How liberal is Barack Obama? Pundits identify him as anything from a center-left pragmatist to a far-Left Marxist. This one-dimensional Left-Right paradigm is useful only in determining that he's not a conservative; it doesn't tell us how far to the left he is.
Opinions are all over the map, sometimes in surprising ways. Earlier this year, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly opined:
Radio guy Rush Limbaugh recently mocked me because I do not call President Obama a socialist. Although I asked Mr. Obama to explain his "socialistic tenets" in my last interview with him, I have not branded him with the "S" word because the label does not exactly apply to his governance thus far.
"Two weeks ago on Bill Maher's show," O'Donnell said, "Bill and I both admitted to being socialists and we threw Barack Obama in with us."
The progressive website Media Matters complained that Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes "smeared" Obama when he said that he "had to be told by the French and Germans that his socialism was too far to the left for them to deal with."
Is it a smear when the far-Left O'Donnell says the same thing?
O'Donnell also said that O'Reilly "lies" about what socialism is, adding that there isn't a capitalist country left in existence, and cited Newseek's infamous "We're all socialists now" cover to show how much in the mainstream that ideology really is.
I'm not sure what lies O'Donnell is referring to, as O'Reilly has gone out of his way to paint Obama as a Left-centrist--much to the chagrin of his conservative audience.
O'Reilly wrote that "as long as he isn't nationalizing industry or purloining private property, I don't think the socialist label is accurate."
O'Reilly doesn't think Obama is a socialist but O'Donnell (along with Limbaugh and Maher) do? What is going on here?
I think I have the answer, and it will be in my next post.