President Obama is tacking to the right, trying to shore up his appeal to independents in 2012, but in the process he risks badly damaging his liberal base and creating a rift with his own party, reports the New York Times. In debt ceiling negotiations, he proposed spending cuts to the right of what many Republicans say they want, and with fewer cuts to the military and more to Social Security and Medicare than the Gang of Six. “He’s accommodated himself to the new reality in Washington,” says a former Republican leader.
Despite escalating the war in Afghanistan, failing to close Guantanamo Bay, and continuing the Bush tax cuts, liberals are too scared of the right to consider voting Republican, says the leader of one liberal activist group. But unless Obama creates more jobs and gets in Republicans' face more, he warns that, "the ability of labor to turn out its vote, the ability of activists to mobilize that vote, is going to be dramatically reduced.”