Can We Walk in the Middle of the Road? – Is there a place for moderate bloggers?

The Moderate Voice, as you may have gathered, is one of my favorite reads. If you don’t check it out daily you had better start! Today they published a thought provoking piece on the place of moderate bloggers in a left-right blogosphere. I’m just gonna go ahead and repost the whole thing then give you my reply.

from The Moderate Voice

Obama: Making Things Hard on Moderate Bloggers

Posted By NED LIPS On March 2, 2009 @ 10:13 am

There are some who believe that the very concept of “moderate blogger” is some sort of oxymoron, or that anyone who would categorize themselves in that manner must just be morons. Bloggers are supposed to be hard core ideologues. How can a fence walking moderate blog survive? What do we stand for? Well we find the correct answers amidst the rhetoric and we take a “good for the country” stand.

For the hard right wing conservative bloggers, Obama is gold. Lots of spending and tax increases, or at least the ability to make those claims.

For the left wing liberal socialist bloggers, Obama is tricky, but there are plenty of compromises being made to the hard left agenda for these folks to write for hours. Tax cuts, delays in raising taxes on the wealthy, taking longer to get out of Iraq, adding troops to Afghanistan, etc.

Bloggers do not make any money doing this, no matter how wonderful we may be. So to sit down and write, we have to find a passionate reaction to the message or actions of those claiming power.

As I look at Obama from the view of a moderate, I see a leader of the people who understands the importance of US business. He is being hard core and making both change their ways. From the standpoint of a historically Republican leaning moderate, he seems pretty balanced. I find it makes sense to wait and see how this all works itself out.

Sure the Stimulus Package was huge and only three Republicans voted for it. Here is what I think happened. The House passed a plan. The Senate argued and postured and then passed a plan. All the while Obama and Emanuel were crafting the final plan with Democrat and Republican leaders and moderates. Notice that the two plans were sent to committee and the settlement plan came out in about five minutes and did not look anything like either plan. Rahm Emanuel brought the real plan to the committee and said, “This is the settlement plan. The Republicans have agreed to give us the three votes we need if we send this plan out there.” Pelosi balked and Rahm stared her down. The Republicans nodded knowing they were not the three chosen to vote yes. The bill, a truly bi-partisan heavily negotiated bill passed. Obama got his bill and Republican leadership and Rush Limbaugh got their deniability. Everyone wins. How can we argue with that?

It is clear to me that he is going to do anything possible not to give away the rest of the TARP or auto-bailout money. Reduce executives’ pay, pass the stress test, show me more lending, develop a detailed business plan, build more green cars, jump through this hoop and that one and only then will we consider giving you more cash. If you make it, it is a good investment and perhaps private capital will become available. If not, oh well we tried. As a moderate, how can we argue with that?

Internationally, he has set the tone on the wars. We will get out of combat in Iraq, but we will not abandon them as prior US presidents have done to countries around the world, including Afghanistan. We will, however, get out of their politics and let them run their own country.

We are going to establish a clear mission in Afghanistan. As that is being determined by military, diplomatic and economic geniuses, he is stabilizing and supporting our current troops with new ones so that they are safer in a dangerous place. What President Obama is doing sure makes a lot of sense.

I support his overtures to begin diplomatic talks with all nations, including Iran, Syria and even Cuba. Nothing cures hostilities like mutual commercial reliance, a capitalist Republican philosophy. That said, he has been strong in the face of missile testing by the North Koreans. The “Axis of Evil” was flatly stupid and while it rallied a certain base for a struggling President Bush, it was not good global politics. The world already seems to like us more. That cannot be all bad.

There are many issues, but what I see is a true leader who articulates clearly and concisely in ways we can all understand and who is not afraid to stand up tall and talk to anyone about any plan. He has gathered great minds around him. He does not ask them to dream something up. He listens carefully to all sides, then, as a leader should, he makes an executive decision and tells the experts to figure out how to accomplish a result by a deadline in a bi-partisan manner. He does not act rashly without all the facts. His decisions are based on logical reasoning. But he is not lost in the facts. He steps up to the plate and makes the hard decisions that leaders must.

It is not really fair to the moderate blogger or the comedians for that matter. We are all struggling out here trying to find an edge. I am proud of our President and unlike some pundits want him to succeed, but he sure is not making my avocation very easy.

I call myself a moderate. I’ll tell you what that means to me. Fiscally I’m conservative. For welfare reform, less entitlement, not necessarily less gov spending but certainly a more surgical application of federal tax dollars. I believe in the capitalist system and free trade, but we still need some regulations. Recent events have proved that to me.

Socially my views are a bit more complicated. The power of the individual usually takes president over the collective. Social and economic explanations for crime are often just excuses. We all have a choice. There are consequences to those choices. Equal pay for equal work. Affirmative action and quotas are not truly equal. I’m only for abortion when the mother’s life is in danger, but fear that if they are illegal back alley abortions will lead to more harm than the current system. Pro teacher accountability and school assessment. There are enough gun control laws. LGBT I’m rather liberal.

Most of those online quizzes you can find around the net I land around libertarian, center, or center-left on almost every single one. Because much of conservatism has become about wedge issues, I’m more inclined to vote Dem. I have voted for Snowe here in Maine though.

After thinking all this out, maybe I’m really a Burkean conservative, if such a thing can still exist.

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