At Powerline Paul Mirengoff writes:
The often sensible Washington Post editorial board came up with a howler yesterday when it argued that, notwithstanding Barack Obama's ranking by the objective National Journal as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate in 2007, it is "not clear" whether Obama is "a liberal at heart" or "more of a centrist."Mirengoff goes on to point out that Obama did join in the unsuccessful attempt to filibuster Justice Samuel Alito’s nomination. He also notes again the National Journal’s ranking of Obama as the "most liberal" Senator.
The Post's main evidence for this alleged lack of clarity is laughable. It notes that Obama declined to filibuster the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court.
But, as Ed Whelan retorts, no Senator voted to filibuster Roberts; there was no cloture in that instance.
In the absence of a filibuster, Obama did the next best thing; he voted against the Roberts nomination, even though half of his fellow Democratic Senators (few of whom can be called centrists) voted for confirmation. …
Mirengoff closes with:
Until this election cycle, a Senator's voting record was always considered the best evidence of his position on the political spectrum; nor were rhetorical flourishes ever counted as countervailing evidence.Are the WaPo editorial board members deceiving themselves?
The Post's willingness to make an exception for Obama constitutes deception, the only question being whether the editors are deceiving themselves as well as their readers.
I doubt it. I knew most of the information Mirengoff cites. (I’d forgotten Obama supported the Alito filibuster attempt) The WaPo editors surely knew it all and discussed it.
So how could they suggest Obama is “more of a centrist?”
I think they were trying to help Obama.
The WaPo editors know that during this fall’s campaign, Republicans will call Obama’s “most liberal” voting record to people’s attention.
At that point, rather than admit Obama’s very liberal, the Dems and their MSM flacks will scream he’s being “smeared by the Republican attack machine.” They'll claim that back in late February, the Washington Post said Obama’s “more of a centrist.”
The WaPo editors know that, don’t they?
Here's Mirengoff's entire post.