It’s Groundhog Day! Check the box (again)
February 2, 2012
He cites that many of Obama’s key initiatives (cap-and-trade, health care, TARP) were along the lines of ideas floated by some Republicans. So, you see, Obama is really a Centrist and it’s those hypocritical Republicans moving to the Right at light speed who are making him out to be a leftist.
Stripped down Lizza’s argument amounts to this. “If I define the “average” Republican position to be about where I believe it should be and I imagine the average Liberal politician is suitably to the Left of the President then logically Obama is a centrist.” QED
If you cherry pick Republicans and issues you could probably create a vision of the party that resembles. . . well, the one Ryan Lizza want us to imagine. At the end of the day during his four years as Senator, Obama voted with his party 96% of the time. The wishful and mendacious aside, there was zero evidence Obama had any ability or interest to behave in a bipartisan manner despite his transparently disingenuous assertions to the contrary.
Mickey Kaus put it differently
“Lizza’s apparent thesis–that Obama tried to end Washington’s “divisive trench warfare” but was thwarted by hyperpartisanship–is a classic “Neutral Story Line” (‘Can’t they get along’) given a mild anti-GOP twist. It’s also a bit of a crock. After the 1994 failure of President Clinton’s health care plan, if not before, it was obvious to anyone paying attention that passing a universal health care plan would be a heavy lift, opposed by most Republicans.”
Kaus the dissects another aspect of Obama’s leadership. . .
“The President’s decision-making method–at least as described in the piece–seems to consist mainly of checking boxes on memos his aides have written for him.”
“As part of its efforts to explore peace talks with the Taliban, the Obama administration is considering the controversial release of several senior Taliban figures from the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. The names of those being considered for release have not been disclosed, and the conditions are still being discussed. But diplomatic sources say they would probably be relocated to Qatar in the Persian Gulf, where the Taliban is negotiating the establishment of a liaison office to facilitate dialogue with the U.S.The administration has said any discussion about releasing the detainees is very preliminary and hinges on the Taliban renouncing terrorism and agreeing to peace talks.”