Not that you needed another example of how far the left has gone, but in Sunday’s Outlook section of The Washington Post, one of its editors actually made the case that former President Barack Obama is a conservative who was misunderstood by both the left and right.
Assistant editor David Swerdlick argues in his piece, “Barack Obama, Conservative,” that the difference between Obama’s “steady approach and the seeming radicalism of his Democratic heirs can’t just be chalked up to changing times.” Did you catch that? “Seeming radicalism.”
No, Obama wasn’t a Republican, the editor goes on to note, pointing to the fact that he never desired to shrink the federal government and opposed the Iraq War, but “Obama never dramatically departed from the approach of presidents who came before him.”
“There’s a simple reason,” he says. “Barack Obama is a conservative.”
Perspective: Democratic presidential candidates still can’t figure out how to talk about the most popular figure in their party, @Swerdlick writes, and there's a simple reason.— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 22, 2019
Barack Obama is a conservative. https://t.co/45gsMfhQ2c
While his policies were not right-leaning, it was his approach to governing that made him conservative, the author argues.
But his constant search for consensus, for ways to bring Blue America and Red America together, sometimes led him to policies that used Republican means to achieve more liberal ends. The underlying concept for his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, with its individual mandate, was devised by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and first implemented at the state level by Mitt Romney, then the Republican governor of Massachusetts. Obama wanted to protect Americans from the effects of a prolonged recession, so he agreed, in one of his defining votes as a senator, to a bailout of banks — and as president, he prioritized recovery over punishing bankers for their role in the financial crisis. In his first inaugural address, he affirmed the power of the free market "to generate wealth and expand freedom."
The author’s arguments get more ridiculous than that—he says Obama “studiously avoided any push for gun control” until Sandy Hook forced his hand; that Obama “believes, fundamentally, that the American model works” clearly forgetting Obama’s infamous pledge to fundamentally transform America; Swerdlick also says Obama’s second inaugural address “was a thoroughly conservative document,” praised as such by Newt Gingrich; the former president “embraced respectability politics”; and (anti-cop) Obama “routinely extolled law enforcement,” even defending the justice system after George Zimmerman’s acquittal (after politicizing the tragedy, claiming if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.)
That is but a sampling of the absurd arguments Swerdlick uses to support his claim that Obama is a conservative.
Twitter users were quick to point out the author clearly understands nothing of what conservatism is about.
Uh, no. Trump has caused many to forget what conservatism means, but Obama was no conservative. The leftism of many current Ds & the chaos of Trump may make Obama *appear* more conservative, but the suggestion he championed our principles is laughable. https://t.co/plOrZL5358— Heath Mayo (@HeathMayo) November 23, 2019
Perspective: Whoever wrote this argument, whether it be @Swerdlick or his editors, *really* doesn’t know (or care about) anything about conservative political philosophy, nor do they care about the basic importance of semantics. https://t.co/NaGlEi0zaY— Anthony Leonardi (@TonyDLeonardi) November 24, 2019
Let this sink in. Obama is now considered "Conservative". pic.twitter.com/zd1OqzMuPt— TheRabbitsHole Podcast (@TheRabbitsHoleP) November 25, 2019
The center of the left is so far left now that Obama is considered a conservative BY the left. https://t.co/Byns5pNIyW— Sinuous Grace (@sinuous_grace) November 24, 2019