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Liberalism Without Dogmatism?

By Alec MacGillis
James Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, has made plain his dissatisfaction with the contenders for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. But this week he sent out an e-mail to his troops in the religious conservative movement saying that he knew one thing for sure: He doesn't want a liberal like Barack Obama in the White House.

"What does it take to be the most liberal member of the United States Senate -- farther left than Ted Kennedy, John Kerry or even Hillary Clinton? For the answer, take a look at a man who could be the next president of the United States: Barack Obama," wrote Dobson. "If he emerges as the Democratic nominee, one of the critical jobs of Focus Action will be to uncover the real Barack Obama -- not the feel-good orator who speaks of 'change' and 'hope,' but the man who would be the most left-wing president in our nation's history."

A new supporter of Obama's employed the same label this week, even as he offered praise. Andrew Bacevich, the conservative Boston University professor who came out against the war in Iraq even before his son was killed while deployed there last year, called Obama a "liberal Democrat" as he handed him a somewhat grudging endorsement.

Clearly, the candidate who sees himself transcending facile categorization is going to spend much of the coming months trying not to be put into the liberal box.

Will he succeed? Those I spoke with recently on the subject agreed Obama presented Republicans with a challenge as they try to suit him up with the outfit they've stitched onto past Democratic contenders. Notably, they said, there is a marked absence of dogma in Obama's liberalism, making it difficult to paint him as an ideological warrior, as left-leaning as his platform may be.

Andrew Biggs at the American Enterprise Institute noted, for instance, that one of the most outspokenly progressive planks in Obama's agenda, his proposal to lift the cap on income taxed for Social Security, now set at about $100,000, likely came about not from any burning tax-and-spend conviction but out of political positioning. In some of the early primary debates last spring and summer, Obama said that Social Security was in trouble and that he'd be willing to consider lifting the cap, among other options, as a way to fix it. This drew ire from liberal columnists and bloggers, as well as the Clinton campaign, who charged him with exaggerating Social Security's fragility and thereby adopting a Republican talking point. It was only after that that Obama gradually moved toward embracing as his chosen fix -- a lifting of the income cap, ruling out a cut in benefits or raising of the retirement age.

"Even to acknowledge the problem, you're a right-wing tool, so at that point, he had to react against it by coming up with as liberal a policy idea as he could," Biggs said. "It was a response to the left wing, him trying to put it to rest and say, 'Look, I'm as much a lefty as you.'"

Obama's Social Security tax hike on the well-to-do will be an obvious target if he's the nominee. But Robert Reich, the former Clinton labor secretary, invokes a historical analogy to describe why he thinks Obama will in general be able to skirt the liberal tag. As Reich sees it, Obama fits more into the Democratic strain represented by Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy than that of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. Where Roosevelt and Johnson framed the national debate as being about regulation versus the free market, the others viewed it as a question of government's effectiveness and whether it is "controlled by the special interests or accountable to the broader public."

"It's a question of what Americans can achieve by working together rather than fighting with one another," Reich said. "And it makes it exceedingly difficult for modern Republicans because they don't know how to respond -- they're much more comfortable on the terrain established by FDR and continued by Johnson."

Further helping Obama avoid the fate of such past candidates as Mike Dukakis and Walter Mondale may be the circumstances of this year's election. Obama had John Edwards running to his left in the primary, helping Obama look moderate by comparison. And in the general election, he would be running against someone in John McCain who is close to Obama on several major issues, including climate change, immigration and campaign finance reform.

That's not to say Republicans won't give it the usual framing their best shot. Pete Wehner, a former deputy assistant to President Bush, sees Obama being particularly vulnerable to the liberal tag when it comes to his determination to withdraw troops from Iraq within 16 months, which Wehner says will be hard to defend if conditions in Iraq improve. Obama, he argues, risks coming across as "hermetically sealed against good news" in Iraq.

But Democrats are quietly hoping that this time around, it may be different, given Obama's ability to present a liberal platform in such an appealing, unthreatening package. Dayton Duncan, a spokesman for Dukakis's 1988 campaign, recalls that when he watched Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Republican primaries, he was sure he'd be easy to beat in the general election. "I was someone who prayed nightly that the Republicans would nominate the ideological one, a guy who said trees pollute and kill people and was so easy to paint as beyond the pale ideologically, just by trotting out things he said. Yet people looked at him and said, 'I like the guy.' There's a little bit of that with Obama."

