Obama Shifts to the Center, Adopts Conservative Views
The LA Times reports that Sen. Barack Obama is "shifting towards the center" and adopting views Republicans would be comfortable with. Examples:
A handgun ban. The death penalty. U.S. wiretaps. Iran and Israel. Trade. On all of those issues, he has recently staked more moderate ground.
Barack Obama, as he introduces himself to the broader voting public, is emphasizing centrist -- even conservative -- positions on hot-button issues.
In recent weeks, he toughened his stance on Iran and backed an expansion of the government's wiretapping powers. On Wednesday, he said states should be allowed to execute child rapists. When the Supreme Court the next day struck down the District of Columbia's ban on handguns, he did not complain.
Centrists are taking notice:
"I've been struck by the speed and decisiveness of his move to the center," said Will Marshall, president of the centrist Progressive Policy Institute.
I'd add his outreach to the evangelical right as another example.
I don't think this is a vote-getting move, I think it's the real Barack Obama. It's something I've pointed out since the beginning of his campaign: He is not a liberal.
He has had no clearer message in this campaign than "there are no red states, no blue states, just the United States."
For those of us who believe there is a sharp dividing line between the parties and the Republican views are unacceptable, this is a disappointment.
We do have a comfort zone with Obama though, small as it is: Health care, social security. And I think the judges he will appoint, both to the Supreme Court and our federal courts, will be far better and less right-wing than those McCain would appoint.
I don't see his candidacy as the poster child for change he's promised, but perhaps change comes in increments. And, a little bit of change is better than the status quo and regression another Republican president would bring.
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