President Obama

Is President Obama a Centrist Republican?

Glenn Greenwald thinks so, and his primary evidence is that Paul Krugman thinks so.

He also off-handedly dismissed the president's progressive record on such meaningless issues as abortion, the Supreme Court, civil rights, the rescuing of the national economy from the brink of another Great Depression with the stimulus package, and Wall Street reform (he printed "reform" in quotes). Feh. Civil rights. Whatevs.

Greenwald entirely neglected to damn with snarky faint praise the president's "expansion" of children's healthcare, the federal funding of "embryonic" stem cell research, "equal pay" for equal work, the expansion of healthcare benefits for "women", increased infrastructure spending, tougher new emissions standards, new hate "crime" laws, and the president's numerous declarations ending trickle down, deregulatory Reaganomics, etc, etc. [Quotations sarcastic.] All during an era of impossibly divided government and ideological entrenchment.

And if you parse Greenwald's criticisms, you'll find they're not entirely consistent with reality. For example, if a government worker or soldier with security clearance leaks classified information and violates the National Security Act, he or she has broken the law and ought to be prosecuted, "whistleblower" or not. You know, like when the Bush administration outed Valerie Plame.

While I'm here, what exactly is, as Greenwald wrote, a "due-process-free assassination"? If there was a trial and a conviction, would an assassination still be in order? And would Greenwald support that?

Regarding progressive foreign policy items, President Obama banned torture, signed an executive order to close the prison at Guantanamo, ended the Iraq War despite pressure to violate the Status of Forces Agreement, pledged an end to the war in Afghanistan and cut military spending.

Yet his positions on indefinite detention, drones, cluster bombs and Libya make him a centrist Republican -- in fact, as Greenwald wrote, to the right of Ron Paul. Ron Paul who, by the way, wants to criminalize abortion, is attached to racist newsletters and whose hero is the far-right fiction author Ayn Rand. That's rich.

I'll end with this: Greenwald supported the Citizens United decision upholding corporate money in elections as a form of free speech. Does this make Greenwald a corporatist?