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 26, 2008; 6:13 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama Gets Back to Work
Next: The President Speaks, But is Anyone Listening?


Our perception of "liberal" has changed dramatically since 1980. What is called "left" today was solidly moderate before Reagan's administration. It is now essentially used as a label for anyone who focuses on the idea of "the common good", not marching in obedient lockstep with those in political office. And increasingly, people accept this label proudly. After all, look at how much our nation has deteriorated under the rule of the radical right! Clearly, the uber-capitalist strategy has been tremendously damaging for this nation.

For the past quarter century, the wealth of the nation has been siphoned into the bank accounts of the very rich, serving the few at the expense of the majority. History shows that this is a formula for destroying a nation.

The right-wing has (again) driven this country into the hole. Meanwhile, we have the "talking heads" instructing us to praise the fine clothing of our emperor. And anyone who dares to point out that the emperor is naked as a jaybird is labeled "left".

Posted by: fabian955 | March 29, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The Keating 5 was really the Keating 3. Neither McCain nor Glenn belonged in the lineup.

Posted by: edbyronadams | March 27, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Liberal chicks are hotter. Liberal dudes get more action.

Posted by: danw1 | March 27, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Gee whiz chemistmike I get the feeling that your moniker is the only truth to be found in your jumbled diatribe. What chemicals have you been sniffing to excess? Do you stay up at night trying to combine all this nonsense into some form of logical progression? If so, sorry, waste of time better spent sleeping and conserving some semblence of sanity. Ah the sweet nectar of Morpheus. Unless I misread you (I admit, not hard for me to do) I was lost from the very opening of your rant when you seemed to equate the First Estate and the lame old charge of Papal world conspiracy. In the future keep in mind that the Pope's ecclesiastical cohorts would have been bundled together in the Second Estate. In the Estates General the French nobility were the First Estate. Me, I would have been among the multitude of unrepresented hoi polloi of the Fourth Estate.

However, I must admit I actually got more than one laugh out of your insightful addition to discourse. Maybe you should submit it to SNL?

Posted by: pennymoffet | March 27, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

This is the Hillary I know and will vote for:

Posted by: rmary65 | March 27, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"Liberalism without Dogmatism" and without ELECTABILIY.

I guess I'll be having to fantasize about moving to Canada again.

Posted by: lithium452 | March 27, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Liberalism reminds me of The Feudal Society of the Middle Ages, in which there is an elite aristocracy that solely own and controls the proletariat serfs. The First Estate, the Roman Catholic Ecclesiastic authorities have been replaced by the politically-correct leaders, like George Sorros and Ted Kennedy. Like the Pope and his Curia, these liberal leaders can grant indulgences, in which all sins, including murder and imprisonment of dissidents, are exonerated and excused.let alone immorality. ( Look at the clemency extended to SDS revolutionaries for example.) The other aspect of the progressive aristocracy are the non-elected bureaucrats and progressive, ACLU-endorsed, judges who impose the Diktats of the progressive politburo on the public. This is their vision of the world, the progressive, enlightened, liberal, Platonic, Philosopher Kings, ruling the conservative, bourgeois kulaks who only see the shadows on the wall. This modern day Jacobin Directory requires a cadre of Bolsheviks who prefer to believe, rather than think. Liberalism requires the ability of its followers to readily comply with the Orwellian MINISTRY OF TRUTH. Liberalsim also requires a common CLASS-RACE-Religious enemy of the "People". Like Nazism's hatred of the Jews, Democrats and socialist have to make a common enemy of the Christian, Conservative, Capitalist, Caucasian male. All progressives have to hate the "Farmer Jones" enemy of the people all blame the straight, white, bourgeois, counter-revolutionary, kulak, conservative male, ( Especially if they believe in the opiate of the people, Christianity).This liberalism requires not only obedience but support and belief. One world totalitarian dictatorship by an enlightened, omnipotent, infallible, irrefutable elite. Such is Barack Obama ( Just ask Rev. Wright) and such are the other Democratic leaders ( Feminist and SDS supporter, Hillary Clinton, included). Perhaps this is why they have such a solidarity, not only with third -world dictators, but also with radical Muslim extremist as well.

Posted by: chemistmike | March 27, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

This time, this election, the old dogma of name calling - liberal or conservative - will not work. This time we are seeking legitimate leadership.......

