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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Does a Left Turn Look Like?

We know that the American electorate is ready for a change, but exactly what “Change We Can Believe In” are we looking at?   While Presidential Bush still remains unpopular (27% approval rating), the US Congress (12% approval rating) is competing with lawyers, used car dealers and mortgage brokers for popularity.   Over the past two years of the new Congressional Democrats, the only political check on the Congressional move to the “progressive left” has been GOP Senators (with a solid filibuster firewall) and a weak GOP President.  

While many in the Main Stream Media (MSM) would lead us to believe that Obama is a centrist, his liberal voting record, his radical left wing friends, his “ spread the wealth around” socialism and his class warfare rhetoric on the campaign trial indicate otherwise.   But are the American people ready for a sharp left turn politically into European style socialism?

            Peter Dupont, in his editorial piece in the Wall Street Journal listed seven major policy shifts from an Obama administration with the backing of the Democrat controlled Congress He makes the strong case for the Europeanization of America.   In other words a trend towards socialism with full support of a Democratic President and Congress, (aka “one party rule”).  To quote Mr. Dupont in his Wall Street Journal opinion piece, “So where is the new Obama administration likely to take us? Seven things seem certain:

1)    The U.S. military will withdraw from Iraq quickly and substantially, regardless of conditions on the ground or the obvious consequence of emboldening terrorists there and around the globe.

2)    Protectionism will become our national trade policy; free trade agreements with other nations will be reduced and limited.

3)    Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people and businesses, and individuals will pay much higher Social Security taxes, all to carry out the new president's goals of "spreading the wealth around."

4)    Federal government spending will substantially increase. The new Obama proposals come to more than $300 billion annually, for education, health care, energy, environmental and many other programs, in addition to whatever is needed to meet our economic challenges. Mr. Obama proposes more than a 10% annual spending growth increase, considerably higher than under the first President Bush (6.7%), Bill Clinton (3.3%) or George W. Bush (6.4%).

5)    Federal regulation of the economy will expand, on everything from financial management companies to electricity generation and personal energy use.

6)    The power of labor unions will substantially increase, beginning with repeal of secret ballot voting to decide on union representation.

7)    Free speech will be curtailed through the reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine to limit the conservative talk radio that so irritates the liberal establishment.

These policy changes will be the beginning of the Europeanization of America. There will be many more public policy changes with similar goals—nationalized health care, Kyoto-like global-warming policies, and increased education regulation and spending.” Opinion Page, Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2008

Is American ready for socialism?   Apparently, polling data from Tipp On-Line in August 2008 indicates that while the majority of Americans are not supportive of socialism, higher taxes and government ownership of industry, the Obama supporters appear to support a socialist approach.   This socialistic approach is confirmed in Senator Obama’s liberal voting record as an elected official.

“Since ADA's founding in 1947, the Annual Voting Records have served as the standard measure of political liberalism. Combining 20 key votes on a wide range of social and economic issues, both domestic and international, the Liberal Quotient (LQ) provides a basic overall picture of an elected official's political position.”   Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)  on voting records, which ADA has tracked since 1947.   US Senator Barack Obama ranked as a 95% liberal (out of 100%) on 20 issues in 2006.  Essentially, Mr. Obama is a certified liberal, as rated by the ADA “gold standard” for political liberalism in the United States.

So if the junior Senator from Illinois, (who is the least experienced and most liberal Presidential candidate in modern history), is actually elected, what is the probability that he will track to the political center and provide any challenges (vetoes) to a Democrat majority in Congress?    Or rather will Obama following his previous voting records and lead the US on a sharp turn to the left on political issues, with the full support of the majority of the Democratically controlled Congress?

As for many Americans,  “Change We Can Believe It” is a platitude that sounds good on the campaign trail.    In a year or two, under the liberal approach taken by an Obama Administration, those same Americans may be saying “Change We Can’t Stand For” as their President and his Democrat operatives in Congress turn the country sharply to the political left.

© 2008, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media, 


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