Obama Will Govern From The Center
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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Obama Will Govern From The Center

Take a look at Barack Obama’s life.  His whole life is about hard work, education, empathy for others, and compromise.  Check that last word, compromise.  Whatever Obama believes about particular issues, he is all about compromise.  Combine compromise with intellect and integrity – and you have a powerful leader.

Barack Obama was born to a white mother and a black father – no secret there.  As Obama progressed through life he was met with challenges.  At ten years old Obama was admitted to a private school because of his demonstrated intellect.  One can image this child, black by all definitions, integrating himself into a primarily white culture – Obama learned about compromise at a very early age.

Barack Obama earned a B. A. from Columbia University in New York in 1983. He traveled to Chicago to work on the South Side, working to improve the lives of underprivileged and impoverished people. Obama taught others the values of hard work and education – but realizing the futility of working at the level of neighborhood Obama turned to Harvard Law School. Borrowing heavily with student loans Obama found Harvard to be an intellectual challenge of diverse opinion. He became the President of the Harvard Law Review – again using the skills of compromise and leadership. Obama learned to balance the interests of others. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1991 – a constitutional lawyer.

Obama wrote his autobiography “Dreams of My Father” in 1992, then returned to Chicago to work in a law firm, hoping to specialize in civil rights law. Obama also accepted a position as a lecturer at the Chicago Law school, lecturing on constitutional law. Obama’s work earned him a place on Chicago’s forty outstanding leaders under forty.

With a deep understanding of the Constitution of the United States and a belief in the empowerment of voting, Obama entered politics. Politics might be defined as the art of compromise – Obama’s aspirations would challenge him to compromise across racial, religious, ethnic, cultural, and political boundaries.

The point is clear – Barack Obama has compromise built into his DNA. With a powerful grasp of the Constitution of the United States, genuine empathy for his fellow man, and a clear understanding of the role of Government, Obama climbed the ladder to the top. At the same time Obama experienced the struggle of student loan debt, learning to appreciate the struggles of being an adult in America.  His past speaks to his values in family, hard work, and education.

Obama’s understanding of the role of government is profound. While working in the South Side of Chicago Obama saw clearly the failures of government entitlement programs. Obama lived in the midst of a failed welfare state – but rather than condemn entitlement programs completely, Obama looked for compromise.  Obama sought short term support for his clients while promoting work and self-reliance.  Senator Obama’s understanding of the Constitution informs his understanding of the value of compromise in a government with a balance of powers across three branches of government.

We firmly believe that Obama has no desire to promote give away programs that do nothing for the dignity and integrity of the recipients. Obama knows the value of hard work, he understands that people are generally happier when they take responsibility for their own life.  We believe that Obama has learned how to compromise strategy while holding steady on principle.

Barack Obama is the New Deal. He is the man who understands the hardships of poverty and want. He understands that the role of government is help to lift people out of poverty rather than subjecting the people to a life in poverty through government entitlement.

8:00 PM CST One example of seeking compromise: It strikes this writer that most of us agree that health care should be available to all – the question is how to accomplish this feat.  Obama has a proposal which recognizes the value of Employer based health care, recognizes the insurance industry, and seeks compromise in bringing these forces together to provide health care for everyone.

Barack Obama has the right vision of America – the land of hard work, education, reward, and prosperity. Obama will govern from the Center of the political spectrum.

Obama is not the second coming of a messiah. He is but a man, a man with deep intellect, deep empathy, a deep understanding of democracy, a deep understanding of America, and a remarkable sense of his role in the world.

There Are 11 Responses So Far. »

  1. You cite perceived compromise in his life’s circumstances which may or may not mean anything. Some of the most vicious political movements and personalities of the 20th century ascended to power through compromise. Smart (and ruthless) people realize that charting a plot to a place where one can dictate things to other is difficult without some compromises along the way. However, all compromise can be either summarily or gradually done away with once power is achieved.

    Whereas it may not be as I describe, it is not necessary that it will be otherwise. You have tried very hard to collate some life experiences into proof of future moderate governance without making any argument for such a thing!

    Also, there are too many ‘we firmly belief’-s without any shred of evidence so as to why you believe so. When, for example, did Obama state that Chicago is a living example of a failed welfare state? Did he state why it was a failed welfare state? One can argue that the welfare state fails because not enough welfare is provided for. That is hardly an argument for centrist thought!

    So you are essentially trying to make a point where none exists.Normally, a politician’s political philosophy is judged by his past actions – because most of what they say at campaigns is a version of their belief that they think will sell best. By the time most politicians aspire for as large a post as President of the USA, they have built up a resume of political activity which can be analyzed for their beliefs.

