President Obama is a great public speaker. And what he says is largely determined by the audience. Specifically, people hear what they want to hear. Republicans hear a radical, lefty liberal socialist hellbent on turning the United States into a socialist worker’s paradise. And while those of us on the left hear the soaring, rhetoric of a committed liberal, his policy stances frequently veer into the territory often held by the Republicans. Basically, people see in the President what they want to see. Democrats see a liberal, which he is not, and Republicans see a Marxist, which he is not.
The President wants to get reelected, a goal that I share with him. And to do so, he’s going to have to reach out to that broad center of America that occupies neither the right nor the left. For as ideological as Washington has become, the overwhelming majority of this country could care less about political philosophy. They’re interested in results, namely, jobs. And with the President’s decision this past week on keeping lower emission standards in place in order to spur industrial growth is just one such area in which the President is bound to disappoint the left flank of his party. But in selling out the activists in his party, who are bound to vote for him anyways, he’s reembracing that strategy so successfully deployed by Bill Clinton: triangulation.
I think that what we’re witnessing is the political coming of age of the President. He’s had a massive record of legislative success over the past three years. But with the installation of a Republican majority in the US House, that momentum has ground to a halt. Obama has no choice but to move to the center and respond to political realities as they are, not as they should be. And that, more than any liberal rhetoric, will do more to ensure his reelection than pandering to the far left of his own captive base. Have at it, run another Nader. For those of on the far left that remember 2000, they remember clearly what the results were: eight years in the wilderness. Swallow the pride and take what you can get, while the getting’s good. Because for as crappy as you may think it is under this Democratic administration, it looks like paradise under a potential Perry Administration.