What is the lie liberals have been telling themselves for four years?
That Barack Obama is, or ever was, a moderate.
If there is one truth that came out of Mr. Obama’s inaugural address that was nonexistent in his first, it is this: he is a classical, pseudo-1960s liberal, in every sense of the word.
Now, most of us on the right, including most moderates, have long accepted this fact. Obama was ranked as the most liberal senator before he ran for President, to the left of the likes of John Kerry. Of course, that kind of analysis was not meaningful to the left, who argued it was skewed.
But Obama’s address this week was a progressives wet dream. If you want to give it a title, the best one I can imagine is “The Era of Big Government is back!”.
Look no further than the promises Mr. Obama made in the speech.
Was there promise to confront the hard questions, like entitlements? No. In fact, Obama promised not to confront entitlements. “The commitments we make to each other — through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us,” Obama told the cheering crowd as he launched his second term. “They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”
In other words…no real entitlement reform.
Compare this to his commentary in 2008: “We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further,” Obama told The Washington Post editorial board. “We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else’s.”
That Obama no longer exists.
This is not an Obama who believes in more fiscal sane government, that believes in lower taxation (as he ran on for the Senate in 2004). This Obama believes in a smaller Defense Department, bigger social welfare state, higher taxes and more regulation. That was his mission statement yesterday.
The only place where liberals even have the thinnest of arguments is on foreign affairs, but with Obama policy on Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and elsewhere starting to resemble classical liberal outlooks than conservative ones going forward, and with choices such as John Kerry and Chuck Hagel for Secretaries of State and Defense, I think even that argument is quickly going to fall flat on its face.
So, Obama is a liberal. No surprise to 70% or more of Americans. Of course, the extreme left woke up this morning, imagining that it was a new day, and their leader had made another evolution. How quaint.