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Obama’s Identity Crisis


Last Friday, the New York Times asked President Klink if he was a socialist. On Sunday, the Times ran a follow-up:

On a flight from Ohio to Washington on Friday, Mr. Obama was asked whether his domestic policies suggested that he was a socialist, as some conservatives have implied.

“The answer would be no,” he said, laughing for a moment before defending his administration for “making some very tough choices” on the budget.

As the interview progressed, Mr. Obama never returned to the question. When he called, he said he had been thinking about it as he boarded the helicopter taking him back to the White House.

“It was hard for me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question,” Mr. Obama said from the Oval Office.

Because he has no idea of the tenets of socialism? Because the Times isn’t a serious media outlet? Because Barry is too busy partying to know what people are saying about him?

He then dismissed the criticism, saying the large-scale government intervention in the markets and the expansion of social welfare programs had begun under his Republican predecessor, Geroge W. Bush.

“It wasn’t under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks,” Mr. Obama said. “And it wasn’t on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement, the prescription drug plan, without a source of funding.”

Aren’t these the failed policies of the past? I thought the people voted for change, to turn the page, and head in a new direction. It seems some of Bush’s ideas were pretty good in Barry’s eyes. Good enough to continue and expand beyond the horizon. I guess change can be mean whatever he wants it to mean.

He added, “We’ve actually been operating in a way that has been entirely consistent with free-market principles, and some of the same folks who are throwing the word socialist around can’t say the same.”

Which presumes that Mr. Bush and the previous Congress actually abided by free-market principles. Or, Barry doesn’t really know what free-market principles are.

Mr. Obama has always sought to avoid being defined by labels, presenting himself as open to ideas from the left and the right. Asked to describe his philosophy in a word, he said, “No, I’m not going to engage in that.”

It's hard to describe a philosohy that openly contradicts itself. Maybe the Obama philosophy is “Confusionism”. Or he knows he’s a socialist, and is aware that acknowledging that truth honestly will kill his prospects.

But his budget plan prompted criticism suggesting that he was intent on undoing the dominance of conservative ideas that started under Ronald Reagan, and that he had revealed himself as a free-spending liberal.

Mr. Obama pushed back against that characterization in the phone call and, in the process, issued one of the sharpest critiques that he has directed toward the Bush administration.

He doesn’t want to label himself by what he actually believes, but he’s eager to tell anyone what he is not. He’s not going to continue the Bush agenda.

“By the time we got here, there already had been an enormous infusion of taxpayer money into the financial system,” he said, adding, “The fact that we’ve had to take these extraordinary measures and intervene is not an indication of my ideological preference, but an indication of the degree to which lax regulation and extravagant risk taking has precipitated a crisis.”

Except when is continuing the Bush agenda. Like a stone-faced poker player, Barry avoids indicating his preference. He’s just playing the crappy cards he was dealt. And wonders why this mean reporter is asking such tough questions.

With that, the call from the president ended.

Recognizing he’s holding a losing hand, President Klink folds.

He’s probably hoping his luck will change with a new deal.