Tnr Exclusive -- Rove Lacks Intellectual Integrity!

by Jonathan Chait | May 21, 2009

Karl Rove has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal arguing that President Obama campaigned as an economic centrist, but has since taken a hard-left turn:

Mr. Obama ran hard to the center on economic issues to win the general election. He has since discovered his campaign commitments were obstacles to ramming through the most ideologically liberal economic agenda since the Great Society.

Mr. Obama either had very little grasp of what governing would involve or, if he did, he used words meant to mislead the public. Neither option is particularly encouraging. America now has a president quite different from the person who advertised himself for the job last year. Over time, those things can catch up to a politician.

Hmm. I'm pretty sure that during the campaign Obama promised to reform health care, energy, and education in precisely the way he's now doing. Also, it's kind of funny that Rove now recalls that Obama "ran hard to the center" during the campaign, because that's not what he was saying at the time.

For instance, as early as February 2008, Rove was insisting that Obama was openly running as a left-winger:

Tuesday night, in a key moment in this race, he dropped the pretense that his was a centrist agenda. His agenda is the agenda of the Democratic left.

Or take this from October 23rd:

Mr. Obama's tax-and-spend prescription will cause the economic fever to spike, not recede. ...

Wanting to raise taxes -- anyone's taxes -- in a slowdown is a warning sign of a misguided economic philosophy. Mr. Obama's proposal to redistribute wealth is a warning of indifference or hostility to enterprise. Mr. Obama's health-care plan is a warning that government will have more, not less, to say about your health care if he has his way. Mr. Obama's dismissal of offshore drilling and opposition to nuclear power are warning signs for an economy whose growth depends on affordable energy.

Now it turns out Obama was promising centrist policies in 2008. What do you know.

--Jonathan Chait

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/tnr-exclusive-rove-lacks-intellectual-integrity