CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: "This is no ordinary Democratic administration. It is highly ideological and ambitious."
ANDREW SULLIVAN:"I think the notion that this administration is ideological is bizarre. Did it nationalize the banks when it could have? Nope. Did it withdraw troops immediately from Iraq and Afghanistan? Nope. It followed Bush's timetable on Iraq and has massively - and foolishly - doubled down on counter-insurgency in Afghanistan. Did it prosecute the war criminals of the last administration? Nope; it has covered for them. Has it raised taxes on anyone? Nope. It merely wants the already-sunsetted Bush tax cuts on the wealthy to expire on schedule. Did it provide a Krugman-style stimulus? Ask Krugman. Is Obama a peacenik? I suppose we have forgotten that he used the Nobel ceremony to defend Reinhold Niebuhr, has retained extraordinary rendition, and ramped up the troop-levels in Afghanistan to far beyond anything Bush ever contemplated. Has the president publicly backed marriage equality or pot-decriminalization? Au contraire. Has he even risked an iota of political capital to end the ban on gays in the military? No. In fact, it is now more likely than not that gays will still be persecuted by their own country by the end of Obama's first term. On energy, Obama's positions are now close to identical to McCain's in the campaign (his one radical move was to the right on deep-sea oil exploration), and cap-and-trade is dead and will surely be buried in November. On education, Obama's support for teacher accountability is further to the right than Bush - and it tackles one of his own party's interest groups. On immigration, Obama's position is identical to Bush's and on his watch, illegal immigration has fallen sharply and border enforcement is up. The Supreme Court? Does Krauthammer think the modest Sotomayor and the careerist defender of executive power, Kagan, are in any way, shape or form as radical as Roberts or Alito? Does he think in the wake of Citizens United and the Second Amendment ruling that we are in danger of having a Supreme Court permanently shifted to the left? Again: what is Krauthammer smoking? And can I get some?"