Who is More Conservative: Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama?

Who is more conservative - Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama?

If you think that's an absurd question, you're not alone. We had this discussion on The Dylan Ratigan Show when I was filling in for him on MSNBC and both of my guests thought it was absurd. A conservative website led with the headline that it was absurd (though they did not present one single fact to back up their claim). Except as it turns out, based on the facts, it is a really hard question to answer. And it would be absurd to claim otherwise.

Ronald Reagan:

• Gave Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants
• Negotiated with Terrorists (Traded Arms for Hostages with Iran)
• Raised Taxes on a Large Scale Four Times (After Initially Lowering Them)
• Negotiated with the "Evil Empire" without Pre-conditions
• Made a Decision to "Cut and Run" From Lebanon After Our Troops Were Attacked

In fact, as you look at the Reagan list, it seems he is the exact opposite of what conservatives now claim they want. It looks like the caricature of what they think liberals do. There is no way that even Dennis Kucinich would be able to do all of those things; he certainly wouldn't negotiate with terrorists the way Reagan did.

Of course, Reagan also took the country further right in many ways but our political spectrum has moved so far to the right that he looks left behind by comparison. So, let's go to Obama and see what that "socialist" is up to.

Barack Obama:

• Escalated the Afghanistan War (Added 30,000 More Troops)
• Escalated the Afghanistan War (Added 30,000 More Troops)
• Has Ordered Drone Strikes (Assassinations) on US Citizens Outside the Country
• Gave Drug Companies Near Monopoly Power by Barring Imports, Extending Patents and Not Allowing the Government to Negotiate Better Prices
• Funneled Billions into the Biggest Banks in the Country After They Crashed the Economy
Stacked Deficit Commission with Fiscal Conservatives
• Lowered Taxes Significantly (Stimulus Bill)
• Ordered Increased Offshore Drilling Before BP Spill

The Obama team would argue that they did a lot of this because the Republicans made them do it. First, that's entirely untrue because the Republicans didn't make them pass any bills. The GOP also didn't give most of this legislation a single yes vote, so they could have been entirely ignored if Obama had the courage to do that. And many of the items on the list are executive actions, which the Republicans have no control over.

Second, conservative is as conservative does. If you implement this many conservative positions, are you really sure you're not one?

Now, people will cry and scream that we had the most historic health care reform and will soon have the most historic financial reform ever. Isn't that progressive enough?! No, that's nonsense. They are called historic only because the White House called them that. Financial reform is a joke that still leaves the big banks in charge and has failed to end "too big to fail." And yes, health care reform actually covers more people if they ever get it (maybe in 2014) and if they can afford it (depends on what private insurance decides to charge them), but it still leaves the health care system exactly as it was before. This is the progressive change people voted for?

The bottom line is that, no matter what the reason, Obama seems to be in some important ways significantly to the right of Reagan on the political spectrum. If Reagan ordered the execution of US citizens abroad, he might have been impeached. If Obama tried to give undocumented immigrants blanket amnesty the way Reagan did, he might be impeached.

I don't think Obama is a hard right-winger. It's just that the political establishment in this country has moved so far to the right (though not the public, according to polls on specific issues) that as a natural politician when he goes to appease them, he is solidly center-right on the spectrum.

And the political line has moved so far that if Reagan tried to run as a Republican now he would be the laughing stock of the party. Rush Limbaugh would tear him to shreds and Bill Kristol would say he is Neville Chamberlain. He would be run out of town as a tax-raising, amnesty giving, terrorist negotiating, cut and run no-good lib who hates the troops.

And anyone who claims otherwise is being absurd. As Reagan once said, "Facts are stubborn things."

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Who is More Conservative: Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama?

Who is more conservative - Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama?

If you think that's an absurd question, you're not alone. We had this discussion on The Dylan Ratigan Show when I was filling in for him on MSNBC and both of my guests thought it was absurd. A conservative website led with the headline that it was absurd (though they did not present one single fact to back up their claim). Except as it turns out, based on the facts, it is a really hard question to answer. And it would be absurd to claim otherwise.

Ronald Reagan:

• Gave Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants
• Negotiated with Terrorists (Traded Arms for Hostages with Iran)
• Raised Taxes on a Large Scale Four Times (After Initially Lowering Them)
• Negotiated with the "Evil Empire" without Pre-conditions
• Made a Decision to "Cut and Run" From Lebanon After Our Troops Were Attacked

In fact, as you look at the Reagan list, it seems he is the exact opposite of what conservatives now claim they want. It looks like the caricature of what they think liberals do. There is no way that even Dennis Kucinich would be able to do all of those things; he certainly wouldn't negotiate with terrorists the way Reagan did.

Of course, Reagan also took the country further right in many ways but our political spectrum has moved so far to the right that he looks left behind by comparison. So, let's go to Obama and see what that "socialist" is up to.

