Forget about “winning the future”–Barack Obama wants to win the center. That’s what the Washington Post is telling readers (7/25/11):
Obama ‘Big Deal’ on Debt a Gamble to Win the Center
Advisers think securing his plan would ensure general-election victory
The Post‘s Zachary A. Goldfarb (who can’t be held responsible for the headline) explained that Obama was making Republicans
an offer they couldn’t refuse. In exchange for trillions of dollars in cuts, including to Medicare and Social Security, Republicans would have to agree to a fraction of that in increased tax revenue.
Obama’s political advisers have long believed that securing such an agreement would provide an enormous boost to his 2012 campaign, according to people familiar with White House thinking. In particular, they want to preserve and improve the president’s standing among political independents, who abandoned Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections and who say reining in the nation’s debt is a high priority.
Perhaps this is, indeed, what White House insiders are saying. But a newspaper should point out that such ideas are hard to align with reality. As Dean Baker noted at Beat the Press:
Every poll done on this issue shows that people across the political spectrum, including Tea Party Republicans, overwhelmingly oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The Post either has some polls that no one else knows about or it’s just making things up.
Or it’s the same old story, where the media define the “center” somewhere well to the right of center.