Too Liberal For the WSJ

Barack Obama must have done something right. The Wall Street Journal is approaching hysteria. Obama, we are told, "has by far the most liberal program of any Democratic nominee since George McGovern in 1972." It describes Obama's proposals as being "from the Great Society." That news will be reassuring to Democrats who considered him too centrist.

Democrats who think Obama may be too willing to compromise should be equally reassured by the WSJ's perspective.

Mr. Obama's concessions are nearly all rhetorical, a nod that Ronald Reagan had some good ideas or that the free market does some things well. But his policy instincts and political program always seem to turn left.

Too quick to negotiate with enemies, too slow to make war. A liberal advocate of big government and income redistribution. Is this the kind of change we want?, the WSJ skeptically asks. If that's what Barack Obama will give us, I skeptically answer, the answer is an unequivocal yes.

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    It was a great speech (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:18:36 AM EST

    Sounds good to me (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by CoralGables on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:19:03 AM EST
    "Too quick to negotiate with enemies, too slow to make war."

    Well hell, tell me where to sign up to support this new policy. I'm all in. That's change I can believe in.

    To the right wing (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:20:33 AM EST
    it is an article of faith that the Great Society was a miserable failure.

    Comment from the TImes of London (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by pixpixpix on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:38:26 AM EST
    Anatole Kaletsky column on challenging Republicanism.

    Whether or not Mr McCain would continue the policies of President Bush (and much of the evidence suggests that his would be a Bush presidency on steroids), he would keep in power the coalition of interests that the Republican Party represents: the energy and military-industrial lobbies, the religious conservatives, the anti-environment interests and the neoconservative think-tanks. These groups - which have gained enormous influence, both financially and intellectually, under President Bush - are as responsible for the blunders of the Bush Administration as Mr Bush himself, arguably more so, given the President's notorious lack of interest in the details of any of his own policies.

    If a Republican is again elected president, these same centres of power will continue to dominate Washington. However many wars they encouraged, however high the price of oil rose, however many tax dollars were redistributed in their favour, the neoconservatives and Pentagon contractors and religious fundamentalists and oil and Wall Street lobbies would conclude that there would be no political price to pay for failure. They would be justified in concluding that there is no longer any democratic check on their ambitions.

    It is only by ejecting the Republicans from the White House that American voters can send the message that they are still in charge of their country and that gross government incompetence will not go unpunished. Accountability - not personality or rhetoric or colour or age or gender - should be the overriding issue in this election.....

    I don't think he's liberal enough (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by MichaelGale on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:04:34 AM EST
    But I sometimes think I border on socialism. Must have had a past life.

    Bernie Sanders of Vermont is a self-described (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:23:12 AM EST
    Socialist. Dennis Kucinich also fits the bill for me. They're the furthest left and they're my two favorite politicians in Congress. They are what i would call true progressives. However, in practical terms, I supported Hillary as the most electable progressive Dem candidate.

    All protestations to the contrary, Obama is to the right of Hillary. Until tonight, he didn't even like to call himself a Democrat. We'll see how that works out soon enough.


    Obama is STILL to the Right of Hillary (none / 0) (#59)
    by rottodamn on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 07:30:09 AM EST
    in reality. Hillary has the most liberal voting record of any Senator. Obama was giving the youth base the song and dance. Now Obama wants to talk about Democratic ideals while praising Ronald Reagan before...I give the guy leeway to get elected but he is all over the place.

    Too Liberal No, Not Liberal Enough (none / 0) (#24)
    by Redshoes on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:21:34 AM EST
    I like to believe in a former life I was on the vanguard like Dorothy Day but since in this one I'm on the couch I doubt it.  

    For Obama to achieve what he says he is (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Grace on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:11:01 AM EST
    going to achieve, it is going to require income redistribution.  There is no other way.  

    The WSJ isn't going to like it, but who cares?  Is Barack Obama listening to lobbiests?  Noooooo.  At least, he tells us that he isn't listening to them....

    Someone said tonight cost $6 million dollars (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Grace on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:15:25 AM EST
    to produce.  

