When even CNN is asking how far left the Democrats have gone, you know it’s serious!
By John Avlon | Updated 12:04 PM ET | Thursday August 1, 2019
Of course, the powers that be at CNN didn’t want readers to think that was the network’s opinion, so immediately following the byline you’ll find:
Editor’s note: John Avlon is a CNN senior political analyst. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.
Italics and boldface in the original. Now, properly warned, the reader can be prepared to read the piece with the stink-eye already in place!
When did Barack Obama become a Republican?
I’m asking because, according to some folks on the debate stage in Detroit, support for policy positions like the public option, comprehensive immigration reform and trade agreements are now dismissed as “Republican talking points.” The same applies to asking practical questions about how proposals would be passed or paid for. That’s not only a sign of how far left Democrats are moving but also a warning about how liberals risk reinforcing Donald Trump’s re-election playbook.
Of course, all this is absurd. Obama is the Democratic Party’s most popular ex-President in living memory. Despite Republicans’ relentless and often unhinged attacks on him as socialist and worse, it’s now clear that he was a responsible center-left leader.
Uhhh, he was? Leaving aside the fact that “responsible center-left leader” is an oxymoron, President Obama opened the military to ‘transgender’ people, people who will require expensive medical procedures and be non-deployable for large parts of their ‘service.’ Mr Obama had Title IX guidelines issued which deprive male college students of their due process rights when accused by a female student, and concomitantly encourage complaints of sexual assault to be handled by college administrators, whose maximim punishment is limited to expulsion and banning from campus anyone found guilty . . . which leaves any actual sexual predators convicted in these kangaroo courts out on the streets, free to assault other women, just as long as it’s off-campus. Our 44th President had negotiated a climate change agreement that he knew would never be approved by Congress, and his position on abortion helped lead the Democrats to supporting an abortion-up-to-the-moment-of-birth license.
After inheriting the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, Obama actually reduced the deficit in his second term and backed bipartisan reforms on stubborn issues like immigration. Many of his policy outreaches to Republicans were rebuffed, and it’s because of the reflexive demonization of Obama that many Democrats today are saying that it’s useless to reach out to Republicans. I understand their frustration. But still, the ability to work with Republicans is the third quality that a CNN poll shows Democrats want most in their next president, the first being an ability to defeat Donald Trump. And that requires more than a purely play-to-the-base strategy that ignores independent swing voters.
The notion that under President Obama the budget deficit was reduced is laughable. yeah, it was reduced . . . from the ridiculous levels of his first term. The FY2009,2010,2011 and 2012 budget deficits were $1.4, $1.3, $1.3 and $1.1 trillion respectively, and yes, the subsequent deficits were below a trillion dollars. But, with the exception of the $439 billion deficit in FY2015, every one of those deficits was significantly higher than any run under the younger President Bush, and the two subsequent fiscal years saw those deficits increasing again, to $585 and $665 billion.
That the deficit has once again exploded under President Trump does not somehow excuse those under President Obama; it means that our 45th President has done a rotten job on curtailing spending.
Let’s not forget that passing Obamacare was a massive task. Obama proposed a public option as a more practical and popular alternative to the single-payer system that very few Democrats supported just a decade ago.
That’s just it: Obysmalcare should never have been passed in the first place. Yes, it was a massive task, but that does not mean it should have been done at all.
What President Obama managed to get passed was a plan which was doomed to fail, and is in fact failing. The idea was to get something, anything, passed which would establish the principle that the federal government was ultimately responsible for guaranteeing health care coverage, and then, once it did fail, the left would say that, ‘Well, we tried a conservative alternative, and it didn’t work, so all that’s left is single-payer.’
No, what ought to be left is to end the cockamamie notion that the government is responsible for the individual’s health care.
There’s more, of course, as the author argues for a ‘public option,’ in which people could buy their health insurance from the government, but that’s really no different from direct government subsidies; we would still have taxpayer dollars paying for the individual’s health insurance.
And the author notes the virtual open borders the Democrats are talking about — though some of them mealy-mouth the terms — and pushes what Mr Obama favored, an immigration reform which would regularize the status of the illegal immigrants currently in the country and citizenship for the so-called ‘Dreamers’ in exchange for ‘increase(d) border security.’ no real border security was ever proposed.
The author is hardly the first one to call for a more moderate approach by the Democrats, because he wants the Democrats to win the 2020 elections. But moderation by the Democrats would only be a sham, a fig leaf to cover the nakedness of their hard left policies.
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