Is President Obama Still A Liberal?

Barack Obama campaigned as a liberal in 2008, running against the Iraq War, promising to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, pledging not to raid medical marijuana dispensaries operating within state law, and setting the goal of comprehensive immigration reform.

Contrary to the rhetoric of candidate Obama, President Obama has mired the U.S. military in Afghanistan, kept Gitmo open, stepped up federal medical marijuana raids, and deported immigrants at a faster rate than any president in history. 

Reason TV talked to delegates in Charlotte the day before the 2012 Democratic National Convention to find out how they felt about Obama's record on these issues and whether or not its still fair to consider him a liberal. 

Approximately 3 minutes.

Produced by Paul Detrick and Zach Weissmueller. 

Go to http://reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions and subscribe to ReasonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notifications when new material goes live.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Unfortunately for the economy, he is still a liberal. Unfortunately for civil liberties, he is not a liberal. So essentially yes, he's the very worst kind of liberal.

  • Tim||

    Have we won in Liberal yet?

  • gigarath6||

    He's the opposite of a Libertarian Fiscally Liberal, Socially Conservative.

  • handle||

    I think the word for this is statist.

  • John||

    The answer to that question depends upon the results in November. If Obama wins, then he is absolutely a liberal who ran an honorable campaign that resulted in a clear mandate to transform America. If he loses, then he was never a liberal but always a compromise Chicago machine politician who sold out his base by trying to hard to be liked and to work with Republicans.

  • CE||

    Who said politics was complicated?

    If Romney wins, he's a conservative Republican businessman with the right background for creating jobs and getting the economy back on track.

    If Romney loses, he was a milquetoast compromising Establishment country club flip-flopping RINO who thought the TARP-supporting, debt ceiling raising Paul Ryan would appease the real fiscal conservatives.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Shipping is complicated.

  • ||

    I know, right? It's bad enough when you bring love triangles into the mix. The Barack-Michelle-Hillary-Bill-Pelosi love pentagon practically incomprehensible.

  • John||

    http://www.politico.com/news/s.....80598.html

    Media "Obama is egotistical, selfish and dull.

    I wonder if maybe a few in the media are starting to realize Obama might lose and it is time to start saving the ideology.

  • Loki||

    Either that or they're getting their barbs in now so that from now until election day when their mouths are wrapped snugly around Obama's cock they can point to articles like this and say "See? We are too objective! Media bias is just a sore loser Rethuglican right-wing meme!"

  • John||

    It is not like anyone is paying attention over Labor Day. I think they are probably hedging their bets for both possibilities.

  • CE||

    Yeah, I love all the "post-convention bump" talk, as if anyone who hasn't already decided who they support is even watching.

    The debates are the only thing left that can move the needle either way at this point with undecided voters, barring some sort of scandal or another major gaffe.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, it seems to me that he is definitely liberal. Liberal in giving away my money to other people, including money I don't have yet.

  • Randian||

    Are comments permitted yet, O Mighty Server Squirrels?

  • sarcasmic||

    So it wasn't just me.

  • Lord Humungus||

    oh yes it was!

  • The Hammer||

    Fucking squirrels

  • Brandybuck||

    Obama can't fix the world in just four years. If Bush destroyed the world in eight, Obama should at LEAST have brought us half way back to the Clinton utopia, but from what I can see we haven't made any progress at all.

    I'm still calling this as Bush's third term.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'm still calling this as Bush's third term.

    Because policy-wise, it is.

  • ||

    It depends, is liberal now a synonym for "shit"?

  • John||

    Yes. Progressives raped that term so badly even they don't want to be associated with it.

  • Jeff||

    That depends, are you Audrey the Shit?

  • ||

    I'm Audrey the (Classical)Liberal. The best kind of liberal.

  • gigarath6||

    I approve of this message.

  • aelhues||

    What is "Liberal"? For most people I know, it is a bad word, and Obama, fits the definition pretty well. In other words, someone who does everything in their power to increase government control, shrink opportunity, and take more of my money to do it.

    Yes, many Republicans fit that description. Which is why many Conservatives trot out RINO, quite frequently.

