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Obama the Gipper?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

The Political Left is in a meltdown. There's no way to sugarcoat the calamity. It is falling apart. It sees the tide has turned and a possible tsunami is building, ready to crest and explode in November, washing all their dreams away. How could this be happening to them?

Could it be that trillion-dollar disaster otherwise know as the "stimulus," that emergency measure needed to save the economy by creating millions of jobs -- except it's accomplished absolutely nothing except putting our grandchildren yet another trillion dollars in debt? Or the auto company takeovers, something no one wanted and Congress never authorized as part of the TARP bailout fund? Or the appointment of one radical after another to nanny-state us all, including the just recess-appointed Dr. Donald Berwick to oversee ObamaCare, a Marxist who proudly calls for the redistribution of wealth and absolutely adores Britain's onerous National Health Service, rationing and all? Or any one of a thousand other radical ventures proposed/discussed/enacted by this radical leftist regime?


Thom Hartmann, one of the top munchkins along the Yellow Brick Road of Radioland, told his handful of listeners last week that it's ludicrous that any conservative would conclude Obama's a socialist. "As a guy ... me, who calls himself a democratic socialist, Obama's no socialist! He's a middle-of-the-road Democrat, what in the 1950s was called an Eisenhower progressive, or a Republican, for that matter."

This recalls the early Clinton years, when Bob Woodward quoted Bill Clinton yelling at his staff that they were all just like "Eisenhower Republicans" ... as they attempted to pass 1,300 pages of socialist HillaryCare.

Government spending and regulations are thoroughly out of control, but Hartmann the socialist still sees Republicans destroying democracy in the near term, never mind that the GOP is completely out of power: "I think that the Republican endgame for a small group of ideologues who have an outsized influence, the neocons within the Republican party, is to basically do away with small-d democracy in this republic, and in fact do away with it being even a republic, and turn it into basically an aristocracy."

Lord William Kristol. You have to admit it does have a ring.

The dismay was even more grandiose on MSNBC last week, when the executives handed over "The Dylan Ratigan Show" to a man named Cenk Uygur, host of "The Young Turks" radio program. Put your food and drink down. He contends that Obama was more conservative than ... ready? Ronald Reagan. Here's his formulation:

1. Obama said during the presidential primaries that he would meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba or North Korea without conditions. But "Republican hawk Ronald Reagan actually did it in March, 1985. At the height of the Cold War, Reagan invited newly-appointed Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the 'Evil Empire,' for a summit in Geneva without preconditions."

2. Reagan "cut and run" from Lebanon in 1983. Now compare that to Obama and his troop surge in Afghanistan.

3. Obama "refused to raise taxes for anyone making less than a quarter of a million dollars," but Reagan had "four significant tax increases" after his original tax rate cuts.

4. Reagan was "the first to host an openly-gay couple at the White House for an overnight stay? ... So which President is the real conservative here?"

Luckily for the small flock of strange people viewing MSNBC at home, both of Mr. Uygur's guests told him he was all wrong. Frank Donatelli, one of President Reagan's political directors, was deliciously blunt. "That's the silliest thing that I've ever heard. ... It's an incomplete and distorted picture of everything."

Donatelli calmly related that Reagan cut taxes overall, negotiated with Gorbachev after the little precondition of a complete defense buildup, and he won the Cold War, while "Obama hasn't won anything."

Even David Weigel, the Palin-Limbaugh-Drudge-insulting commentator beloved by the likes of Keith Olbermann, dismissed the Uygur stupidity. "He's not a conservative. Come on!"

Leftists may be delusional in thinking Barack Obama is some kind of Reaganite. But if that's delusional, how does one describe Janeane Garofalo? As always, her nuttiness is in a league (institution?) of its own. On The Huffington Post, she groused of conservatives that "They own the media and they dominate the media and they dominate the conversation. But of course liberals are proud. They have everything to be proud of. But they just don't have much say. You know, they don't have networks and huge radio networks and megachurches and seats in Congress."

Liberals don't have the seats in Congress? Garofalo isn't just wrong, she's in meltdown.

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