Posted by: glclark4750 | March 27, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is a conservative, not a liberal. Barack Obama, like other true American conservatives, is deeply committed to conserving and preserving our American values, ideals, and way of life. The only thing "liberal" about Barack is his openness to fresh solutions to America's many contemporary challenges.

The dictionary definition of the word, "liberal" mirrors the only liberal side of Barack: "not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry; favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded."

American conservatives have always known that cooperative, caring, harmonious relationships among Americans and among nations is a very practical goal, critical to our national security. Certainly, we can sustain neither a desirable standard of living nor our well-loved freedoms at current levels of war spending; yet the problems we face in a violent, unstable world relentlessly compound.

The American dream of "peace in our time" is the essential and constitutional business of a government charged with insuring domestic tranquility, a more perfect union, justice, the common defense, the general welfare, and the blessings of liberty. Peace has always been a conservative idea. Peace conserves lives, resources, good will, money, health, principles and values, our American ideals and traditional way of life, our environment and talents, our time, energy, and property.

We can no longer kid ourselves that America can shoot its way out of a world filled with angry, well-armed enemies and criminals. Growing cycles of hatred, injustice, and violence increasingly threaten the very survival of mankind today, while other serious problems on our small, fragile blue planet go unaddressed. Despite our many prisons, laws, and police forces, despite our huge nuclear and conventional arsenals, our vast military, and our seemingly limitless expenditures for espionage, we are becoming less safe with each passing day.

True conservatives realize that peace and stability, both within and among nations, is a practical mainstream political goal for generations of Americans. What better way could we find to show our troops our appreciation and support for their past and future service than to express our debt of gratitude to them by offering them a President truly charged with partnering with our defense and diplomatic leadership to insure that American soldiers never again march into an ill-planned or unnecessary war?

Although the vast majority of our nation's well-informed, well-educated, and broadly experienced professorial "experts" identify themselves as "liberal," most of them hope to conserve what is best about America through their contributions. It is exactly these same pointy-headed experts we desperately need to bring their knowledge, complexity, and sophistication--i.e., their "expertise"--to urgent contemporary American problems.

Fearing change, we often distrust "fancy-talking" experts as "others" and "outsiders," and thus time and again vote against our own best interests, electing legislators and presidents who themselves distrust experts--with the unsurprising results of bumbling, inexpert political leadership which creates truly bad foreign, domestic, environmental, monetary, social, and defense policy.

Barack Obama realizes we no longer live in our fathers' world. He knows that he cannot find solutions to tomorrow's problems using the same old approaches that got us into trouble in the first place. He sees that, in today's small, interconnected world, what we do to others comes back quickly to help us or to harm us, as we have chosen.

Just as in WWII, we cannot avoid shared sacrifice, nor avoid all injustices, but we can avoid adding to their sum.

We no longer have a choice of changing or not changing. Our only choice now is whether to change for the better, or for the worse. American conservatives everywhere are coming to recognize that Barack Obama is truly our most conservative candidate. With their support, he yet may become our greatest, and most conservative, American President.

(Nancy Pace blogs on breaking news at the intersection of politics, peace, spirituality and culture at

Posted by: nancypace | March 27, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Who listens to Dobson? The National Journal ratings are always skewed this way for presidential elections. They said Kerry and Edwards were two of the most liberal in 2004, which is crazy considering the presence of Feingold and Boxer. Also, the words Bernie Sanders should put to rest this notion. Besides progressive liberals will beat an unnamed regressive conservative this year. The label is dead, Republicans. Go find some other supposed ad hominem attack or assault arousing the base instincts of the misinformed.

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | March 27, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ladya2004 | March 27, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

If only Obama had ANY leadership experience.
The one Senate committee he chairs,... he didn't bother to call a meeting.

The legislation he's credited with in the State senate? He was given it after others did all the work

Why didn't he serve in the military?

Why didn't he wait for years (he does have a history of aiming to take the place of women, that's how he got his state senate seat, he sued and sued and sued )

he's an empty suit.

Posted by: newagent99 | March 27, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

If the superdelegates DO NOT put an END to this, they will be held accountable for that decision during their own re-election.

