Obama Defends Freedom of Choice in Health Care Reform

Many on the left claim there is not much difference between Obama and Clinton’s policy views, but there are differences which explain why Obama has the support of many libertarians while Clinton never will. While I think it is an exaggeration to label Obama a left-libertarian as some have, there are significant differences between Obama and Clinton with regards to their philosophy of government. Obama’s views show a considerable respect for liberty while Clinton has often shown contempt for consideration of issues of freedom in policy decisions. The most public disagreement between the two camps has been over health care mandates.

Obama has sent out a mailer stressing his opposition to the mandates which Clinton supports. This is a legitimate policy difference between the two and there is nothing wrong with sending a mailer which is based upon factual differences between the candidates. This is far different from the mailers the Clinton campaign sent out on Social Security and abortion rights which provided false information on Obama’s positions.

There has been considerable outrage from portions of the left who support mandates to Obama’s mailer as they one again repeat their empty cries of using conservative frames. Naturally Paul Krugman has jumped all over Obama once again. The worst came from the Clinton campaign which raised Nazi comparisons to this mailer during a conference call.

“It is as outrageous as having Nazis march through Skokie, Ill.,” Nichols said. “I just find it disgusting that this kind of imagery is being used to attack the only way to get to universal coverage.”

A Clinton aide did later disavow the Nazi comparison, but this episode does demonstrate the philosophical differences between many Obama and Clinton supporters, and the lack of understanding of liberty by the Clinton camp. The Nazi comparison is more than extreme hyperbole. The comparison is one hundred eighty degrees wrong. In contrast to the views of Nazis, Obama’s proposal respects individual freedom and choice while Clinton’s views do not. Clinton certainly is not a Nazi (or Socialist) for advocating mandates, but it is Obama’s views which are even further away from such authoritarian philosophies. Mandates are not needed, unnecessarily restrict choice, and would result in unnecessary new government enforcement apparatus which would be contrary to the cost-saving goals of health care reform.

The manner in which Obama’s views transcends the simplistic left to right linear spectrum can be seen in comparing the bogus attacks on Obama for using conservative frames on health care (as if any conservatives support a plan such as his) with his endorsements. Today Obama received the endorsement of MoveOn. Steve Benen listed the various endorsements Obama has received, which include people and organizations on the left as well as more conservative elements of the Democratic Party. He writes:

But I heard a pitch from an Obama supporter a while back that stuck with me: He unites the left and divides the right, while Clinton divides the left and unites the right.

In light of the MoveOn endorsement, we can probably expect to hear this line quite a bit more. After all, I never quite expected to see a candidate successfully outflank Clinton from the left and the right.

If you try to fit Obama along a linear left to right continuum you will wind up with the apparent paradox of Obama outflanking Clinton from the left and the right. One reason that many independents support Obama is that independents are often independent because their views also do not fit on the left/right spectrum. Obama does outflank Clinton on the left on issues such as civil liberties and foreign policy but his economic views are far too complex compared to Clinton’s simplistic big government views to label them as being either to the left or right of Clinton. Obama’s economic goals are progressive, but he also takes free market principles into consideration to develop the most effective means of achieving progressive goals.

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    Eric Dondero says:

    Obama is the closest thing in American politics in the last few decades to a true bonafied 100% Fascist. Last week it was revealed that he scored yet another perfect 100% score from a Radical Leftwing group. Previously, he’s scored 100 and 100 from the ADA and the NEA.

    If he wins, no doubt there will be concentration camps set up within days of his innauguration for those who don’t agree with him. Those who oppose Islamo-Fascism will undoubtably be the first ones carted off to the camps.

  2. 2
    Eric Dondero says:

    Hillary is a simple Socialist. While Obama is a National Socialist. And the Nation he fanatically supports, is the Nation of Islam.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    You are getting more and more out of touch with reality.

    As I’ve already pointed out, as you repeat this claim over and over as if it means something, Obama did not receive a 100 from the ADA. Even if he had, this would indicate a 100% voting record on issues which are neither fascist or radical left wing. Many of these votes include votes in support of civil liberties.

    I have not seen any radical left wing groups give Obama a perfect 100% score in the past week. As you provide no name or further information I will assume that this is yet one more figment of your imagination.

    Concentration camps? While there is absolutely no reason to think that any of the candidates would do such a thing, it makes no sense to accuse the candidate with the strongest record on civil liberties issues of such a thing. While it is absurd to accuse a civil libertarian such as Obama of this, it might make a little more sense to make such an accusation against the candidate you backed. While I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse Giuliani of planning to set up concentration camps, the candidate you backed has among the worst records on civil liberties of all the candidates.

    Your claims of a tie between Obama and the Nation of Islam have been repeatedly disputed. This includes defense for Obama from multiple Jewish organizations and several Jewish Senators.

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