A Liberal Like No Other

Understanding Obama's bipartisan appeal


I was just getting used to the idea that Barack Obama is an America-hating left-winger bent on socialism and surrender. Then along comes Ralph Nader, who says the problem with Obama is that he's an obedient steward of the status quo, doing the bidding of greedy corporations. Naderites, conservatives, and many others agree he's a menace. They just can't agree on why.

Obama has said, in reference to his broad appeal, "I am like a Rorschach test"—meaning that his admirers have a knack for seeing in him exactly what they want to find. But the inkblots work the other way, too: People who dislike him have detected a multitude of reasons to justify their animus.

To Hillary Clinton's supporters, he was always a dreamy innocent who would be ground up by the Republican attack machine. To some critics, he's a sleazy Chicago pol. When he ran for Congress against a black incumbent, he lost because some voters thought he was too white. In some primary states this year, some voters thought he was, well, not too white.

By the time this campaign is over, he'll be called everything but a child of God. Some of it will be true, some of it will be false, and much of it won't matter.

One of the favorite Republican themes will be labeling him the most liberal senator, as ranked by the National Journal. Now, it's true that Obama—how to put it?—votes eerily like a Democrat. But it's hard to believe he's really more liberal than Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold, or Bernie Sanders.

By more comprehensive measures, he's not. According to one scholarly analysis of all non-unanimous votes, Obama is only the 10th most liberal senator. Still, there is no doubt he's a liberal of one shade or another. If he's elected, you should not expect a reduction in taxes, spending, regulation, federal power, or Birkenstock sales.

Obama insists his views are more complicated than simple labels convey. But while McCain has often defied his own party's orthodoxy, Obama has declined to do so.

As liberals go, however, opponents of Big Government could do worse. On economic matters, like the mortgage crisis, he's more respectful of property rights and free markets than, say, Clinton. His health care plan rankles many liberals because it doesn't force everyone to buy insurance.

While Obama has criticized various free trade agreements, he's also written that in today's world, "it's hard to even imagine, much less enforce, an effective regime of protectionism."

Some of the positions that get him tagged as liberal confound traditional categories. Among the members of Congress who share his support for withdrawal from Iraq are Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who favors dismantling most of the federal government, and Democratic Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, who was secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan.

These days, 20 percent of Republicans say we should bring the bulk of our troops home within a year. They can attest that opposing the war doesn't make you a liberal any more than eating nuts makes you a squirrel.

That's one reason the liberal label may not be quite the ball and chain Republicans hope. If "liberal" is taken to connote gay marriage, socialized medicine, and unilateral disarmament, most people won't find it appealing. But Obama does not espouse those. If it is taken to mean trying something different from the last seven years—or offering a plausible alternative to war, inflation, and a housing bust—they will be receptive.

Back in 1980, everyone knew Ronald Reagan was too conservative to win. But when non-conservatives were presented with a conservative who was likable, temperate, and occasionally eloquent, many of them found they could vote for him. What Obama has going for him, more than anything, is a quality of calm and thoughtful gravity, which offers a refreshing contrast to President Bush's inarticulate defensiveness and McCain's stubborn pugnacity.

I disagree with Obama's positions more often than not, but reducing a political leader to the sum of his positions is like judging the value of an artwork by adding up the cost of the canvas and paint. Obama didn't get where he is by being a liberal like any other. He got there by being a liberal like no other.


NEXT: Liar, Liar, Pants on Wire

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  1. The percentage of Republicans who vote for Obama won’t be more than a couple points more than the percentage of black voters who vote for McCain.

  2. Dunno bout dat C-Bob.

    Nice article.

  3. If you don’t judge a politician based on his political positions what do you judge them by? Height, weight, and forty time?

  4. Mosby,

    Hit & Run geeks may judge him on his political positions, but most people don’t pay close attention like that.

    I listened to some women talk dreamily about him at work the other day; they could have cared less for his political positions.

    Not only does he have the black vote, I think that he also has the female vote.

  5. By the time this campaign is over, he’ll be called everything but a child of God

    I thought he was already considered Jesus by his admirers.

  6. Not a bad article. Nice job Steve.

    I also know a few republicans that are planning on voting for Obama, mainly because they think he is less likely to get us into more wars than McCain. Not that their vote will matter, considering they all live in MA.

