By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
My conservative friends are all bemoaning that President Obama - in their view - is taking this country down the path of socialism. After all - he did push through a health reform bill - didn't he?
But a closer look at the president's record would indicate that he is acting more like a Republican than a Democrat. And now there's renewed proof of that in the form of James Baker's endorsement of Obama's foreign policy.
Let's look at the facts.
Obama campaigned on an anti-Bush platform of promising to bring the troops home from Iraq. But as president he is following the very withdrawal strategy drawn up by his Republican predecessor.
He has decided that the best way to win the objective - whatever that actually means - in Afghanistan - is to add more troops. Where have we seen that strategy before? Oh, I remember now. In Iraq. During then-President George W. Bush's watch.
And domestically - this health care bill - in spite of the partisan breathless pronouncements to the contrary - falls far short of socialistic. There's no single payer option. Something that those who voted for Obama thought they were getting.
In fact, if you really look at the health reform legislation - it takes the form of something the Republicans previously supported. In fact - the requirement that you have to be covered by medical insurance is pretty similar to the health care law in Massachusetts. One that then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican takes credit for.
But don't take my word for it. Listen to what James Baker has to say.
You know, the guy who served as Ronald Reagan's chief of staff. As Reagan's treasury secretary. As George H.W. Bush's chief of staff. And as George H.W. Bush's secretary of state. That James Baker - the one with unimpeachable Republican credentials.
At a forum sponsored by the Texas Tribune, Baker had nothing but kind things to say about Obama's foreign policy.
Baker likes the way Obama is handling Iraq. He likes the way he's handling Afghanistan. Why, Baker even likes the way Obama is standing up to Israel!
If Obama is far left-leaning and heading the nation down the path of socialism like some conservatives suggest - it certainly is something that has escaped Baker's attention.
But it's not the right's unfair criticism of Obama that gets me. It's the lack of criticism from the left.
Had John McCain been elected and had the Republican candidate for president initiated the same policies as Obama there would have been a hue and cry from the left - accusing McCain of just being another Bush.
Obama. Change that we can believe in? Hardly.
You can talk to Gary at 5 PM New York time weekdays on News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network at www.joinchatnow.com. There is no charge.