Posted by: democraticvoter | March 26, 2008 11:49 PM

I'm afraid that's not the superdelegates' main concern anymore. I suspect there is infighting going on within the Democratic Party and there must be a strong faction (DLC?) which wants to keep Obama out of the Presidency, even at the cost of another loss. I smply cannot explain what's going on in any other way anymore, see here:

Posted by: old_europe | March 27, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

European voice

Is B. Obama a prejudiced person - intolerant of opinions other than his own, others lifestyles or gender differing from his own and also dishonest? That is my impression after have been following the campaigns and his followers opinions. In a way he also sounds to be in violation of natural feelings; inhuman - with great difficulty a natural and tolerant uniter and hardly a liberale. He sounds like an actor or a priest.

Florida and Michigan voices have to be heard. Otherwise the Union will be just like China. Neither TIBET in China nor the "Democratic states" of FLORIDA and MICHIGAN have voices. What kind of democracy is the United States of America? Why didn´t Barack Obama agree to a re-vote in the two states? What kind of person is he? After all he is not interested in a conversation with democratic citizens i Florida and Michigan - isn´t that dogmatism?

Posted by: royrichard | March 27, 2008 5:35 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi is speaking to her leftist base, and is not speaking in the interests of the party as a whole. If Clinton, at the end of the process, has a majority of the votes (including Florida's, where there is a DELEGATE problem but no alleged VOTING problem) then the superdelegates should NOT be asked to over-ride the will of the voters. If they do, it will create such a feeling of dis-enfranchisement for those who rightly see Clinton as the winner that the Democrats will see millions of them (including myself) vote for relative centrist McCain or just sit the election out.

Let's agree to something objectively fair: If either candidate gets enough pledged delegates to take the nomination, it is, of course, rightly theirs. But, if as is likely, nobody has those pledged delegates, whoever gets the most votes wins. Why is this so freaking hard? And as for Pelosi and Dean, they are too far to the left of most Democratic voters to be allowed to make decisions on behalf of the party.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | March 27, 2008 3:54 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope that the superdelegates will put an end to the campaign of this kamikaze who believes in ressurection; after all, she is supposed to be Jesus or one of his associates if Bill Richardson is Judas.

Vote Obama or McCain rather than for this power and money driven heartless #$@%! who wears faith and patriotism on her sleeves.

Posted by: Logan6 | March 27, 2008 12:16 AM

Obama cultist - Judas is another term for a betrayer. I don't think Richerdson is a Judas but I do understand analogies.

Posted by: mul | March 27, 2008 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Jesus was killed by rich white people.

WP is back into never never land.

Posted by: mul | March 27, 2008 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton began her negative campaign way before Iowa and she is continuing to this day with her lies and deceptions. She won't hesitate to cross any line for more money and more power, even if this means crossing her own party.

Hillary understands very well that she will not win the nomination and she is playing for 2012 by making sure that the democrats will lose in 2008. Insiders in her campaign admit that the chances for her to win the nomination are slim to none: see the articles



Let's hope that the superdelegates will put an end to the campaign of this kamikaze who believes in ressurection; after all, she is supposed to be Jesus or one of his associates if Bill Richardson is Judas.

Vote Obama or McCain rather than for this power and money driven heartless #$@%! who wears faith and patriotism on her sleeves.

Posted by: Logan6 | March 27, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

The notion that the vile B.S. being spewed during this campaign is HELPING the Democratic party is ludicrous and ANYONE who believes it is STUPID.

Can ANYONE explain to me how SPENDING TRUCKLOADS of money fighting each other IMPROVES our chances in November?? It's ludicrous!!

MONEY is IMPORTANT in politics and SPENDING it to fight the REPUBLICANS is what SMART Democrats do.

If the superdelegates DO NOT put an END to this, they will be held accountable for that decision during their own re-election.

Posted by: democraticvoter | March 27, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

dyend. Clinton fans aren't ones to talk about land deals or any other type of scandals. And if you like Mc Cain I have two words Keating Five..

BTW since you are another low info voter the major news org's recognize that Obama is innocent of any of your phony accusations. Why don't you get a life and advocate for your candidate.

Posted by: TennGurl | March 26, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Likewise, Obama's support for illegal immigration isn't due to any deep ideological conviction, but simply because he's a corrupt seeker of power, and he's willing to act as (at least) a useful idiot for those linked to the Mexican government to get where he wants to go:

This is fun!

And, likewise, Obama admits that terrorist infiltration of the U.S. is a possibility but he has no ideological opposition to that infiltration, he just realizes he can make people think he cares even while he does nothing:

At least he's practical!