  7. Mosby, McCain *won* most of Florida’s anti-war Republicans. Not Ron Paul, McCain. Despite both mens’ positions on the Iraq War. Voters, especially here in Florida, don’t do “reasoning” or “thinking” too well, they rely on media spin instead. At least, that’s the only explanation which makes sense to me…

  8. UGH! Chapman once again spews his uninformed opinion as self evident fact.

    I wish someone would explain why Reason prints so much of his stuff. He’s seldom on the “free minds free markets” track, and even when he is, he’s about as thought provoking as the letters to the editor in your local high school paper.

  9. I disagree Warren, I thought that this was a very well written piece by Chapman that provokes a lot of thought about Obama. He’s a difficult politician to nail down and I think that Steve gets it more right than wrong by far.

  10. Chapman once again spews his uninformed opinion as self evident fact.

    Normally I’d agree, but I didn’t see anything egregious this time (though, it should be noted that Chapman has it baaaaad for Obama).

  11. Warren, I normally agree, which is why I am congratulating him on an okay article. But to me, this seems to be a step above what we normally get from him.

  12. Obama doesn’t have the stink of the 60s about him.

  13. I can sometimes see where Warren in coming from about Chapman, but this column seems an odd targer for such vituperation.

  14. Chapman’s other columns have built up extra vitriol, joe. Chapman sux.

  15. JMR,

    McCain was technically against the war that took place in Iraq. He supported a different war that would have taken place in Iraq, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s against the war that actually did take place.

    </NH and FL antiwar voter reasoning>

  16. I’ll give it another read. But I’m not seeing anything more here than the usual, “This is the first thought off the top of my head” from Steve on this one.

  17. Uhhh… what is wrong with this article? The Chapman haters out there are nothing more than uber-libertarians that cannot see the forest for the trees … we live in REALITY. We hope for and accept the best that is offered to us, even if it does not meet the “purist” standard. Obama, despite all of his many glaring faults, is by far the better choice of the two major parties.

  18. Obama, despite all of his many glaring faults, is by far the better choice of the two major parties.

    I don’t buy that for a second. This cycle looks to be shaping of as a big win for team blue, with large gains in both houses of congress. However horrible McCain is, at least he will bring back divided government. Obama doesn’t favor, small-government, free trade, or private-property. The only area I see Obama as possibly better in, is the war. I don’t see how “we could do worse” than Obama unless you count Cynthia McKinney. But if we look past the two major parties, then as flawed as he is, Bob Barr is still one hundred thousand times better than any other name on the ballot.

  19. The only area I see Obama as possibly better in, is the war.

    And then only if you believe the war is already lost, and the only question is whether we try to get our gear out, or just abandon it in place.

  20. Steve Chapman starts drinking the kool-aid and passing it around. The only reason that Barack Obama is “like a Rorschach blot” is that he’s sufficiently vague when talking about his positions that one can draw any message one wants. As for his position on health insurance, while he may not force everyone to buy it, he will force taxpayers to subsidize the health care of nontaxpayers. He is about as anti-gun as a pol can get. And his doubletalk on free trade (railing against free trade agreements while trying to imply that he’s actually for free trade) is Clintonian. I also doubt his commitment to actually withdrawing from Iraq AND staying out of foreign conflicts that might turn into fashionable causes for the left. As much as I disagree with McCain and dislike his positions and rhetoric. The farthest I could go towards Obama would be non-support of either candidate.

  21. warren … is there any ONE issue that is more important that the war in Iraq? Remember, much that has been done domestically in the “War On Terror”, has been done in the name of Iraq. Given the choice between an established warmonger and a person that has demonstrated consistent opposition to neo-con policies, I take the latter … even if he should fail the smell test on most domestic issues. Speaking of which … Boo-ya! to Chapman and other Reason contributors for making the point that McCain has ZERO interest in domestic matters, other than his First Amendment ignorant campaign finance law …

  22. Boom!
    Obama may talk a better game on Iraq, but with a Dem congress, I think McCain would actually work out better in practice, even in Iraq.

  23. Frankly, Steve Chapman strikes me as someone who thinks private property, low taxes, and small government would be wonderful things in a perfect world, but must be set aside for his much more important goals of drug legalization (which I nominally support, though only with the simultaneous elimination of the welfare state), withdrawal from Iraq (important but only one of several important issues, all of the others on which Obama is wrong), and something else “civil libertarian”-ish.

