Right, Left Are Blind to Obama's Centrism

Prez is neither a pushover nor a big-government liberal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2010 5:47 AM CST
President Barack Obama speaks at St. Charles High School about health care reform Wednesday, March 10, 2010, in St. Charles, Mo.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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(Newser) – If you believe President Obama is either a ruthless big-government liberal or an ineffective, overly intellectual leader, it probably says more about your politics than his, argues David Brooks. Obama is, and always has been "a center-left pragmatic reformer" who believes in "a moderately activist government restrained by a sense of trade-offs," but partisans on both sides seem intent on completely misreading him and his agenda, Brooks writes in the New York Times.

Obama has tenaciously pushed forward his progressive agenda in health care, foreign policy, and finance, and "has been the most determined education reformer in the modern presidency," Brooks writes. "In a sensible country, people would see Obama as a president trying to define a modern brand of moderate progressivism," Brooks writes, but too many Americans are stuck in their own partisan bubbles, leaving them with "perceptions fundamentally at odds with reality, fundamentally misunderstanding the man in the Oval Office."

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