Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Walter Shapiro Tries to Tell Us That Obama Isn’t Liberal


Back on Monday, I saw an article written by Walter Shapiro. It was featured on Yahoo! News with the title, “Don’t hem him in: ‘Liberal’ can’t define the Obama presidency.”

He stresses that, while “Obama is indeed a transformational 21st-century leader” who reflects “the end of the white-bread politics” responsible for two terms of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, the President merely “embodies” a new America.

Apparently, “Any discussion of Obama’s newly expressed passion for gun control has to begin with the fact that this Chicago-shaped politician is our first urban president since John Kennedy. Unlike, say, Bill Clinton, Obama never came from a place where guns are equated with hunting rather than violent shootouts. Remember, during the 2008 primary campaign… Obama in a private fundraiser derided rural voters who clings to guns or religion.

Shapiro has similarly stupid points for other issues…

Immigration reform? Well, John McCain – a true bastion of conservatism – George Bush and Karl Rove all supported it back in 2005. Economic policies? He quotes Obama as saying, “My policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.”

Taxes, Social Security and Big Business? He signed the fiscal cliff deal. He “toyed with” raising the senior citizen status age. He “allowed the Wall Street masterminds behind the economic collapse to go unpunished for their flagrant misdeeds.”

Now, even Shapiro has to admit that the aforementioned Obama quote was “self-servingly hyperbolic,” a fancy way of saying that it’s inaccurate and irrelevant.

Gun control is a liberal position. You come out in favor of them and you’re liberal; it doesn’t matter if you were born in the country or the city. Mocking Americans for “cling[ing] to their guns or religion” is a liberal position. Say any such thing and you’re a liberal.

Moving on to immigration reform… There’s a difference between a Republican legislator and a conservative principle. Citing a wishy-washy politician or two does not make a liberal issue un-liberal. Taxes… Normal Americans’ paychecks just decreased noticeably under Obama, so don’t tell me that he’s anti-tax. Social Security… He “toyed” with the idea. He didn’t actually do it. Not even close.

And big business? It’s a baseless farce that liberals don’t like the rich. They love their rich donors and reward them well. Why do you think that blue-blood, business-central New England and New York always go Democrat?

Yet even so, Shapiro does have a point. Liberal really doesn’t define Obama. Socialist does.

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