  24. So Obama is a blank canvas — great, anything else we didn’t already know?

    And where did anyone say the sum of Obama’s positions is all we should judge him by? It’s certainly important. Because no matter how eloquent or reserved he might be, his policy positions are largely incompatible with a free society.

  25. Warren,

    We have divided govt in place right now…how’s that “getting out of Iraq” thing going?

  26. Obama doesn’t have the stink of the 60s about him.

    But he still stinks.

  27. Warren … ok, point taken. Now, demonstrate to me how McCain could possibly be better than Obama on Iraq, no matter the congressional composition.

    economist … drug legalization, withdrawal from Iraq, and ALL civil libertarian issues trump most of what has been offered by all parties … do you oppose an America that legalizes pot, brings our troops home, and opposes the Patriot Act??

  28. Boom! Shakalaka,
    I think that, eventually, with either Obama or McCain we will ultimately leave Iraq. Either way, we’ll have a sunk a lot of lives, money (mostly in debt), and credibility. But if Obama’s preferred expansions of the welfare state pass, they will NEVER go away. If you don’t believe me, look at Socialist security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the plethora of other government welfare programs enacted since the 1930s. Hell, the left screamed bloody murder about the relatively modest reform of ONE welfare program in 1996. That’s why I’ll never give Obama active support, and might even support McCain.

  29. Sorry, Freudian slip: “social” security rather than “socialist”, thought they’re related.
    Boom! Shakalaka,
    I don’t consider drug legalization a leading issue, and I can even see how controls on drugs make sense when the welfare state takes responsibility for irresponsible drug users (not saying all or even most are irresponsible, just that the bad ones create significant burdens for taxpayers). That’s why it should coincide with the end of the welfare state. I will restate Warren on Iraq by pointing out that, given a Democratic Congress as is probable, we will probably leave Iraq with either candidate. And while I oppose the Patriot Act, I find it less threatening than the gun control legislation Obama would probably sign while McCain would veto. As for McCain-Feingold, I don’t think Obama had any problem with it, although it was before his time.

  30. economist … I agree that most government programs, of any color or stripe, remain long after their established utility or lack thereof …BUT, show me what Obama has offered in the way of new and expansive government programs. It seems to me that he wants to expand already existing programs on the margin … no different than McCain, no matter his empty rhetoric on pork-barrel spending, which represents a fraction of the annual budget. So, the REAL difference between the two is foreign policy and civil liberties … issues that Obama has taken positions on that are far better and more promising than McCain.

  31. It’s because if Obama wins, then we aren’t racist anymore.

  32. Drug legalization not a leading issue? Interesting … and the Patriot Act not as threatening as gun control? Have you lost your mind? The Patriot Act in NATIONWIDE, federal law … gun control remains, largely, a local issue …

  33. Gun control, a local issue?
    Plus, even if you could argue that the numerous federal restrictions on the manufacture, distribution, sale, and modification of guns left it a “local” issue, that would undoubtedly be one of Obama’s preferred “changes”. And, yes, I see disarming of individuals by government more threatening than surveillance by government. I don’t like either, but if I’m forded to choose…

  34. Back in 1980, everyone knew Ronald Reagan was too conservative to win. But when non-conservatives were presented with a conservative who was likable, temperate, and occasionally eloquent, many of them found they could vote for him.

    Mostly Reagan’s projection of confident strength seemed reassuring compared Carter’s projection of nervous incompetency. Carter’s invoking of his daughter’s fears of nuclear proliferation during one of the debates kinda sealed it. Plus people were sick of high inflation. Kennedy’s nomination insurgency didn’t help neither.

    Likewise, Obama’s biggest strength may be the weakness of the other side.

  35. Dammit, I misspelled again: “forced” not “forded”.
    If you would like to dispense with the election and join me in an armed revolt I might be willing to talk.

  36. economist:

    I fail to see how the republicans deserve any credit for being against expansion of the welfare entitlement state when they just finished pushing through the largest expansion of said welfare state in decades (medicare part D).

    Here’s a message for you just in case you didn’t get it over the last 7 years: REPUBLICANS DON’T GIVE A %^$^ ABOUT SMALL GOVERNMENT ANY MORE THAN THE DEMOCRATS DO.