    Clearly Obama is a one time phenomenon without the above – probably the reason why you have to create a baseless fairytale narrative to justify your assertions. McCain is an open book – he is the true centrist (I am not and I do not like him for the same reason.) He probably has spent more time working with the Democrats and against Republicans than he has otherwise. That is what happens with true centrists. They do end up annoying their base because when you compromise, you naturally have to deny some of the wishes of the base.

    McCain compromised with the liberals (and angered conservatives) on campaign financing reform, on immigration, on taxes, on judicial appointments and on many other issues. True, he has also voted with conservatives on many issues but that is what makes a centrist.

    Obama – during his very brief stint on the other hand, has never demonstrated any compromise. Whenever possible he shirked voting on controversial issues through non-committal votes. When pushed, he always voted with his base. McCain formed the gang-of-14 to remove roadblocks and get things done. Obama sat on the sidelines with his partisan liberals.

    There some misinformation spread by Obama supporters about his ‘bipartisan’ legislation. To make it clear, there is nothing bipartisan about issues where both Democrats and Republicans agree. Everyone agrees on preventing nuclear weapons proliferation. Sponsoring legislation on it is not any proof of compromise – there was nothing to compromise upon!

    Similarly, Obama’s vote on FISA came after he was running for president. For the sake of sane analysis, I believe we should leave out all actions after nomination of candidates. This is the time when Obama became pro-gun rights, pro death-penalty and McCain all of a sudden found his religion.

    In conclusion, stop misrepresenting things to yourself. If a bipartisan centrist leader was what you were looking for, you would vote for McCain over Obama without as much as blinking. There are valid reasons for voting for Obama and not voting for McCain. Obama being a centrist and compromise seeker is nowhere one of them. If you want to create a website and forward Obama’s case then that is perfectly fine. Just dont peddle misinformation.

  2. Matt’s response is more informative than the article.

  3. This is a great dialogue and we appreciate the input. The point we were trying to make is that Obama searches for compromise – look at his health care proposal – a blend of private insurance, employer offered insurance, with government providing an even playing field. Barack Obama continually looks to the solution that is not only the best – but has the most general support. This is the mark of a practical man.

  4. From you ‘About Us’ section –

    “Government is not the problem, bad government is the problem. Good government is the solution.”

    Ha ha. You crack me. Let me also put it out there, dictatorial rule is not the problem. BAD dictators are the problem.

    Efficient government is just as much of an oxymoron as is benign dictatorship. If anything, benign dictatorship may by far be the best form of governance!

    By definition, ‘government’ can only be as efficient as the people in the government. Also, normal people cannot be efficient in the ‘government’ structure because all the incentives are misaligned. There is no objective function to be met. Yes, you can probably put together a few men of outstanding moral rectitude and they may – out of the goodness of their hearts – run an efficient government. Yet, the same few outstanding men may also run an excellent dictatorship!

    Knowing the follies of such human thinking, the founding fathers made individual freedom and liberty the bedrock of the constitution. Sure. local governments can work towards the common good – as long as they are limited in scope and size. The moment they grow big, not only do the inefficiencies set in but individual liberties also start getting eroded.

    The leftist/Obama vision of big government presumes that outstanding men will run the government and hence giving up individual liberties (and letting the government) is ok as the men running the government know what is best for the rest. Therein lies the biggest fallacy in this thought process. Everyone thinks he knows what is best for the other people. You clearly think you know better and I think likewise – that is what makes us individuals. The only way of making sure that neither of us imposes ourselves on the other is to have a limited government which doesnt exercise control over other. What you dismiss off-hand as ‘bad government’ is not really ‘bad-government’. It is just government that you did not like as it did not run as per your wishes.

    The solution to that is not replacing it with a different one which runs as per your wishes. The solution to it is to minimize the overall scope of government so that you are free of ‘bad’ ones and so am I.

    Reading through some other stuff, I have trouble understanding whether this whole site is an exercise in naivette or diabolical propaganda. The extreme deification of Obama certainly throws up some red-flags. Is this one more of the back-hand campaign things (like the campaign guy who was putting together Palin videos on Youtube as an ‘independent’ till he was caught?)

  5. The Fireside Post is exactly as defined in “Who are these Guys”. We have never met Barack Obama or John McCain, but I did see Richard Nixon one time in 1960 when he was running for President. I saw Gerald Ford one time in 1975, but it was just a glimpse. We are intentionally ‘stoking the flames of cultural conversation’ and we invite people like you – Matt to participate. We do not edit or delete opinions that differ from ours (We will edit or delete obscene or obnoxious comments) . In eighteen months we have deleted one comment and changed the ‘f’ word to f*** in another.

    This writer chooses to support Barack Obama because I believe he is the right man at the right time. I believe he has the education, experience, intellect, and temperament to bring unity to America and the world. Other writers on this site do not agree. I just happen to be more vocal – and I don’t have anything else to do.