    You could give 300 families $20,000 in lieu of having this Invesco stadium show in Denver.  

    If Democratic principles count so much, the money would have been better spent with the 300 families.  

    How much would it have cost to do the show without the fancy backdrop?  Without the fireworks?  Was all of that stuff really necessary?  

    The increase in cost of moving it from (none / 0) (#28)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:25:38 AM EST
    the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field? Excellent question.

    Well.... (none / 0) (#54)
    by zvs888 on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 02:35:03 AM EST
    They spent $50M on security for each of the two conventions.

    Plenty of money wasted on everything.  These DNC/RNC are like Olympics.

    A massive party waste of time.

    Obama needed this stage though for the gravitas.  I usually don't much agree with David Gergen, but he was right, Invesco made the whole thing larger than life which gave it a natural gravitas that Obama was able to bring down with the actual rhetoric.


    But used free TV time (none / 0) (#62)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 08:44:54 AM EST
    How much would an ad buy that effective have costed?

    I think it was politically contributed money well spent.

    I'm all for charitable contributions too of course, but that is a whole other issue.


    Who are the financial wonks in... (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by EL seattle on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:28:37 AM EST
    ... the House and Senate that Obama can bring into the planning planning and scheduling for the goals that he's setting here?  Spread a bit of gravitas over the enterprise to give it some weight?

    The right will attack with the usual "tax and spend, tax and spend!" rhetoric.  If Obama has clear plans and priorities for the laundry list, it will be a little bit more difficult for the "fiscally irresponsible" charges to stick, I think.

    By the way, in my opinion, it will not be a smart thing for any democrats to use the "Well, you  guys did it too! And worse!!" argument against the inevitable charges from the right that these programs and goals are not economically balanced.  Sometimes it's tough to act like grown-ups, but somebody has got to do it. (Hopefully.)  

    I think a lot of us didn't get the new (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Grace on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:54:36 AM EST
    comment rule.  I'm still posting here because I didn't get it.  I guess, if I go over the 4 alloted bad ones, you'll delete me.  

    Otherwise, I'd have to go where everyone else did...  

    I just can't "get on board."  I'd like to but I can't.  I just can't wrap my head around it.  

    TChris, (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by cpinva on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 02:07:19 AM EST
    i wouldn't get too excited about the WSJ waxing hysterical just yet. i believe the last nominee they didn't think was too liberal was, um, warren g. harding.

    we all know how well that worked out! lol

    What a great night... (1.00 / 2) (#5)
    by prose on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:30:59 AM EST
    and speaking of skepticism, it seems ripe still here at TalkLeft.  Admins, can we, in the spirit of unity, begin to make this a place where those who doggedly criticize and decry our nominee will NOT have a voice?  It seems to me that Obama and his camp have done everything possible to reconcile with the Clinton camp, and, at this point, it would be good to enforce the policies of this site strictly.  Just my two cents.

    I disagree... (5.00 / 6) (#8)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:42:01 AM EST
    ... with both the idea of silencing people who are still skeptical of Obama, and the contention that Obama has done much of anything to reconcile with Clinton supporters.

    On the latter, what exactly has he done? They didn't even want her name placed in nomination, and after much arm-wrestling and teeth-pulling, she didn't even get a roll call vote to acknowledge how many delegates she won. And all these stories about how Clinton hasn't been doing enough to help Obama--who's been urging the press to write these?


    Agreed (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:47:50 AM EST
    A ridiculous idea.

    On the silencing people (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:48:31 AM EST
    for criticizing Obama part I mean.

    I disagree with the rest of your comment.


    That's fine, of course. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:49:40 AM EST
    I am curious as to how you see the Obama campaign as having reached out to Clinton supporters. Maybe I've missed something.

    Well... (none / 0) (#18)
    by prose on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:09:49 AM EST
    we had two nights of Clinton speeches, the Clinton vote at the convention, the praise of President Clinton despite his speech being off the topic he was given (even though the speech was phenomenal, it is meaningful to notice that Obama didn't make him speak on topic).  There were also repeated references to woman's rights, and populist causes a la Sen. Clinton.  She was spoken of respectfully again and again.  And then, obviously, the Clintons spoke on behalf of the Obama campaign to their supporters.

