Steve Chapman

What no one seemed to notice is that the commission came about only because of an executive order by Obama, who also appointed the leaders. Could it be that Obama selected them because he knew, and liked, what they would propose?

Jonathan Chait of The New Republic noted that their plan is "tilted, overwhelmingly, toward Republican priorities," and that "three-quarters of the savings come from spending cuts." He made the excuse that to appease Republicans, "the commission had to cater to their whims by crafting a plan that lies almost as far as can be toward the right-wing side of potential choices."

Could be. Or it could be they catered to the whims of Barack Obama.

Conservatives have always assumed that because he learned from radical Saul Alinsky, knew former Weatherman Bill Ayers and sat through sermons by Jeremiah ("God damn America") Wright, Obama must sing "The Internationale" every morning in the shower. Giving up that conviction is not easy.

Even after he cut the tax deal with Republicans, Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger claimed the president is "a Class Warrior with every fiber of his being" -- comparing his policies to those of Franklin Roosevelt in his 1936 attack on "economic royalists."

But under FDR, the top income tax rate was 94 percent. Obama proposed a top rate of 39.6 percent. That's higher than under President George W. Bush, but lower than the 50 percent top rate in 1986 -- when the president was a notorious class warrior named Ronald Reagan.

Liberals and conservatives have one thing in common: They have both persisted in believing that Obama, in his heart of hearts, is a man of the left. But by his fruits, they -- eventually -- shall know him.

Steve Chapman blogs daily at newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/steve_chapman. To find out more about Steve Chapman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.
 

 
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