter how cosily traditional his style.

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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:57 AM
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1. Not radical.
More like non-idologically boxed and labeled.
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Beregond2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:36 AM
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2. This is true, Obama does understand the wisdom of wrapping
progressive policies in conservative-sounding rhetoric and symbolism. Or rather, he digs deep enough to find the true conservatism underlying progressivism: a desire to conserve and refine the liberal impulse on which America was founded.
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