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In typical NY Times fashion, Paul Krugman’s latest blog post highlights the painfully obvious fact that Obama is not a genuine liberal:
“More and more, it’s becoming clear that progressives who had their hearts set on Obama were engaged in a huge act of self-delusion. Once you got past the soaring rhetoric you noticed, if you actually paid attention to what he said, that he largely accepted the conservative storyline, a view of the world, including a mythological history, that bears little resemblance to the facts.”
Occasionally, Krugman has something insightful to share in his columns and blog posts. More often than not, however, he does little more than point out what everyone who has been paying attention already knows. Generally speaking, this is exactly how the mainstream media operates: it will ignore a viewpoint that it deems inappropriate until a large enough segment of the population has adopted it, then the media reluctantly allows it to enter into the periphery of the rigidly restricted national dialogue. Hence, the indisputable assessment of Obama as yet another conservative president is not embedded into the narrative of front-page news stories, but rather slipped into a relatively obscure blog post by a self-professed “liberal” columnist.
In stark contrast, the ridiculous assertion that Obama is an ultra-left socialist is deftly weaved into the background of virtually every relevant news item. Even if the news outlet in question does not overtly affirm such claims, it lends them credence by merely acknowledging them. Such assertions are patently false and have no place in professional journalism aside from pointing out their undeniable lunacy, but instead they are presented in earnestness.
A fitting analogy would be a news story about the punishments for violent crime giving equal weight to the views of murderers and rapists: “Lawmakers sought harsher punishments for violent crime, but murderers objected that such strict penalties would infringe on their right to kill.” This comparison is far less absurd than it may first appear. In plainer terms, the viewpoint of the opposing side is, quite simply, so far beyond rationality that it need not even be addressed.
Any news item which relates to the Obama administration should be grounded in the reality-based supposition that Obama is a corporatist president, but this is plainly not the case. In labeling Obama a leftist, the corporate-controlled media is able to coerce the national exchange into remaining well to the right of the vast majority of Americans. If Obama is a fanatical leftist, there is simply nothing beyond him that any reasonable person would consider – right? Only in the media’s fantasy world of doublespeak – where left means right and right means ultra-right – could a columnist like Krugman be considered a liberal. And yet his feeble derision of Obama as a right-wing politician represents one of the only voices we have in the mainstream media that even acknowledges the possibility of what should be excruciatingly obvious to everyone.
Krugman’s denunciation of Obama as a conservative president seems strikingly disingenuous. Krugman is seizing on a sentiment that has long been held by the majority of our nation’s true liberals. For being such an intelligent person, it is hard to believe Krugman didn’t arrive at this revelation sooner. Why deride Obama now? Why not two years ago, when he was first catapulted to the national stage? Krugman cites a column from 2008 in which he questioned Obama’s apparent romanticization of Ronald Reagan, but the column merely suggests that Obama was pandering to the Right in a transparent attempt to win votes. It hardly suggests that Obama was “a captive of right-wing mythology,” as his most recent post implies.
I do not know precisely what Mr. Krugman believes, but I find his assertion of being a “liberal” to be highly dubious. Krugman might honestly consider himself a liberal, but his definition is undeniably skewed to the right. Otherwise, his criticisms of Obama-the-corporatist (although he stops short of even labeling Obama this) would have begun long ago, and would have been much more searing than today’s rather toothless reprimand.