Obama: Moderate Republican Redux

Leon Hadar (writing in The American Conservative in a piece entitled
"Is Barack Obama a Republican Realist?”):

With the selection of Republican Hagel, an intellectual heir to the Baker-Scrowcroft Realpolitik tradition, Obama has taken a major step toward transforming his presidency into a replica of the administration of George H.W. Bush, at least when it comes to foreign policy.

In a way, much of what Obama has been advocating on domestic policy is not very different from what a Bush I administration (or Nixon, Ford or Eisenhower) would be doing, ranging from raising taxes, reforming immigration policy, or protecting the environment. Obama, in short, is not a socialist or a even a social-democrat, just a good old centrist Republican.

Hmm.  This sounds vaguely familiar.  Oh, I know:

Obama: Moderate 90s Republican?

Vote Moderate Republican: Vote Obama

Not to mention:  No Longer the ‘Party of Eisenhower and Reagan’

FILED UNDER: Environment, US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. stonetools says:

    Of course, what matters for many Republican voters is not what Obama’s policies are, but that he is BLACK. That’s what distinguishes him from Nixon, et al. No conservative magazine will mention this, however.

  2. edmondo says:

    “centrist Republican.” or “corporatist Democrat”

    You say tomato andI say tomahto.

  3. Geek, Esq. says:

    He’s more like Clinton’s foreign policy. Why is that only Republican presidents have their own foreign policy approach–and that Obama has to be choosing between them?

    For all of his realism and non-interventionism, Bush did involve us in the First Iraq War (looked a lot better then than it does now), invaded Panama, and got us entangled in the mess of Somalia.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Join the club…I’ve said that dozens of times in these comment sections.
    John Boenher seems to have finally come around to this…and is quietly subverting the Hastert Rule in the House. I hope he keeps it up…for the good of the country.
    As I noted in another thread today…both the Fiscal Cliff vote and the Sandy Relief bill were passed by bipartisan votes…with the majority of the bat-shit crazy Repoublicans voting no…voting for irrelevancy.
    Even the gun-contol proposals offered today are pretty damn middle-of-the-road.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve been challenging people on and off for a couple years to tell me one signficant thing Obama has done that Richard Nixon wouldn’t have done. Usually did in fact do. So far, no takers.

    Now, Barack Obama is a moderate Republican, James Joyner is a moderate Republican, so…never mind.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    Yes. If only George H.W. Bush’s idiot child had transformed himself into his father. The elder Bush fought a war and turned a profit. His son lost two wars and racked up 1.5 trillion in debt (and counting.)

  7. edmondo says:

    The other difference is that HW Bush had a Democratic Party trying to move him left. Now the Democrats are being pulled to the right by the so-called Democrat in the White House. He campaigns like Tom Joad but he governs like George Babbit

  8. anjin-san says:

    a replica of the administration of George H.W. Bush, at least when it comes to foreign policy.

    Bush 41 was clueless on domestic issues, but was a fine foreign policy president for the most part.

  9. Dave says:

    In the words of Dr. Cornell West “Obama is just a Republican in black face.”

  10. Tsar Nicholas Jan Bithead says:

    Obama can’t be a moderate Republican (i.e A RINO) cause he is a former member of the loopy liberal academe. He’s a die hard pinko commie. His european socialist policies will bring such a destruction upon the US that if it were a stock, I would short it. You’ll see, my predictions will come true. They always does. Derpie derp!