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Several months ago I publicly criticized a college professor at Indiana University - Kokomo for marking a student's labeling of Nancy Pelosi as a liberal wrong (the professor had corrected the student by drawing a line from Ms. Pelosi to the "moderate" label). The professor and University's defense that it was merely a "thought-provoking exercise," was as weak as it was transparent. Notice that the student's labeling of Rush Limbaugh as "far-right" wasn't redrawn to moderate so as to provoke any discussion. Hmmm.
At the time I explained that this was merely the latest example of a larger strategy on the part of the left to reposition themselves as "centrists." They know the polls. They live by the polls. And the polls all show that conservatives outnumber liberals by a 2 to 1 margin in this country. So marketing yourself as "liberal" is not a smart move politically. Marketing yourself as "centrist" however, is very chic.
Consequently we have leftists - from college professors to media commentators to politicians - who are doing their best to redefine the American political spectrum. They sell socialists as liberals, which makes true liberals appear centrist, thus making true centrists as conservative, and true conservatives become the radical right. Hey...if you can't sell your ideas, at least you can sell snake oil to the masses, right?
As part of that plan, we find the Washington Post's Ezra Klein taking up the cause:
Perhaps this is just the logical endpoint of two years spent arguing over what Barack Obama is ? or isn't. Muslim. Socialist. Marxist. Anti-colonialist. Racial healer. We've obsessed over every answer except the right one: President Obama, if you look closely at his positions, is a moderate Republican of the early 1990s. And the Republican Party he's facing has abandoned many of its best ideas in its effort to oppose him.
If you put aside the emergency measures required by the financial crisis, three major policy ideas have dominated American politics in recent years: a plan that uses an individual mandate and tax subsidies to achieve near-universal health care; a cap-and-trade plan that attempts to raise the prices of environmental pollutants to better account for their costs; and bringing tax rates up from their Bush-era lows as part of a bid to reduce the deficit. In each case, the position that Obama and the Democrats have staked out is the very position that moderate Republicans have staked out before.
Got that? Never mind the stimulus, the TARP, the takeover of business, and the fact that the Republican attempts to compromise in the 90s to avoid HillaryCare before it collapsed due to conservative resistance could hardly be called Republican acceptance of universal healthcare, Obama is no socialist. He's a remake of George H.W. Bush. He's a centrist! That is until they go after the MoveOn.org vote.