Los Angeles Times

President Obama is no liberal

I take issue with letter writer Fred Pasek's comment that "every time you hear a candidate speak, you either get the far left agenda, or the far right agenda" ("Voting Republican for president, by default," Sept. 7). With all due respect to Mr. Pasek, "far left" simply does not apply to President Obama.

To the chagrin of liberals, the president is moderate to a fault. The recent debt-ceiling debate is a case in point. If we were truly dominated by politicians from both extremes, the debt ceiling stalemate would have been between a liberal president who opposed spending cuts and a conservative Congress opposed to any tax increases.

Instead, President Obama seemed willing to literally give away the liberal farm on spending cuts, even including the Social Security program that conservative congressmen hadn't even put on the table, all while proposing only a modest tax increase.

That is not a far left agenda.

Former Reagan White House adviser Bruce Bartlett compared the anger conservatives felt at President Nixon with the frustration liberals now are having with the current president. Mr. Bartlett's conclusion was that Mr. Obama "has in fact been moderately conservative to the exact degree that Nixon was moderately liberal."

I agree. As a liberal voter who knocked on doors for Barack Obama in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland in 2008 with the hope of real, substantive change, I find this very sad.

John C. Hilgartner, Baltimore

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