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Is Obama Really a Conservative?

On the heels of the kerfuffle over John Fea claiming that Barack Obama is the most explicitly Christian president the US has ever had, I was pointed by a friend (thanks Adam Yankay!) to a thought provoking piece from The Political Compass that places Obama clearly on the conservative end of the political spectrum. Here is a chunk of their post.

This is a US election that defies logic and brings the nation closer towards a one-party state, masquerading as a two-party state.

The Democratic incumbent has surrounded himself with conservative advisors and key figures — many from previous administrations, and an unprecedented number from the Trilateral Commission. He also appointed a former Monsanto executive as Senior Advisor to the FDA. He has extended Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, presided over a spiralling rich-poor gap and sacrificed further American jobs with recent free trade deals.Trade union rights have also eroded under his watch. He has expanded Bush defence spending, droned civilians, failed to close Guantanamo, supported the NDAA which effectively legalises martial law, allowed drilling and adopted a soft-touch position towards the banks that is to the right of European Conservative leaders. We list these because many of Obama’s detractors absurdly portray him as either a radical liberal or a socialist, while his apologists, equally absurdly, continue to view him as a well-intentioned progressive, tragically thwarted by overwhelming pressures. 2008’s yes-we-can chanters, dazzled by pigment rather than policy detail, forgot to ask can what? Between 1998 and the last election, Obama amassed $37.6million from the financial services industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. While 2008 presidential candidate Obama appeared to champion universal health care, his first choice for Secretary of Health was a man who had spent years lobbying on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry against that very concept. Hey! You don’t promise a successful pub, and then appoint the Salvation Army to run it. This time around, the honey-tongued President makes populist references to economic justice, while simultaneously appointing as his new Chief of Staff a former Citigroup executive concerned with hedge funds that bet on the housing market to collapse. Obama poses something of a challenge to The Political Compass, because he’s a man of so few fixed principles.

As outrageous as it may appear, civil libertarians and human rights supporters would have actually fared better under a Republican administration. Had a Bush or McCain presidency continued Guantanamo and introduced the NDAA, the Democratic Party would have howled from the rooftops. Under a Democratic administration, these far-reaching developments have received scant opposition and a disgraceful absence of mainstream media coverage.

For the rest, including comments on Ron Paul, check it out here. You can also find a link there where they explain their methodology. They also offer a survey that allows you to find where on this you would be. Can’t wait until Glenn Beck sees this! 😉

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One comment on “Is Obama Really a Conservative?

  1. Yes I agree, there really is only one big-government party. It has its red flavor and its blue flavor, but really the difference is as meaningless as ones favorite color. Ron Paul represents a somewhat different position in that his views are actually anti-state to some extent. However, Paul does defend the state’s action at the local level especially in the regulation of civil liberties (abortion etc). I think a consistent position would to be anti-state broadly, and anti-authority broadly, this is the view of left-libertarians and individualist anarchists.

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