    The day that “compassionate conservatism” became the new buzzword was the day that the republicans jettisoned off the Barry Goldwater fiscal conservatism wing of the party. And frankly, given a choice between a party that expands government and intrudes on personal lives and civil liberties and one who expands government but believes in social tolerance, i’m finding it increasingly hard to support the former…

  37. Given that Obama’s main criticism of HRC’s new healthcare plan was based more on the supposedly “unfunded mandate” part than the government involvement part, healthcare is one place where he will expand the welfare state. And his talk about how the government needs to “do something” about almost everything under the sun (healthcare, jobs, food prices, gas prices, AGW, education, and a few other things I forgot about) without specific policy proposals (leaving the possibilities open-ended) seems rather sinister to this libertarian. John McCain, on the other hand, has generally been against domestic spending increases, including the Medicare expansion. For reasons mentioned above, this makes me oppose him less than Obama.

  38. Perry,
    If there’s any place for fiscal conservatives in this country today, it will have to be in the Republican party. “Compassionate” conservatism and it’s corresponding government actions was more a misguided electioneering move than a statement of ideological conviction. And McCain is enough of a contrarian that he will veto just about any new domestic spending sent to him by a Democratic Congress (kind of like Bush’s newfound concerns that Democratic bills will cost too much). The Democrats, on the other hand, have a doctrinal opposition to any decrease in government spending. And without the freedom to save, invest, or spend my money as I see fit, “social tolerance” ceases to have much practical utility.

  39. “What Obama has going for him, more than anything, is a quality of calm and thoughtful gravity”


    “Thoughtfull gravity” on what?

    He doesn’t have an original thought in his head. All he does is regurgitate the same old liberal platitudes that they’ve been saying for decades.

  40. Economist,

    One person does not a party make. Its not as though the switch from Dubya to McCain will automatically transform the republican party back to the one that cares about what Reagan talked about. I think that the republican party needs to be out of power entirely for a term to remember what it was like to be hungry in the Gingrich years.

    Although even the Contract with America politicians got into power and suddenly forgot why they were put there in the first place.

  41. “The Democrats, on the other hand, have a doctrinal opposition to any decrease in government spending.”

    I hate to bring this up AGAIN but go ahead and take a look at the federal budget (both the published budget and the budget that includes off-sheet outlays) over the past few years and tell me that Republicans have any opposition to increasing spending. Its a pretty sorry state that Clinton has more of a reputation for being a fiscal conservative than the ‘conservatives’ do…

  42. Perry,
    I would love to see the Republican party out of power for a term except that it would mean the Democrats would be in power for a term.
    All I’m really asking for is a divided government, not a Republican government.
    I would also be happy to take a Republican Congress (or even just one house) with a Democratic president, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
    Clinton was never a fiscal conservative. However, an opposition Congress forced him to act sort of like one.

  43. Regardless of whether he was forced, democrats can still hold that mantle of having the last president that balanced budgets and reformed welfare and the entitlement state. If republicans really honestly cared about that kind of stuff, they wouldn’t have to wait until they were out of power to show it.

    I still think that being out of power is the best (only?) way for the republican party to remember that the direction that they’ve turned to over the last decade has been terrible. In politics, the only lesson learned is one that results from losing.

  44. What Obama has going for him, more than anything, is a quality of calm and thoughtful gravity

    Oh, so its his gravity that’s going to lower the sea levels. Gotcha. I was wondering how he was going to do it, but really, its simple physics!

    Have we come full circle, from the BUJM to the BUOM?

  45. Carter’s invoking of his daughter’s fears of nuclear proliferation during one of the debates kinda sealed it. Plus people were sick of high inflation. Kennedy’s nomination insurgency didn’t help neither.

    Which cracks me up, because the Volcker Shift took place under his watch.

  46. This is simple, and not complicated. If you are libertarian (i.e. small government in mind and markets then think about this:

    A democratically loaded congress, and a more left-liberal (Obama is no Bill Clinton at the center) = disaster in domestic issues.

  47. “Regardless of whether he was forced, democrats can still hold that mantle of having the last president that balanced budgets and reformed welfare and the entitlement state.”

    The democrats don’t “hold the mantle” of any such thing. Oh they try to claim it – but it isn’t so.

