Obama the Centrist

John McCain, in Obama is a Centrist, says “The president has become more centrist, which makes him easier to work with.”

Paul Krugman, in The Centrist Cop-Out, says “President Obama initially tried to strike a ‘Grand Bargain’ with Republicans over taxes and spending. To do so, he not only chose not to make an issue of G.O.P. extortion, he offered extraordinary concessions on Democratic priorities: an increase in the age of Medicare eligibility, sharp spending cuts and only small revenue increases. As The Times’s Nate Silver pointed out, Mr. Obama effectively staked out a position that was not only far to the right of the average voter’s preferences, it was if anything a bit to the right of the average Republican voter’s preferences. The pres­i­dent, as we’ve seen, was will­ing, even eager, to strike a bud­get deal that strongly favored con­ser­v­a­tive pri­or­i­ties.”

Obama’s Right-Wing Plan to Win the Center — “Obama ‘Big Deal’ on Debt a Gamble to Win the Center” Advisers think securing his plan would ensure general-election victory.

Glenn Greenwald in Barack Obama is gutting the core principles of the Democratic party: “It is now beyond dispute that President Obama not only favours but is the leading force in Washington pushing for serious benefit cuts to both social security and Medicare.”

Jack Cafferty, CNN, writes: “Here is more evidence of the suicide mission this country is on: General Electric announced it’s moving its 115-year-old X-ray business from Waukesha, Wisconsin to Beijing, China. . . . General Electric’s Chief Executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is one of President Obama’s advisers on… ready? U.S. job creation!”

Michael Powell, in Obama the Centrist Irks a Liberal Lion, quotes Robert B. Reich: “If you widen the lens, the public is being sold a big lie — that our problems owe to unions and the size of government and not to fraud and deregulation and vast concentration of wealth. Obama’s failure is that he won’t challenge this Republican narrative, and give people a story that helps them connect the dots and understand where we’re going.”

Mr. Reich, 64, is one of several prominent liberal economists who despair of what they say is this president’s political caution, and his unwillingness to duel with an emboldened Republican Party.

Faced with a Republican majority in the House, Mr. Obama this week appointed Gene Sperling, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, as director of his National Economic Council, and William M. Daley, a centrist politician turned banking executive, as his chief of staff. Mr. Daley was a member of the Third Way, a group that counsels deficit reduction, more tax cuts and perhaps trimming Social Security.

Mr. Reich is not pleased by the president’s message of late.

“By freezing federal salaries, by talking about deficits, by extending the Bush tax cuts, he’s legitimizing a Republican narrative,” Mr. Reich says.

Rep. John Conyers, quoted in Conyers spills the beans on Obama & SS & jobs bill; call for WH protests: “We’ve got to educate the American people at the same time we educate the President of the United States. The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor did not call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal. The President of the United States called for that. My response to him is to mass thousands of people in front of the White House to protest this. We want him to know from this day forward that we’ve had it. We want him to come out on our side not to watch and wait. We’re suffering.”

See also:

How Obama killed the anti-war movement

Obama as a Centrist. Really

Obama’s Centrist Tone Hits Right Note; State of the Union Ratings Soar

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