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | March 26, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton owes a great deal of his ability to get through all his personal crises to the fact that his "enemies" made him look better

So bring on Rove, Dobson, Hannity - they all will help Barack Obama get elected in November 2008

Obama is not John Kerry
John Kerry refused to believe anyone would believe those lyin' swiftboaters
Obama has already shown he can stand up and fight back - in his own way

A Dobson anti endorsement is good!

Posted by: awb75 | March 26, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

The notion that the vile B.S. being spewed during this campaign is HELPING the Democratic party is ludicrous and ANYONE who believes it is STUPID.

Can ANYONE explain to me how SPENDING TRUCKLOADS of money fighting each other IMPROVES our chances in November?? It's ludicrous!!

MONEY is IMPORTANT in politics and SPENDING it to fight the REPUBLICANS is what SMART Democrats do.

If the superdelegates DO NOT put an END to this, they will be held accountable for that decision during their own re-election.

Posted by: democraticvoter | March 26, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Anybody that uses the National Journal's (a conservative rag) ranking that said Obama was the most "liberal Senator" is a idiot. Hey fools four years ago they said John Kerry was the most liberal after it was clear he was going to be the nominee. This just proves that some Americans are dumb. They are too lazy to research the source. Darn low info voters. Maybe that is why we are ranked 35th in the world for education.

Posted by: TennGurl | March 26, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

James Dobson is 71 years old.
John McCain is 71 years old.
I'm just sayin'....

Posted by: TomJx | March 26, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Ferraro. If Obama were white, with his experience, or lack thereof, this guy could not be elected alderman in Chicago if it were not for the strings pulled by politico boss man Emil Jones & the Rev. Wright.

No, Obama would be some flak for the Daley machine, mending ties with the black community's South Side constituents for whom their relegation to the slums remain the same as they ever were.

Not, however, if, like the Obamas, you have a friend like Antoin "Tony" Rezko, whose real estate acumen provided the Obamas with a bonanza of good fortune that, according to Obama, had no strings attached to it.

And if you buy that, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn...

Posted by: dyend | March 26, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse


Large numbers of Republicans have been voting for Barack Obama in the DEMOCRATIC primaries, and caucuses from early on. Because they feel he would be a weaker opponent against John McCain. And because they feel that a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ticket would be unbeatable. And also because with a Clinton and Obama ticket you are almost 100% certain to get quality, affordable universal health care very soon.

But first, all of you have to make certain that Hillary Clinton takes the democratic nomination and then the Whitehouse. NOW! is the time. THIS! is the moment you have all been working, and waiting for. You can do this America. "Carpe diem" (harvest the day).

I think Hillary Clinton see's a beautiful world of plenty for all. She is a woman, and a mother. And it's time America. Do this for your-self, and your children's future. You will have to work together on this and be aggressive, relentless, and creative. Americans face an even worse catastrophe ahead than the one you are living through now.

Hillary Clinton has actually won by much larger margins than the vote totals showed. And lost by much smaller vote margins than the vote totals showed. Her delegate count is actually much higher than it shows. And higher than Obama's. She also leads in the electoral college numbers that you must win to become President in the November national election. HILLARY CLINTON IS ALREADY THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!

As much as 30% of Obama's primary, and caucus votes are Republicans trying to choose the weakest democratic candidate for McCain to run against. These Republicans have been gaming the caucuses where it is easier to vote cheat. This is why Obama has not been able to win the BIG! states primaries. Even with Republican vote cheating help.

Hillary Clinton has been out manned, out gunned, and out spent 2 and 3 to 1. Yet Obama has only been able to manage a very tenuous, and questionable tie with Hillary Clinton.

If Obama is the democratic nominee for the national election in November he will be slaughtered. Because the Republican vote cheating help will suddenly evaporate. All of this vote fraud and republican manipulation has made Obama falsely look like a much stronger candidate than he really is. YOUNG PEOPLE. DON'T BE DUPED! Think about it. You have the most to lose.

The democratic party needs to fix this outrage. I suggest a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ticket. Everyone needs to throw all your support to Hillary Clinton NOW! So you can end this outrage against YOU the voter, and against democracy.

