Metropolitik: What’s so liberal about Barack Obama?

Reader challenge: E-mail us factual evidence of Obama’s Oval Office liberalism: real policies he has pursued that you think paint him as liberal.

The American right, tripping over itself to brand President Obama the most radically leftist black man since Jesus Christ himself, always misses the fact that Obama is just about as liberal as he is genetically black: About half, give or take.

Which half, you ask? Well, when you compare Obama to  any prominent Republican politician, he comes off looking particularly progressive. In the same way that when you contrast the president’s human rights record with that of the Great Lord Of The Underworld, Satan himself, Obama appears downright godly.

It’s a consequence of the extreme polarization of politics that any time we criticize Republicans we are angrily accused, in reader letters and on, of working for Team Obama. But this is not a defense of Obama; quite the opposite, in fact. This is a defense of facts. To wit:

Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, is a repackaging of corporatist right-wing ideas (opposed only because it’s politically expedient for Republicans to tank any possible presidential successes); in passing it, Obama undermined actually progressive plans like single-payer and the public option.

His foreign policy re-upped the imperial excesses of the Bush era in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and elsewhere. At home, he’s expanded the Patriot Act and increased the reach of executive powers, claiming the right of the president to execute American citizens.

Obama packed his cabinet full of bank alums, pushing financial bailouts with few conditions; no one on Wall Street has been prosecuted. He has extended the Bush tax cuts, and nearly agreed to Republican proposals to seriously gut Medicare and other social programs. He doesn’t support gay marriage. He doesn’t back Occupy Wall Street and has moved to criminalize protest.

In sum, there is overwhelming evidence to conclude that Obama is anything but a liberal. He is, rather, a Democrat.

Breaking: News

Twelve-hour Gaza humanitarian truce takes hold

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Maayan LubellGAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Palestinians in the Gaza Strip poured into the streets on Saturday to recover their dead and stock…


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.