    The balanced budget was a function of a Republican Congress that constrained Clinton’s spending AND, more importantly, a function of increased government revenue due to the economic boom. The Clinton administration had nothing to do with creating or sustaining that economic boom. It started before he took office in his first term and ended before he left it in his second.

    Welfare reform wasn’t his idea either. He tried to jump out in front of the train to take credit for it when he saw it was politically inevitable, all the while promising the democrat leftist base that he was going to work to undo it later.

  48. It’s because if Obama wins, then we aren’t racist anymore.

    Does that mean we’ll get rid of all these “Affirmative Action” programs? If so, then that would be a reason to vote for him.

  49. Just when I thought Chapman couldn’t get more dense (after his last few winner articles) he comes up with this…Obama is a complete through and through intellectual socialist, who has learned to hide it, equivocate it, and generally massage it so that no one cares anymore…why does no one care?..because of his-real-cool-kind-of-guy, i-think-i want-to hang with him in Adams Morgan persona…..and don’t give me that garbage that he will not “force” anyone into his health plan…he just knows, as the smart little socialist he is, that everything is piecemeal and that his can get his plan passed….with the ultimate goal, under his didctatorship or not, that it will get done full force one day.

  50. also…Chapman claims that Obama does not espouse socialized medicine?….steve, he simply doesn’t use that term…big difference,,,try and follow along

  51. “a quality of calm and thoughtful gravity”

    Sure, of course compared to Bush, so does Bobcat Goldthwait.

    Barack was against the Iraq war from the start. That was about all I needed to know regarding his intellectual bona fides, though magna cum laude from Harvard doesn’t hurt. I’ll give him a pass on all the other issues, this time only.

  52. Say what you will, but it’s nice to have someone running for president that can actually spontaneously use the term ‘Rorschach Test’.

    And I bet he can spell it too!

  53. Chapman is in the tank for Obama just like every other media person in Chicago. I think we can safely ignore any of his columns on the presidential election until December.

  54. Bob Barr is a major league douche bag….i urge the disenfranchise Paul supporters not to buy what he is selling…..look at Barr’s history in the House and he was far from libertarian…..Defense of Marriage Act, War on Drugs, Anti-Medical MJ (until recent flip flop), etc.

    I think Barr is conservative i just don’t think he is as libertarian as he has re-invented himself.

  55. plus he barely even choked when he ate cheese made from Borat’s wife teet milk.

  56. Obama is the best choice for any young libertarian. Bush has allowed corporation and corruption to screw this country over. Look at Obama policies and compare them to McCain stacked with Bush. He is infinitely better in almost every way.

    On top of that, America loves him and there is isn’t really a reason why they shouldn’t.

  57. You know what causes me to worry? Obama has said he “was a professor constitutional law.” As it turns out, the facts that underlie that statement are simply that he taught some courses in constitutional law; he’s listed on the University of Chicago web page as “Senior Lecturer in Law.” Which is still, in my mind, a job description where one should know the constitution, and actually understand it.

    But Obama has said with regard to 2nd amendment rights and the DC gun ban, that “The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can’t initiate gun safety laws to deal with gang bangers and random shootings on the street isn’t borne out by our Constitution.”

    However, if you’re even moderately conversant with the 2nd amendment — and I don’t mean with talking points, I mean with the actual constitution’s phrasing, the knowledge that there is a prefatory phrase and an operative phrase, the understanding that the Authors were very concerned about the ability of the people to turn on the government in time of need, the context that in fact those people had just done exactly that (turned on England and king George) because they *needed* to…

    I rather think that Obama has shown that he in fact does not understand the constitution, which in turn makes it impossible for him to respect it (except in the sense that things like the inversion of the commerce clause are currently “respected”… the government decides it can do exactly the opposite of what the constitution says, and then “respects” that by endorsing it via its captive monkeys in the supreme court.)

    I was mostly for Ron Paul, barring his anti-immigration stance and his routine (and hopefully entirely specious) endorsement of the usual line of religious malarky, but with McCain and Obama left to choose from, as a matter of saving soldier’s lives, I’m forced to choose the most likely to do that, and that’s Obama.

    I’m just afraid that doing so is essentially pushing us further down the rabbit hole of constitutional wonderland, where small is large and “eat this” isn’t so much about cake as it is large portions of dismembered and ground-up rights.

