Hypocrisy in politics is certainly nothing new. But the audacity of President Obama’s recent self-proclaimed “centrist” beliefs pushes even Washington’s standards of hypocrisy to new levels.
As a Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama had one of the most liberal voting records of any Senator in Congress. When Obama began his campaign for the presidency, he quickly solidified his standing within the left wing of the Democratic Party and molded all of his speeches around the core principals of the left. It would be very difficult to deny with a straight face that Obama’s first two years of his Presidency was not significantly geared toward the left side of Democratic politics. But to hear his own self-assessments now and comments from his most ardent supporters, you would think these comments were referring to some other person.
Case in point, a year or so ago, Obama railed on the “fat cats” in banking and on Wall Street. Now he has given a major speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce talking about how much he wants to listen to the business community and how we can all now “get along.” At the onset of his presidency, he sent directives to all his agency Secretaries to not shy away from new regulations on commerce, banking, labor and manufacturing, and the environment. Now he talks about how he is going to “attack” senseless “regulations.” Obama went to Cairo, Egypt early in his term and gave a speech that basically blamed a lot of the world’s problems on the United States. Now he talks about how the U.S. should “set the example” for the world to follow. Yes there is a lot to be confused about concerning the guy who now occupies the Oval Office. In the words of the old 1960’s television show To Tell The Truth, “Would the real Barak Obama please stand up?”
The rebranding of Obama as a “centrist everyman” is also finding aid and comfort from various media sources. For example, when Obama was first elected, Jeffrey Immelt, CEO and President of General Electric was talking about “green” jobs and “green technology” and how GE was leading the way in alternative energy. GE carried this theme forward in all their television commercials at the time emphasizing the phrase “eco-imagination” as the new found mission of GE. Oddly, the TV ads GE is now running has pictures of scores of GE employees doing country line-dancing while a sound track plays a top-ten country song. One needs not consult a Wall Street marketing executive to understand that GE’s commercials are now targeting a different audience than they were two years ago. Perhaps GE now wants to sell its products to moderate independents or Tea Party members or maybe even “Republicans.” Or maybe since Obama now sees Jeffrey Immelt of GE on a regular basis due to Immelt’s new job as head of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, Immelt thought he might help Obama’s image as a “moderate” by changing all of GE’s multi-million dollar advertising to appeal to “southern folk.” Just a thought.
Obama’s newly found political cowboy hat and boots appear to even be appearing in various news outlets. It seems that traditionally left-leaning news media now thinks Obama has much in common with – Ronald Regan. Yea, I’m not kidding. According to several NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC and CNN commentators, Obama’s state of the union speech was “Reganesk” and that Obama has “much in common” with Ronald Regan. Two years ago, left leaning journalist wouldn’t have given Ronald Regan the time of day if he were still alive to ask. Now, Regan is presented as being a “must read” for their favorite liberal – Barack Obama.
And what about Barack and his new found emphasis on his “belief in Jesus?” Well no one but God can judge the sincerity of a man’s heart. If President Obama is now leaning upon the strong shoulders of Christ then I can only praise him for that decision. But I am compelled to examine some facts about Obama’s first two years in office regarding “issues of faith.”
Unlike other Presidents, Obama has never picked a church to attend regularly in Washington and does not appear to attend Sunday services on a regular basis. Although to be fair, he has said that he and his family attend services at Camp David. Obama has also seemingly been more open to issues regarding Islam than Christianity or Judaism. In fact, he allowed the Department of State to use federal funds to help in the repair and rebuilding of Mosques in various Middle-Eastern nations even while the left-wing of his party regularly extols the illegal nature of “church and state entanglement.” And perhaps of most concern to Evangelical Christians, he directed the Department of Defense to “disinvite” Billy Graham’s son Franklin from a DOD prayer breakfast in April of 2010. Franklin Graham had long been a welcomed guest of the Pentagon for years. Now, President Obama seems much more anxious to discuss his faith, prayer life and belief in God. This year’s prayer breakfast at the White House seemed to be conducted and reported upon with a bit more affection than in the first two years of Obama’s term. As I noted, no one can judge anyone’s spiritual commitment. I just find President Obama’s recent disclosures about how comfortable he is with God and his faith a bit interesting.
So will the average American notice that the President now seems much more willing to consider and discuss more moderate political positions than what seemed to be the case a few years ago? Probably not. I suspect that the repackaging of the President will be accomplished quietly and with the help of various media sources. By the time the 2012 election rolls around, Barak Obama will appear and sound like “your neighbor” or a person that any average politically moderate American could sit down and share a beer with.
Such is the case of present day politics in “the big league.”