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Yes.

In the US political discourse, "center" is almost always used to describe neoliberal politics and politicians. I'm not using "center" as a neutral term, not as the midpoint between right and left, but to illustrate how someone like Obama or the elite (whose support and affirmation he craves) would see things.

And yes, I strongly believe Obama to be a neoliberal who is convinced he is in the "center" of the US political spectrum.

And the world will live as one

by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 10:09:45 PM EST
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What makes you believe Obama is a neoliberal?

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 01:25:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because he does neoliberal.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 10:52:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not an answer, it's a comeback.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 20th, 2010 at 11:41:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nevertheless, it strikes to the heart of the Obama paradox; that a man of such fine progressive intentions should enable a wholly neo-liberal policy programme.

But it comes down to what Monterayan was discussing, which is that Obama is a non-confrontational actor who seeks a "centrist" consensus where all of the ground on which this reasonable consensus lies in the neoliberal sphere. Therefore any act to which he commits is neoliberal. that's what he does.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Aug 22nd, 2010 at 03:04:43 PM EST
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It also comes down to how much discretionary power you view Obama as having. If Obama is effectively a dictator, then it follows that he must believe what he is doing. If Obama operates within sufficiently narrow institutional constraints as to render him effectively an impotent spectator to the policies set in motion by long-dead predecessors, then you can draw no real conclusions about his personal preferences.

Neither extreme is true, of course. But in a way, it shouldn't really matter which side of the fence you're on: Either the best the Democratic Party machine has to offer is ideologically neoliberal, in which case grassroot effort must go into changing the institutional system in a way that makes it impossible for the office of the president to push neoliberal policies. Or else the office of the President is irrelevant, and grassroot effort must go into changing the institutional system in a way that makes it impossible for it to direct the office of the president into neoliberal policies.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 22nd, 2010 at 03:55:57 PM EST
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