Obama a Conservative, Please!

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

If the liberals are concerned about Barack Obama’s political future, this is a shining example of their worries. The so-called independent journalist Paul Street and professor Anthony DiMaggio unabashedly attack the Tea Party and Republican Party as misleading the general public, as well as misleading the liberal mainstream media.

More often than not, the authors use the terms “rightwing,” “Tea Party,” “Teapublican,” “TeaOP” to label the Republican Party and Tea Party as extremists and entirely unrealistic hard-liners on public policy.  In addition, they accuse the “right-wing” of attacking the federal government employees and social programs in order to protect Big Business. Following a typical left-wing theme, they lament that the elites in the “too big to fail” banks and businesses are holding public policy hostage.

Indeed, the bank bailout is the hardest evidence they offer that Barack Obama is “deeply conservative” and “supposedly liberal.”  News flash: Giving taxpayer funding to the rich is not any variation of conservative—fusion, libertarian, traditional or paleo.

Street and DiMaggio argue that Obama’s health care law was similar to other Republican measures and that the Tea Party plans are too extreme.  In one sense,  this is accurate in a backward way. The GOP plan was not as free market as congressional Republicans claimed it to be. It was conservative in a superficial sense: At about one-thousand pages, it was  half the size of the White House’s 2,000-plus offering.

For evidence and support, Street and DiMaggio cite Washington Post or New York Times writers  such as Dan Balz and Maureen Dowd. They call David Brooks a “conservative,” a characterization that many conservatives would queston.  Dowd was quoted as saying the GOP was at the mercy of the “towel-snapping Tea Party crazies.”

DiMaggio toils at the University of Illinois, at Chicago. He gets mostly raves from his students who have posted their reactions on RateMyProfessors.com but the only two who describe what he actually does (one favorable, one critical) offer revealing glimpses of his pedagogy:

  • “He is a left winger, but he’s easy. Only thing I really didn’t like about the class was the 2-3 left wing videos we had to watch and the fact that he had ‘his viewpoint’ questions on the tests. I think he is going to be teaching somewhere else after the 06-07 school year… Show up to class, take a few notes and you will get an A. “
  • “Left Wing Freak!! If you lean to the left then you will love this guy. Not a balanced class at all! Very biased, we watched NAACP videos in class and are tested on them. Michael Moore would be proud of this guy. If you have any political sense, don’t waste your time with this ‘professor.’”

Spencer Irvine is a research assistant at Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.