Don’t listen to Donald Trump. Barack Obama is not a Socialist Kenyan Muslim. The truth is far more startling: He’s a moderate Republican from the 1990s, writes Ezra Klein of the Washington Post. Obama’s major policy ideas—mandate-based health care reform, cap-and-trade, and raising taxes to reduce the deficit—are all things that Republicans advocated back then, Klein observes. But now they’re running away from them, seemingly just to oppose Obama.
“The White House has shown a strong preference for policies with demonstrated Republican support,” Klein observes, “but that’s been obscured by the Republican Party adopting a stance of unified, occasionally hysterical, opposition (remember ‘death panels’?) … But as entertaining as reality-TV politics might be, it can’t be permitted to, ahem, trump reality itself.” The really interesting story here isn’t the origin of Obama—it’s the origin of his policies.