    Criticizing Obama is one thing, but determinedly continuing to denounce everything he says and questioning his character is just sour grapes and it seems to me that it lies outside of the stated goals and guidelines of this site.  

    BTD, if I'm wrong about that, that is fine.  As I said, this was just my 2 cents.


    I find it interesting (5.00 / 10) (#21)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:12:24 AM EST
    that Bill and Hillary Clinton could give two fantastic speeches in support of Barack Obama's candidacy, speeches that surely made a huge difference in terms of his prospects for November, and Obama supporters can still look at those speeches as favors that Obama was nice enough to do for the Clintons.

    It was a huge favor the Clintons did also... (none / 0) (#23)
    by prose on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:18:54 AM EST
    but it didn't have to be the way it was.  What we saw was both sides reconciling.  I honestly have no idea what else people expected of the Obama camps.  That is something I'd like to hear

    Well, for one, a complete (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:37:45 AM EST
    toll call w/no pressure on delegates to make a show of unity.

    I'd think... (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:46:26 AM EST
    ... that having a very popular former Democratic president, as well as the candidate who basically tied the nominee, speak is a minimum. How could they not? Women's rights and various populist causes are core Democratic values, that one would hope would be mentioned whether Hillary Clinton ran or not. And to many Clinton supporters, having a truncated roll call denied them a chance to see their votes in action at the convention.

    I see we're going to disagree on this, but that's fine. I respect your point of view.


    You got me (none / 0) (#46)
    by weltec2 on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 02:03:04 AM EST
    standing up clapping again OrangeFur.

    So much for tolerance and inclusion............... (none / 0) (#20)
    by SueBonnetSue on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:11:22 AM EST
    So you are one of Obama's minions (none / 0) (#56)
    by zfran on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 05:58:37 AM EST
    and a staunch supporter. I respect, admire, and deem your opinion of his candidacy as real and one you certainly are entitled to. To want to quell and silence someone else's judgement or opinion, is exactly one of the themes of Sen. Obama's speech last night. He praised his opponent, the man, and criticized his opponent, the candidate. If you want to stifle opposing voices, then, to us, by the same definition, you should be silenced. Let the rest of us get to our own conclusions the way you did. Thanks.

    Wouldn't have expected anything less (none / 0) (#4)
    by Redshoes on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:27:29 AM EST
    if they can scare enough people to vote for McCain their interests win.  If not, they reinforce the liberal label on what are traditionally (by that I mean the country-club politics a la Nelson Rockefeller) conservative policies, so again their interests and not progressive values prevail.

    WSJ Editorial Page (none / 0) (#7)
    by Brookhaven on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:39:23 AM EST
    Frankly, what did you expect from the WSJ Op-ed page?  They are mostly Republican partisans who are walking the talk or whatever it is they do.    

    WSJ reporting is a much different story but the editorial page are a bunch of nutjobs.

    Yes, it was a very good political speech.  I wrote something two threads ago about this mentioning the New Deal, Fair Deal and Great Society, HRC and Obama but won't repeat it here.  Suffice it to say, my problem with Obama is I don't feel he will deliver on what he said in that speech (which if not for HRC would not have been given this evening) and I don't feel he has the inner will or resolve to fight with a Dem stick the rabid Republicans represented by the WSJ Editorial page.  

    I've been a Dem for over twenty years, have never voted Republican and will not, nay, cannot vote for McCain.  But, I am still not convinced Obama will deliver.  I still don't trust him and time is running out.

    And, this cannot be said often enough: the WSJ Editorial board is nuts.

    Frankly... (none / 0) (#9)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:42:47 AM EST
    ... I don't think even John McCain really gets the approval of the WSJ editorial page. That's a low bar if ever there was one.

    Having said that... (none / 0) (#15)
    by OrangeFur on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 12:52:35 AM EST
    ... yes, of course, Obama's policy positions are in general much closer to mine than McCain's.

