Obama: Let’s face it, I’m not particularly ideological

posted at 4:31 pm on November 25, 2013 by Allahpundit

This is longstanding Obama shtick but feels more anachronistic by the day. Being seen as post-partisan and “pragmatic” was key to his 2008 Hopenchange message, reassuring centrists and libertarians that their fears of electing a liberal were overblown. Then he got elected, rammed through a giant stimulus, passed a landmark redistributionist health-care boondoggle, ran trillion-dollar deficits, demanded tax hikes on the rich, blocked Keystone as a favor to environmentalists, inevitably “evolved” on gay marriage, and of course remained a stalwart defender of the right to abortion. He didn’t even bother, really, with the “pragmatist” crap last year, concluding that he was better off turning out his base and trying to hold centrists by demonizing Romney than pushing more post-partisanship BS that no one would believe. Good call, as it turned out. He got reelected — and then began his second term with a big gun-control campaign followed by a call for action from Congress on legalizing illegals. Right down the middle, our Barry.

I don’t know why he’s come back to this now, five years in. Maybe, as the walls close in from the ObamaCare debacle, Democrats feel some atavistic impulse to return to what worked in the past. The “extremist Republicans” narrative was a sterling success for them in 2012. Think it’ll help with someone who’s now paying an extra $200 a month in health-insurance premiums?

Despite those problems, the White House expressed optimism on Sunday that Democrats could regain control of the House of Representatives, which has blocked many of Obama’s top policy priorities – on ideological grounds, Democrats would say.

The president called that chamber a barrier to progress in his remarks and said there would be broad consensus on issues such as immigration reform if politics were stripped away.

“I’m not a particularly ideological person,” he said, saying pragmatism was necessary to advance the values that were important to him.

Says Jonah Goldberg drily of Obama’s self-styled pragmatism, “Saying he only cares about ‘what works’ at this point in his presidency is more of a problem given that his signature achievement, you know, doesn’t.”

Simple question: Don’t liberals consider Reagan an ideological conservative even though he deviated from conservative orthodoxy in certain ways? Obama’s been surprisingly hawkish on drone strikes and NSA surveillance despite his liberal pedigree; Reagan, depicted as a crazed warmonger by some of his lefty critics, stuck to diplomacy with the Soviet Union and withdrew from Lebanon not long after the barracks bombing. He also signed the most permissive amnesty for illegal aliens in modern American history and gave up on abolishing the Department of Education despite running on it in 1980. The entitlement state weathered eight years of his presidency (and 12 years of Bushes) to deliver the fiscal crisis that threatens the country now. In fact, one of the left’s favorite ways to needle tea partiers is to claim that their hero, the Gipper, governed too moderately to be nominated by the GOP today. Does that mean Reagan wasn’t really an ideological conservative?

Of course not. No one, Obama included, disputes that he was. He split from doctrinaire conservatism when political realities of the moment forced him to, but his vision was one of smaller government, lower taxes, and robust defense spending to counter communism. It’s also political reality that tends to force O’s deviations to the center. If he had refused to use Bush’s counterterrorism tools and the country had suffered a major terrorist attack, the political fallout for Democrats would have been brutal. He could have crafted his own entitlement reform deal with Democrats in 2009 when they controlled Congress, but he made no serious gestures towards it until the GOP reclaimed the House and Boehner gave him a reason to discuss it. Even his signature boondoggle, which the left now likes to remind people is a public/private hybrid, is a hybrid of necessity: Not only would it have been a bridge too far politically for a few centrist Democrats in Congress to pass single-payer, it would have been enormously disruptive to health coverage in America, needless to say. Obama himself has said in the past that he’d prefer single-payer if we were starting from scratch — pretty ideological! — but that economic reality is what it is, leaving a hybrid system the only option. ObamaCare’s not his preference, it’s just the best he can do. That’s not “ideological”?


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Comment pages: 1 2

As always, I ask a question about honesty. I have only seen lefties claim they are “nonpartisan” or “non-ideological”. Conservatives never claim that. Why do you think that is?