I think Barack Obama has a once in a life time chance to make the ultimate historic gesture for unity, and change in America by accepting Hillary Clinton's offer as running mate. Such an act now would for ever seal Barack Obama's place at the top of the list of Americas all time great leaders, and unifiers for all of history.

The democratic party, and the super-delegates have a decision to make. Are the democrats, and the democratic party going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee to fight for the American people. Or are the republicans going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee through vote fraud, and gaming the DEMOCRATIC party primaries, and caucuses.

Fortunately the Clinton's have been able to hold on against this fraudulent outrage with those repeated dramatic comebacks of Hillary Clinton's. Only the Clinton's are that resourceful, and strong. Hillary Clinton is your NOMINEE. They are the best I have ever seen.



Posted by: JackSmith1 | March 26, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Not even a nice try Leon.

Even your candidate attempting to characterize Obama as a liberal, in hopes it will discredit him.

Posted by: chrisbmyh | March 26, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

deminf LA:
do you push the walk button numerous times because you're frantic to cross the street?
One click of your mouse will do.

Posted by: sperrico | March 26, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama is an extreme liberal who supported hate speech and anti-american statements. A repubican's dream. There is nothing moderate about Obama and nothing patriotic.

Posted by: deminFLA | March 26, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama is an extreme liberal who supported hate speech and anti-american statements. A repubican's dream. There is nothing moderate about Obama and nothing patriotic.

Posted by: deminFLA | March 26, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama is an exterme liberal who supported hate speech and anti-american statements. A repubican's dream. There is nothing moderate about Obama and nothing patriotic.

Posted by: deminFLA | March 26, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I am a liberal, perhaps even a leftist or atleast more than a progressive and have been my whole life. I am not a Barak supporter.

Barak is not a liberal- just because so many (misguided) liberals want to vote for him- one should not call him a liberal. His policies as he has really voted in the senate and his proposals to be president are generally to the right of Hillary's proposals- he gets a lot of credit for a vote he could not have takin in the senate and the only reason he gets high liberal marks is that the criteria defining liberal votes is wrong.

Running this particular campaign against him would be very untruthful, even if liberal was an insult or injurious word- I don't doubt they would try to do it anyway.

Liberals should wake up and vote for their interests not for whatever rhetorical flourish is being provided by the false prophet, but it is probably too late now anyway as the press has annointed him the candidate.


Posted by: nycLeon | March 26, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

It is time a presidential candidate, and those for other elected federal positions, stood up and defended the duty of our government to "promote the general welfare".

Immediately in the wake of Reagan's election the vast majority of national democrats begin running away from the liberal label (as amorphous label as it is), thus spawned the DLC republican lite brand and its benighted strategy for running a presidential campaign. It didn't work for Gore nor Kerry, and it's not working for Clinton.

President Clinton's election was due more to the force of personality than to the DLC strategy. Gore, Kerry, nor Senator Clinton share such a characteristic.

Posted by: chrisbmyh | March 26, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

This sounds like Republican talking points. What is conservative about a trillion dollar war in Iraq? What is conservative about .5 trillion dollar Medicare drug fiasco? What is conservative about no-bid contracts worth billions of dollars awarded Halliburton and subsidiaries? What is conservative about eavesdropping on every single US citizen's phone call, email, web visit, fax or electronic transmission? What is conservative about the government bailing out private business to the tune of billions of dollars? Yes, George Bush is a "conservative" just like Barack Obama is a "liberal." Whatever?!? These labels are meaningless and silly. Vote for Barack Obama in 2008!

Posted by: ngray2 | March 26, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

If the label of Liberal means spending US tax dollars on America instead of giving billions to weapons builders count me as a Liberal.

Posted by: sperrico | March 26, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

MORE difficult?! When he is ranked the single MOST Liberal member of the United States Senate -- you are aware of that, right -- farther left than Ted Kennedy, John Kerry or even Hillary Clinton?

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree that it will be more difficult to paint Obama with the liberal brush. Furthermore as Bush has dimmed the luster of conservative that Reagan so burnished, the tar of liberal stains less. Furthermore, the strength and weakness of Obama are the same thing. He is inexperienced therefore he has less of a track record to draw upon for examples of out of the mainstream stands.

The image that often jumps to mind when thinking of possible presidential debates between McCain and Obama is Reagan's quip about Mondale's youth and inexperience. Only this time, it wouldn't be funny.

Posted by: edbyronadams | March 26, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Go Dobson!!!

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

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