Ed recently described Barack Obama as a left-wing ideologue, and I know that this reflects the view of many Republicans, but it is not an accurate assessment. On issue after issue, President Obama has pursued a center-left or centrist position as best as those positions can be defined.
On national security, he has largely continued the policies of the George W. Bush administration, surging in Afghanistan, keeping open the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and attacking with drones.
On domestic issues, Obama eschewed the public option on health care, left large financial institutions intact; and signaled a willingness to cut entitlements as part of a deficit-reduction plan.
In both foreign and national affairs, Obama has repeatedly rejected more left-leaning alternative policies and ideas, which is why many left-wing ideologues are so disappointed in him. Indeed, the left’s criticism of Obama is interesting. The argument is that the president has been too soft in his dealings with Republicans, too willing to compromise. This has made the president look weak and then become weak.