    Too liberal? (none / 0) (#16)
    by zyx on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:01:51 AM EST
    Maybe he should have worn a toga.

    Anti-Obama memes put to rest by convention (none / 0) (#27)
    by Johannes on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:25:32 AM EST
    1.  Not liberal enough (per topic).

    2.  Will be embarrassed by Hillary delegates.

    3.  Clintons will not give wholehearted support.

    4.  Not tough enough.

    5.  Can't recover from sagging polls.

    6.  Can't name a VP as good as Hillary.

    7.  Not specific enough on policies.

    8.  Stadium rally bad idea.

    9.  Etc.

    Of course, these will soon be replaced by new false memes.  For example, we already see that he has gone from "not specific enough" to "too specific - can't deliver."

    McCain must have gone through a case of adult diapers tonight.

    Is there really (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:28:04 AM EST
    a consensus that Joe Biden is "as good as Hillary"?

    If I think he's a fine pick, does that really mean I need to sign onto your consensus?

    I think I missed the part of the convention where that fact was established.


    Let's set a benchmark (none / 0) (#39)
    by Johannes on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:49:51 AM EST
    Hillary was preferred by 28% of Democrats prior to the convention.  If more than 28% comes up in a future approval poll about Biden, that will mean he is perhaps better - and certainly as good.

    Wow (none / 0) (#40)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:52:04 AM EST
    That's some really horrible logic skills you just displayed there.

    Plus inaccurate data n/t (none / 0) (#50)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 02:14:13 AM EST
    Only 2 and 3 (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by tree on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:30:43 AM EST
    were put to rest. The jury's still out on the rest, except perhaps 6, which Hillary's conention speech  just reinforced.

    Some of (none / 0) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 05:42:49 AM EST
    those have not been put to rest. We don't know if he's tough enough yet. He'll have to show that in the next two months. His campaign so far has not shown it.

    As far as the polls go, we don't know what's going to happen there. He's got a bump from the convention but will it last with the GOP having one next week?

    We'll just have to wait and see on these.


    Heh (none / 0) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 06:06:29 AM EST
    Um, it was a good speech but come on.

    Crimmony. (none / 0) (#32)
    by decih on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:32:06 AM EST
    And while we have no polls to prove it, our guess is that more than a few white Americans would welcome an Obama victory in November in part as a way to put the battles over racial grievance and preference further into the background of American public life.

    You hear that? Apparently, white people are going to vote for Obama in droves because they feel guilty. Nice.

    Balderdash (none / 0) (#34)
    by Prabhata on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:34:10 AM EST
    Who is saying this? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Redshoes on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:37:06 AM EST
    No polls, a "guess" it sounds like modern day journalism just wondering which idiot.

    :Guilty" isn't what was said - nor implied (none / 0) (#44)
    by Johannes on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:55:57 AM EST
    I call race-baiting.

    Reading that excerpt... (none / 0) (#45)
    by EL seattle on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:59:42 AM EST
    ... which as excerpts go is really totally absolutely lacking any necessary context as far as I can see.  As I read this, these few white Americans could either be:

    A.) Well meaning and guilt-ridden, happy that all is finally right in the world; (We've got an AA president! Everything will get better now!); or

    B.) Smug and content that they can basically tell someone to "shut-up!" if they complain that racial grievances still exist.  (We've got an AA president! You're on your own now, pal!)

    ( /snark, sort of, but I would like to read the entire source item or at least a bit more of it. )


    The quotation (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by TChris on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 02:03:33 AM EST
    is from the WSJ editorial that is the subject of (and linked in) the post.

    Oddly enough... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by EL seattle on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 02:20:05 AM EST
    ... when I read the WSJ piece with my "context" glasses on, I can still interpret it to go either way.

    I can certainly imagine the "We've got an AA president! You're on your own now, pal!" theme popping up in a few WSJ pieces if Obama wins in November.

    (Thanks TCris, for pointing out the obvious linkage at this late hour.)


