A few people (namely my girlfriend) expressed disbelief when I mentioned in a previous post that I do not see Barack Obama as a Liberal.

My personal definition of a Liberal, is a leftist (socialist) who is pro-choice, supports gay rights, and sympathetic to minority issues (ie immigration and civil rights). Obama does lean "left" as it's framed between the two parties we have in power right now; however, they are not too left or right themselves. Although, that's another issue completely.

Right-wing talking heads would have you believe that the bank bailouts and Obama's health-care reform is a high-step march to socialism. Socialists seem to disagree.

(Billy Wharton, Washington Post)
The first clear indication that Obama is not, in fact, a socialist, is the way his administration is avoiding structural changes to the financial system. Nationalization is simply not in the playbook of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and his team. They favor costly, temporary measures that can easily be dismantled should the economy stabilize. Socialists support nationalization and see it as a means of creating a banking system that acts like a highly regulated public utility. The banks would then cease to be sinkholes for public funds or financial versions of casinos and would become essential to reenergizing productive sectors of the economy.
Wharton then goes on to criticize Obama's proposed health care reform.
A national health insurance system as embodied in the single-payer health plan reintroduced in legislation this year by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), makes perfect sense to us. That bill would provide comprehensive coverage, offer a full range of choice of doctors and services and eliminate the primary cause of personal bankruptcy -- health-care bills. Obama's plan would do the opposite. By mandating that every person be insured, ObamaCare would give private health insurance companies license to systematically underinsure policyholders while cashing in on the moral currency of universal coverage. If Obama is a socialist, then on health care, he's doing a fairly good job of concealing it.
As for the GM/Chrysler bailout liberals suggest that the government should take possession of these companies and use them to build a national mass transit system and alternative-powered cars (Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com). On the other hand, Obama claims he only wants to restructure the companies and have them pay off their "loans" all the while with minimal government management (David E. Sanger,NY Times).

(Barack Obama, Reuters)
If GM and Chrysler were willing to do what was necessary to make themselves competitive and if taxpayers were repaid every dime they put on the line, it was a process worth supporting. We saved hundreds of thousands of jobs as a result and expect to get our money back.
In recent gay rights news, Obama deviates from social liberals. The White House and Republicans pressured a Florida congressman into removing an amendment to a defense appropriation bill that would remove funding to investigate "don't ask, don't tell" violations (George Bennett, Palm Beach Post). Obama is even opposed to gay marriage, though he is cool with civil unions (James Kirchick, Washington Post).

President Barack "Barry" Obama is by no means a Republican or a bible thumping-Regan Worshiping-Neoconservative. He is definitely a Democrat, but not a pinko liberal spawn of Devine and Lenin.



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