Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
President Obama's Second Inaugural Address echoed themes from the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,from Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, and from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his holiday.
The right-wing haters of the mighty Wurlitzer of the right-wing noise machine predictably clutched their pearls and reached for the smelling salts as they all got their panties in a twist. The right-wing haters dismissed the speech as a "far-left" liberal agenda that is "radical" and "extreme."
These right-wing haters are trying to convince the feckless "lamestream media" that America is a center-right country, which is funny, because what they are selling is not center-right at all but a radical and extreme dystopian vision. This is how propagandists move the fulcrum on the scale ever rightward to extremist positions, so that even a "conservative" president like Ronald Reagan would be dismissed by them today as a "socialist leftie."
The progressive values that President Obama outlined in his Address are not "far-left" as the right-wing haters proclaim, but are in fact centrist values supported by a majority of Americans who made up the coalition of voters who elected him.
The Democratic Party is the "centrist" party in America today. The GOP is a failing political party being hollowed out by the parasites of far-right radicals and extremists on its fringe -- and in the conservative media entertainment complex.
The right-wing haters may be correct in one respect. They recognize that the changing demographics of the American electorate and public opinion portend the rise of a new progressive era that rejects their dystopian world of hatred and resentment for "others." Their time is rapidly coming to an end.
As Mark Murray posted at The First Read, Liberal -- but also not outside the mainstream:
Political observers have placed so much emphasis on the “liberal” second inaugural address that President Obama delivered yesterday.
David Remnick in the New Yorker called Obama “a liberal emboldened by political victory.”
The Atlantic’s James Fallows added that the speech was “the most sustainedly ‘progressive’ statement Barack Obama has made in his decade on the national stage.”
Politico’s Thrush agreed.
So did we. “More than anything else, [the address] was an unabashed defense of liberalism/progressivism,” we wrote in First Thoughts.
* * *
But what is being mostly overlooked [by the feckless "lamestream media"] is how many of the policies and viewpoints Obama articulated in his inaugural address are supported by majorities of Americans.
Take Obama’s advocacy for gay rights, for example. (“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” Obama said in his speech yesterday). As it turns out, per the Dec. 2012 NBC/WSJ poll, a majority of Americans -- 51% -- favor gay marriage. That’s up from a mere 30% in 2004. [And here is the GOP-friendly Gallup Poll from November, 2012.]
There’s also immigration reform. (“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity.”) The Jan. 2013 NBC/WSJ found another majority -- 52% -- supporting giving illegal immigrants the ability to apply for legal status. [And here is the CNN Poll from January, 2013."
And then there's his defense of entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. (“These things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”) Polls overwhelmingly find that Americans support these programs. [Even a majority of Tea-Puublicans!]
One issue that Obama discussed yesterday -- stopping climate change -- is a topic that could be a harder political sell, although the NBC/WSJ poll hasn’t tested it in a long time. [Ah, but CNN has.]
[I]t's hard to argue that these “liberal” ideas and policies are somehow far outside the political mainstream.
As Politico writes, “The cultural changes that allowed Obama to be the first president to mention gay rights in an inaugural address are already widely accepted by the public or destined to be so soon as a younger, more socially liberal generation comes of age. The president’s promise to address climate change and his peroration on continuing ‘what those pioneers began’ on gender equality, gay rights, voting rights, immigration and gun control likewise illustrated just how much the White House is convinced that the country’s cultural center has moved.”
If anyone is outside of the mainstream of American political thought, it is the right-wing haters of the mighty Wurlitzer of the right-wing noise machine. Their time is rapidly coming to an end. And none too soon.
h/t The Ed Show for the graphics.
UPDATE: Steve Benen adds in 'The era of liberalism is back':
For all of the efforts on the right to suggest Obama's vision lacks public support, the exact opposite is true -- on nearly every major issue of the day, the American mainstream and the president's positions are one and the same.
If the "era of liberalism is back," this should cause great consternation among Republicans, not relief. After all, most Americans in their "center-right" nation support gay marriage, higher taxes on the wealthy, a system of universal background checks before gun purchases, abortion rights, comprehensive immigration reform, efforts to combat climate change, protections for social-insurance programs like Medicare and Social Security, and greater public investments in education and infrastructure.
The question isn't why Obama supports this progressive agenda; the question is why McConnell and his party don't.