    Well that explains it (none / 0) (#51)
    by Redshoes on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 02:18:46 AM EST
    I speak "conservative" (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 02:27:34 AM EST
    They are saying that if we elect this guy, we won't have to listen to Al Sharpton any more.

    There was a lot of talk like this (none / 0) (#64)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 08:56:06 AM EST
    when Obama first annoucned his candidacy - a victory for him would mean there is no more racism and people should just shut up about it.

    That will be the meme on the right if he wins.  Get ready for it.


    McCain's VP (none / 0) (#33)
    by Prabhata on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:32:27 AM EST
    The game could change the game if McCain chooses Palin.

    Oh, gawd.... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Johannes on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:53:10 AM EST
    McCain was the kesser of evils for the GOP, and his VP choice will be the same - ranging from idiotic to boring.

    Looks like Pawlenty, whoever that is.  zzzzzzzzz....


    Good corrective... (none / 0) (#37)
    by prose on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:38:21 AM EST
    I just appreciate this site and the differences of opinion here but am concerned by some of the "dead-end" comments I read.  The limit of four is pretty good, I suppose.

    I wonder if the Dark Lord (none / 0) (#43)
    by weltec2 on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 01:54:53 AM EST
    Rupert Murdoch wrote that himself or if he conjured one of his minions from the pit of hell to write it.

    This IS limiting dissent (none / 0) (#49)
    by Valhalla on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 02:12:24 AM EST
    Both remaining campaigns are largely running on personalities and bios; not issues.  There is some possibility that the balance of that shifted a bit tonight, but it's unlikely that that either candidate will become 100 percent issues.  Some folks who left may have misunderstood, but I think most didn't.

    The limit for criticism of the ticket is entirely within Jeralyn's purview, of course, but as soon as I saw that post I thought we'd see an influx of the 'dancing on graves' comments (excellent summary btw), given the traffic over the past couple weeks, and we did, on that very thread, including, yes, an accusation that any Clinton supporter who didn't support Obama was racist.  "tinged with racism" is the phrase used, I think.  Also, the much-discussed accusation that anyone not supporting Obama is responsible for McCain armageddon popped up, with 3 comments by the same person.

    So while 4 comments a day are allowed for disagreement, the fact that any sort of support for the ticket, even grave-dancing, accusation of racism support is allowed but can't be answered bc of comment limits results in a de facto, although not de jure, constraint.

    TChris -- my apologies for going totally OT, the constraint thread was closed by the time I saw it, and I have no complaints whatsoever if you delete this.

    That will not be allowed (none / 0) (#65)
    by waldenpond on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 10:40:54 AM EST
    I left that thread so that the discussion could take place and Jeralyn could read all of it to clarify.  BTD made very clear the slim 'whoever that was' will never be tolerated.  Jeralyn would never tolerate it, I would delete those comments.

    I treat both candidates the same.  I think 4 comments per day to say you don't support the ticket is plenty.  You can criticize positions, you can discuss the impact character may have on the voters.  There is nothing that is off the table and there is no comment limits on any of that.  

    It is just me, but I encourage everyone to continue to lurk.  I don't envision a change.  This is a great site for debate.


    Overton Window Games (none / 0) (#58)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 06:23:15 AM EST
    gradeschool antics.

    And I thought the left wanted someone (none / 0) (#60)
    by rottodamn on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 07:37:17 AM EST
    who would fight against Republicans, not lay down with them. Everyone else was too soft to go against the Republican machine (Gore, Kerry) and now they get behind a charmer. The GOP are bullies. I hope he starts to push back and not lay down.

    as an avid reader (none / 0) (#61)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 08:10:10 AM EST
    of the wsj who thinks that if they dumped their editorial section they would be a GREAT paper, the answer to the wsj is YES.  Yes we want that type of leadership.....

    My interpretation (none / 0) (#63)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 08:49:51 AM EST
    which I will stick to until told otherwise, is that the phrase

    Those critical of the ticket

    means those comments criticizing that the ticket is Obama-Biden, as opposed to some other ticket. That ship has sailed.