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Liberals, conservatives misunderstand Obama

Liberals complain that President Obama is weak and indecisive, while conservatives complain that he is trying to ram big-government liberalism down the nation's throat. Neither of these opposite views is a fair reading of Obama's agenda or actions, columnist David Brooks contends. Brooks argues that to call the health reform bill "an orthodox liberal plan is an absurdity," noting how it more closely resembles center-left deals cut by former Senate leaders Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Bob Dole, R-Kan. "In a sensible country," Brooks wrote, "people would see Obama as a president trying to define a modern brand of moderate progressivism. . . . But we don't live in that country. We live in a country in which many people live in information cocoons in which they only talk to members of their own party and read blogs of their own sect."