    I don’t think we can fix things by electing a new president, frankly. My prediction, for whatever it’s worth, is that we’re on an unstoppable slide which is leading to government that is not bound by the constitution at all. The writing on the wall is clear: The government chooses to interpret “shall not” as “shall.”

    What do I mean? Well, to interpret “shall make no law” as “let’s make a LOT of laws”, to interpret “shall not be infringed” as “we’ll infringe a great deal”, to interpret “nor shall be compelled” as “let’s waterboard ’em”, to interpret “nor be deprived of […] property, without due process of law” as “you seem to have a lot of cash here, we’re going to take it and keep it”, to interpret “shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial” as “you get a flight to a foreign country where you will rot”, to interpret “to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence” as “no counsel for you”, to interpret “No […] ex post facto Law shall be passed” as “let’s make ex post facto laws!”, to interpret “To regulate Commerce […] among the several States” as “To regulate Commerce […] within the several States”… I could go on and on, but it literally nauseates me. I think the point is more than made.

    I hope I’m wrong. But it doesn’t seem that way. Reason and its readers are such a small minority in the sea of ignorance that comprises the American body politic that I simply can’t see any way out.

    Tell me I’m wrong. Please.

  58. I have to say that this article defines the problem with those who claim to use reason to define their political outlook.

    Remember, it is the sum total of a candidate’s stances and voting record that defines who they are politically. And further, we can pretty much be sure of their future actions via their past ones.

    Obama IS the most Liberal Senator in the US Senate. Being such is not something for which Libertarians or Conservatives should take heart.

    Despite the awful performance of the Republicans in congress, we should also stipulate that it was not Conservatism that drove what made them bad.

    Big spending? Nope.
    Political corruption? Hardly.

    But when viewing the true Liberals we will not see these tactics diminished, but indeed they will actually increase.

    The basis for modern day Liberalism ala Barack Obama is that every facet of our lives should be regulated for the good of American Society.

    Marxism? You tell me. I think we are getting awfully close, however.

    It seems maddening that some would so jettison their cognitive abilities for the sake of believing that Barack Obama is not exactly who he has been for his diminuative career.

    Perhaps this is the “Hope” that Obama speaks about so often–We can only “Hope” he is not the Left wing President that he was a Senator.

    What we are seeing is the careless tossing away of the warning signs of doom. And the costs are high. Let me define the possibilities:

    Unlimited and encouraged immigration from the 3rd world: The building up of a substantial and everlasting voter base of semi-literate pseudo-citizens who will keep Liberals in power for evermore.

    The trading of our Sovereignty to World bodies: Obama is no different than the average arch Liberal in that he would surely hope that trading our rights to the UN will make us beloved in the world. He would do it, they would not love us.

    Disasterous Big Green corruption: Ethanol subsidies and mandates increase, and cause food (and fuel) to skyrocket in price. Taxation of all existing fuel companies does little but increase the size and scope of Govt, while also increasing the cost of oil, natural gas, gasoline, ect. And need we mention the continuing regulation of just about everything we do? We will not be able to have the freedom to buy certain vehicles, or have certain abodes, UNLESS you are Big Green advocates like Al Gore.

    The big world disconnect: To withdraw physically from the world militarily. While saving some money initially, we would see our interests in the world wane. In doing so, we will see the fall of the only Free Republic working to keep the world in check. This also happened after the fall of Rome, and it was called the “Dark Ages”.

    All in all, it is sheer buffoonery to believe that Barack Obama will aid us in our freedoms. He is what he is, despite the shiny rhetoric.

  59. Economist has it just right. Chapman drinks the Kool-Aid of Obama’s rhetoric, without being distracted by the contradictions of Obama’s actual votes and alliances. Good for you, Steve!

    “But it’s hard to believe he’s really more liberal than Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold, or Bernie Sanders.”

    It’s only hard to believe if you refuse to look at his voting record and his actual proposals for governing. He’s the single most leftist candidate nominated to run for President … ever. A champion of higher taxes, radical environmental policies, vast increases in social spending, and backward economic positions.

    It was difficult for the Democrats to find candidates who know less about the economy than Bush and McCain, but they pulled Kerry and Obama out of their magician’s hat. Voila!

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