Obama - Just Another "Liberal"
Elected on the promise to transcend old arguments of left and right, Obama has systematically reinforced them on domestic issues. A pork-laden stimulus. A highly centralized health reform.
Eight months into Obama's term, American politics is covered in the cobwebs of past controversies. Obama has supporters, but he has ceased trying for converts.
This should surprise no one. Obama did not rise on Bill Clinton's political path -- the path of a New Democrat, forced to win and govern in a red state. Obama was a conventional, congressional liberal in every way -- except in his extraordinary abilities. His great talent was talent itself, not ideological innovation.
And given the general Republican collapse of 2006 to 2008 -- rooted in the initial unraveling of Iraq, the corruption of the Republican congressional majority and the financial meltdown -- Obama did not need innovation to win. Only ability and the proper tone.
Obama, once again, relies on his political virtuosity to prevail. But he lacks the ideological tools to win unexpected allies and poach support in the middle. His main argument remains: ``I won.'' That may be enough to muscle through a comprehensive health reform bill (though I doubt Obama has changed the challenging political dynamic in Congress). It is not enough to realign American politics or change its tone.Gerson ist's exactly 100% supportive of the current GOP either, so it's not just mindless hyper-partisan GOP blabber.
Check the column out here.