Is it because you on the left believe so strongly that your arguments are correct that you simply and honestly present them? Obviously not, as you use subterfuge like claiming to be “non-ideological”, which indicates that you know your arguments are weak at best. If you believed in your arguments, you would say “Yes, I am liberal and believe in liberalism because x, y, and z”.

You and your idiot leaders don’t do this. Instead, you lie about your goals, lie about your beliefs and lie about being ideological or partisan. Doesn’t it ever make you question whether it is possible for something that requires so much lying to actually be correct? How can a movement or philosophy that does nothing but lie about itself believe it is good?

If I always had to lie simply to engage in debate, I would question my beliefs. Not so the leftists. The lies somehow strengthen their belief in their righteousness. Very strange.

I expect regular troll “nonpartisan” who claims to be an independent and claims to have supported and voted for Romney (both of which are such obvious lies as to be comical) to come on here and explain to me how I am wrong.

Nothing like having no ability to reflect on oneself. And yet they believe they are the smart ones.

Nonpartisan – in all honesty, how is it you can believe you are correct in your beliefs yet feel the need to always lie about those beliefs? It doesn’t ever make you question your beliefs?

So sad that so many people are so damn stupid. If your position were in any way superior based on fact and logic, you would never need to lie to support it.

Monkeytoe on November 26, 2013 at 8:28 AM

“I’m not a particularly ideological person,” he said, saying pragmatism was necessary to advance the values that were important to him.

Compare and contrast:

But my journey is part of a larger journey- one shared by all who’ve ever sought to apply the values of their faith to our society. It’s a journey that takes us back to our nation’s founding, when none other than a UCC church inspired the Boston Tea Party and helped bring an Empire to its knees.

- Barack Hussein Obama
June 23, 2007

That’s not ideological?

What exactly are “the values of [Obama's] faith”?

Who are those who share his larger journey?

Who wants to “bring an Empire to its knees”?

Those answers can be found here:

It’s the Theology, Stupid – Obama & Black Liberation Theology

When Obama said “We are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America“, was he referring to his journey, part of a larger journey shared by all who’ve ever sought to “bring an Empire to its knees”?

Pay close attention:

You will never get real freedom and recognition between black and white people in this country without destroying the country, without destroying the present political system, without destroying the present economic system, without rewriting the entire constitution. It will be a complete destruction of everything that America supposedly stands for.

Malcolm X

Only Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me. The blunt poetry of his words. His unadorned insistence on respect. He promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline.

Barack Hussein Obama

Hear these quotes spoken by those two men (Malcolm X and Barack Obama.

THAT is Obama’s ideology… one and the same with Malcolm X.

ITguy on November 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Yep, he’s ideological, but pragmatic only when he notices that his policies don’t work in the real world. Then, irrationally, he continues with his ideology because its his only impulse.

This is Obama “pragmatism”: ignore failure and double-down when you are wrong (and if it’s too obvious to defend, have a beer-summit or “national conversation”).

virgo on November 26, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I’ll try and catch up with previous comments to this point but I want to add a simple observation regarding King Putt.
There is NO QUESTION that he is without a doubt THE MOST UNCURIOUS person to EVER occupy the presidency.
If anything indicates the fundamental intellegence of a person THIS lack of CUROSITY is most damning and conclusive.
Barack Barry Hussein Soetero Obowmao is (I repeat myself)
A COMPLETE AND UTTER FRAUD.

Missilengr on November 26, 2013 at 11:31 PM

THE MOST UNCURIOUS person to EVER occupy the presidency.
If anything indicates the fundamental intellegence of a person THIS lack of CUROSITY is most damning and conclusive.
Barack Barry Hussein Soetero Obowmao is (I repeat myself)
A COMPLETE AND UTTER FRAUD.

Missilengr on November 26, 2013 at 11:31 PM

“Have something to do with choo choo going thru Keystone.” “Mmm, don’t know. Obamo only pawn in game of life.”
– Barack Hussein Obama

onomo on November 27, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Comment pages: 1 2