Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sullivan: Obama the Pragmatic Liberal

Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Dish makes the case that Barack Obama is the same pragmatic liberal as President that he promised to be as a candidate.

I'm a little flummoxed by those expressing shock that Obama is actually proposing to do what he campaigned on - on climate change, healthcare, torture, and some income redistribution. He's always been a pragmatic liberal - and what makes him so effective a politician is that he has a very plausible argument that at this moment in time, greater government action may be needed in some areas. I think the obvious crisis in healthcare and the danger signs about our environmental balance are clear. How we tackle these problems is open to debate - but that government has some role and that reform is needed is obvious.

He didn't borrow and spend in a boom, as Bush did. He is borrowing and spending to counter a downturn more pernicious than any in memory. He isn't bailing out the banks with an invisible and unaccountable slush-fund, as Bush did. He's doing so transparently and bending over backwards to keep as many banks in private hands (not socialist enough for many, even on the right)...At some points, his critics on right and left will see the pragmatic, reasonable path he is trying to forge. In cutting him some slack, the American people seem wiser to me than many in the commentariat.

--Ballard Burgher

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