    Matt – your comments are amusing – right out of the Republican Party line. No government is anarchy, and the roads are muddy. Rather than speak in Republican platitudes – why don’t you give us some examples of what ‘small government’ means?


  6. I believe (generally) that government is best that governs least.

    You can argue that Obama is a centrist or a liberal, a compromiser or a divider. You can argue whatever you like, because he has essentially no record in office.

    All he has accomplished so far on the national stage is gutting the idea of campaign finance reform and ensuring that for the next couple of generations, money will dominate (even more thoroughly) the Presidential race. Sure the Democrats like it now, but how will they like it when the Republications have an inspirational candidate who crushes the Dem ticket in fundraising. What goes around comes around, and karma is a b****.

    I read with interest the discussion about the beliefs of the site’s founders, primarily on the unfairness of excessive taxation and the fact you don’t like debt. As far as I can tell, Obama promises to cut taxes for 95% of people while promising some huge amount of new spending. How on Earth could that possibly balance the budget?! Much as both politicans hate to admit it, the only real long-term solution will be to slash entitlement programs and/or drastically raise taxes.

    I greatly admire Obama for instilling hope in so many people and for promising them all the moon. Maybe he has some secret rocketship that will take us there.

    Oh one quick point – you say Obama has compromise built into his DNA from having a black father and a white mother. If that were the case, the compromise position would be to self-identify as bi-racial, perhaps join a Unitarian church or the B’ahai movement with its color-blindness. But in fact, Obama has self-identified as black and joined a Black Liberation Theology church. Um, that doesn’t seem very middle-of-the-road to me.

    If Obama wins, I hope the world is as you would like it to be. But you do realize that if the word is as *you* would want it to be, all the others who have projected their own hopes and dreams onto this blank slate will be disappointed. All the foreigners who think he will adopt a more conciliatory stance. All the protectionists who think he will renegotiate NAFTA. Etc. Etc.

    As for me, if he is elected, I think it will be a great day for advancing the cause of a diverse U.S. and inspiring pride in African-Americans and all non Euro-Americans. But I also have absolutely no frigging clue what policies he would embrace – probably whatever it took to get re-elected 4 years later.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Presidents (like Senators) had one six-year term? Imagine the time and energy it would save – fewer election cycles and a President who wasn’t running for reelection his whole first term.

  7. It seems whenever anyone dares to point out any inconsistencies or problems with Obama, they are immediately written off as either racist or spouting a Republican party line.

    Simply diminishing or pooh-poohing the source does not diminish or negate the facts or validity of the arguments, the questions or the points made. During WW2 the Allies warned Stalin of the impending Nazi invasion, but he disregarded the warning because it came from “capitalist” sources. Any student of history knows what happened after that.

    If anything, i’d say you’re towing the Democrat party line quite well. And you do so at your own ideological peril.

    I prefer to view Obama not for what he says, but in light of things he’s actually accomplished, as opposed to creating kiss-ass commentary and/or placing my belief in what I HOPE he says he really is.

    Sadly, there is very little to actually consider, except his exceptional ability to smooth talk. Voting “present” so many times may lead you to believe he’s a man willing to compromise. To me, and I think most others, it shows a person who at the least lacks courage and is not willing to take any stand, and at the most will do or say whatever he has to to stay in office.

    Sorta reminds me of Jimmy Carter. Perhaps that is the era Obama refers to when he claims we USED to be a great country…


  8. More Republican talking points.

    President Obama will prove himself.

  9. Obama may govern from the center of the liberal plane, not extreme left-wing but not towards middle-of-the-road either. His speeches are reminiscent of old Roosevelt American Conservatism but his political and law record say otherwise. He is being deceptive and cares nothing for Conservative values only a liberal agenda.

  10. Ohg, you proved my point. I had hoped for more than the typical liberal knee-jerk reaction whenever one can’t manage an intelligent and thoughtful response. At least you didn’t stoop to calling me names.

    Sigh…some people choose to ignore facts, wear their blinders proudly and still claim to be open minded.

    Enjoy preaching to your choir. You’re not worth my time anymore.

  11. Government that governs best governs the least?

    It should be big enough to keep everyone honest. All that deregulation and the economy all but collapsed. What do you think happens when the cat’s away? The mouse will play.

    At least you can blame ‘corruption on wall street’ and call it running on a platform of ‘change.’

    Face it. We have Government to keep order. If the Government is too big, there is no freedom. If the Government is too small, there’s no balance.

    It must be big enough to keep the common interest of man in check. Maintain order while still guarantee it’s people the freedom so many have fought and died for.

    You don’t accomplish that by deregulating business and dictating taste and morality.

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