Brad DeLong provides very important historical context for President Obama’s policies:
I remember what policies Barack Obama has in fact pursued:
- George H.W. Bush’s tax policy.
- Mitt Romney’s health-care policy.
- John McCain’s climate-change policy.
- George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy.
- Bill Clinton’s spending policy.
- Dwight Eisenhower’s Federal Reserve policy.
- George W. Bush’s education policy.
The idea that we ought to be willing to raise taxes when we find, as a society, that we are not willing to cut spending–is there a more bedrock, conservative, Republican principle than that? Romney’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance was originally sold as a conservative, Republican responsibility principle–and guaranteed issue was a fundamental principle of fairness. Similarly, carbon taxes and cap-and-trade are what the Daddy Party would say: clean up your room!
Obama was happy with the same kinds of Federal Reserve chiefs that George W. Bush was happy appointing. Et cetera. We could all write the speeches for Obama policy initiatives as rooted in conservative, Republican principles and rhetoric–indeed, some of us have.
The key thing to remember is that, with some minor quibbles on the policy side (which has little to do with politics), these are policies Obama wanted. It bears repeating: Obama is a Rockefeller Republican. Every time I get spammed by some progressive group asking me to support the beleaguered president, I think to myself, “Suckas!” Most of these policies–again, with some difference in detail–are exactly what conservatives want.
This means, once again, rank-and-file Democrats (not just liberal ones) are going to have to fight like hell to prevent cuts in Social Security–cuts that are completely unnecessary.
How about in 2016, Democrats nominate an actual Democrat?