Barack Obama:

• Escalated the Afghanistan War (Added 30,000 More Troops)
• Escalated the Afghanistan War (Added 30,000 More Troops)
• Has Ordered Drone Strikes (Assassinations) on US Citizens Outside the Country
• Gave Drug Companies Near Monopoly Power by Barring Imports, Extending Patents and Not Allowing the Government to Negotiate Better Prices
• Funneled Billions into the Biggest Banks in the Country After They Crashed the Economy
Stacked Deficit Commission with Fiscal Conservatives
• Lowered Taxes Significantly (Stimulus Bill)
• Ordered Increased Offshore Drilling Before BP Spill

The Obama team would argue that they did a lot of this because the Republicans made them do it. First, that's entirely untrue because the Republicans didn't make them pass any bills. The GOP also didn't give most of this legislation a single yes vote, so they could have been entirely ignored if Obama had the courage to do that. And many of the items on the list are executive actions, which the Republicans have no control over.

Second, conservative is as conservative does. If you implement this many conservative positions, are you really sure you're not one?

Now, people will cry and scream that we had the most historic health care reform and will soon have the most historic financial reform ever. Isn't that progressive enough?! No, that's nonsense. They are called historic only because the White House called them that. Financial reform is a joke that still leaves the big banks in charge and has failed to end "too big to fail." And yes, health care reform actually covers more people if they ever get it (maybe in 2014) and if they can afford it (depends on what private insurance decides to charge them), but it still leaves the health care system exactly as it was before. This is the progressive change people voted for?

The bottom line is that, no matter what the reason, Obama seems to be in some important ways significantly to the right of Reagan on the political spectrum. If Reagan ordered the execution of US citizens abroad, he might have been impeached. If Obama tried to give undocumented immigrants blanket amnesty the way Reagan did, he might be impeached.

I don't think Obama is a hard right-winger. It's just that the political establishment in this country has moved so far to the right (though not the public, according to polls on specific issues) that as a natural politician when he goes to appease them, he is solidly center-right on the spectrum.

And the political line has moved so far that if Reagan tried to run as a Republican now he would be the laughing stock of the party. Rush Limbaugh would tear him to shreds and Bill Kristol would say he is Neville Chamberlain. He would be run out of town as a tax-raising, amnesty giving, terrorist negotiating, cut and run no-good lib who hates the troops.

And anyone who claims otherwise is being absurd. As Reagan once said, "Facts are stubborn things."

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American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) endorses Tracy Emblem for US Congress (CA50)

ESCONDIDO, May 12, 2010 - The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has endorsed Tracy Emblem for U.S. Congress in California's 50th Democratic primary race in North San Diego County.

AFGE represents a diverse workforce of government workers who are the vital threads of the fabric of American life. Government employees inspect the food we eat and the places we work, protect citizens from the illicit flow of drugs, maintain the safety of our nation's borders, care for our nation's veterans and keep the national defense systems prepared for any danger 

"With the 50th District geographically between two military bases and San Diego County home to the second largest Veteran population in the nation, I am proud to have the support and endorsement of AFGE whose members work to care for, empower and assist our returning Veterans and protect and keep America strong," said Tracy Emblem on Wednesday.

AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.

AFGE believes that all unions should belong to the house of labor and has been nationally affiliated with the The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) since AFGE was founded in 1932. The AFL-CIO is a voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions. The AFL-CIO was created in 1955 by the merger of the AFL and the CIO.

This endorsement brings the total labor support of Tracy's campaign to about 20 unions. Tracy is also the candidate endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America.

Tracy Emblem is running for U.S. Congress in San Diego's 50th District against Francine Busby, a Cardiff School Board trustee with only one endorsement by labor (California Teachers Association), to unseat the incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray who has no endorsements by labor.

American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) endorses Tracy Emblem for US Congress (CA50)

ESCONDIDO, May 12, 2010 - The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has endorsed Tracy Emblem for U.S. Congress in California's 50th Democratic primary race in North San Diego County.

AFGE represents a diverse workforce of government workers who are the vital threads of the fabric of American life. Government employees inspect the food we eat and the places we work, protect citizens from the illicit flow of drugs, maintain the safety of our nation's borders, care for our nation's veterans and keep the national defense systems prepared for any danger 

"With the 50th District geographically between two military bases and San Diego County home to the second largest Veteran population in the nation, I am proud to have the support and endorsement of AFGE whose members work to care for, empower and assist our returning Veterans and protect and keep America strong," said Tracy Emblem on Wednesday.

AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.

AFGE believes that all unions should belong to the house of labor and has been nationally affiliated with the The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) since AFGE was founded in 1932. The AFL-CIO is a voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions. The AFL-CIO was created in 1955 by the merger of the AFL and the CIO.

This endorsement brings the total labor support of Tracy's campaign to about 20 unions. Tracy is also the candidate endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America.

Tracy Emblem is running for U.S. Congress in San Diego's 50th District against Francine Busby, a Cardiff School Board trustee with only one endorsement by labor (California Teachers Association), to unseat the incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray who has no endorsements by labor.

Emblem challenge to Busby Spices Up Tight 50th Congressional District Democratic Primary

Logan Jenkins, a San Diego Union-Tribune columnist based in North San Diego County, covered the tight Democratic Congressional primary in California's 50th District today. He profiled the two Democratic candidates in the race competing for a chance to unseat the Republican incumbent, Brian Bilbray: 1) Francine Busby, "the Harold Stassen of the 50th district, a three-time loser in head-to-head races against Republicans," and 2) Tracy Emblem, the fresh new upstart with extensive blue collar support from about 20 labor unions. He posited that the 50th District might change color from red to blue this year. Read more:
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/may/13/upstart-spices-up-50th-district-primary/

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