  • sarcasmic||

    The only real difference between R and D politicians is what rights they want to violate, what they want to control, and who they want to take the money from.

  • aelhues||

    I agree, in part. Though it seems to me that Republicans want to take civil liberties, only for their pet ideals, while Liberals only want to avoid taking them for their pet ideals. Also, the things that Republicans want to take, are by and large unsuccessful, and/or, are more ways for the media to bash them, like asking Akin about abortion.

  • sarcasmic||

    Rs put on a big show about gay marriage and abortion, but the honest truth is that little if anything can be done at the federal level.
    And the politicians don't really care. It's just a ploy to get the support of single-issue voters.

  • Skyhawk||

    Well said. Right on the money.

  • Generic Stranger||

    In the classical sense of liberal? Fuck no.

    In the modern sense that has been created by "Progressives" and other members of the socialist/neofascist bloc? You betcha.

  • Paleo-ConAvenger||

    I dont care if he pleased us with civil liberty issues; he still would have stolen our money and wrecked the economy so much so that we wouldnt be able to enjoy the relatively minor ending of the drug war.

  • CE||

    Relatively minor? Ending Prohibition II would be a huge improvement for everyone, except the nanny-statists and the law enforcement industry.

  • Drake||

    What is a "Modern Liberal"? Do we have an agreed upon definition? I know how to define "classical liberalism", but not the modern kind.

    It seems to be a mindless cult of the state. Since kicking out foreigners, busting pot smokers, flying drones over farms, etc... are all done by the State, they must be okay by "liberals."

  • sarcasmic||

    Not quite. For liberals what matters is who is in charge. What they do doesn't matter as much.
    They oppose war when a R is in the House, yet the protests fizzle when a D takes over.

    Liberals are about principals, not principles.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Obama is not a liberal. That would indicate that he respects liberty, which he doesn't.

  • ChrisO||

    Watching that video, it really hits home how much of a cult politics can be.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I'm no stars-in-the-eyes fan of the man, but that photo is insulting to MLK.

  • Tim||

    "Barack Obama campaigned as a liberal in 2008,"

    Perhaps he could campaign as Liberace in 2012?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hmmm. Well, there is that Liberace biopic coming out. And Obama did recently do a complete about-face on gay marriage.

    You may be on to something. Keep a close eye on his (1) hair, (2) clothing, (3) use of pianos, and (4) odd references to "his brother George."

  • KalkiDas||

    Progressives aren't necessarily liberals. Obama has helped define the difference between the two.

    BTW - you have some PHP errors upon submission. Did someone not do some QA on a mysql upgrade?

  • CE||

    Liberal? No.

    Marxist? Yes.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Forget Obama. Is Romney still a liberal? I mean, he's been sucking up to conservatives, but so what? Howabout some of the conservatives in the supreme court? We all know very well how the government "ratchet" works. I have no more reason to believe what any politician says compared to another or even what he thought ten years ago. But when you know what the truth is, then it's easy to tell if somebody is telling the truth.

  • Katieheather||

    I wish Reason Online had red or green arrows I could push to rate the comments like on The Daily Mail ... Or at least some "like" buttons ala Facebook ...these were fun comments and many made me laugh which is good because this election season is really depressing when I'm facing 9 months of my husband being out of work...first time in his life and no freelance work either and the indignities of unemployment insurance and dipping into the very stingy welfare state...(which it should be, but still it wastes so much time that could be used to finding work and is a terrifying statist adventure in it of itself...)

  • NL_||

    Probably about what republicans said about Bush in 04. Posturing is more important to people than policy. It's all signaling.

  • NL_||

    Probably about what republicans said about Bush in 04. Posturing is more important to people than policy. It's all signaling.

  • NL_||

    Probably about what republicans said about Bush in 04. Posturing is more important to people than policy. It's all signaling.

  • brewster||

    Does a bear s**t in the woods?

  • brewster||

    Does a bear s**t in the woods?

  • brewster||

    Does a bear s**t in the woods?

  • Dallas Real Estate||

    Well I sure hope he is or we have a wasted convention. Remember, if you are trying to get something done and you hit a wall every time, you will not get anything done. He does need to stand up and scream a little.

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