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President Barack Obama tried being a moderate.
That angered his liberal base.
So now he’s trying to become a born-again liberal.
That’s angering moderates.
They say moving sharply to the left destroys what little hope Obama might have had to build the kind of coalitions that allow Presidents to actually get things done.
Moderates argue that Obama’s new strategy of “soaking the rich” will backfire and set the Democratic party back 30 years to a time when it was considered a fringe party hovering on the margins.
Conservative Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska says the President should stick to his earlier plans to cut spending and stop venturing left into raising taxes and “soak the rich” strategies.
“There’s too much attention on dealing with closing so-called loopholes, eliminating deductions and raising taxes,” Nelson says.
Democratic strategist Mark Penn Tuesday said Obama is “basically tearing apart his own coalition.”
President Clinton managed to regain his footing without raising taxes and protecting Medicare and Social Security. President Obama has it the other way around. He’s already said he would consider cuts to entitlements and now he’s talking about tax increases… He’s ignoring the one group he really needs, independents.
Columnist David Brooks, writing in Tuesday’s New York Times, also says Obama is abandoning the center he needs to continue his Presidency.
The president believes the press corps imposes a false equivalency on American politics. We assign equal blame to both parties for the dysfunctional politics when in reality the Republicans are more rigid and extreme. There’s a lot of truth to that, but at least Republicans respect Americans enough to tell us what they really think. The White House gives moderates little morsels of hope, and then rips them from our mouths. To be an Obama admirer is to toggle from being uplifted to feeling used.
The White House fired back, saying Obama no longer in a mood to compromise.
“We were in a position of legislative compromise by necessity,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said Tuesday. “That phase is behind us.”