President Obama's casting of Mitt Romney as extreme is one of the most glaring incidents of political projection in the modern era. Romney doesn't approach extremism in substance, style or disposition. Obama swims in it.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Obama said Romney has locked himself into "extreme positions" on economic and social issues and would implement them if in office.
Accusing Romney of extremism is just another arrow in Obama's fantasy quiver, because reality just doesn't help him. Romney is anything but extreme, and no serious political analyst believes otherwise. He is certainly extremely bullish on America, American business and the free enterprise system, and he doubtlessly wants to move the nation extremely away from the disastrous course on which Obama is taking it, but that's about the extent of his extremism. Romney's policies are right of center, to be sure, but not extreme, except from the perspective of a radical leftist, which brings us to Obama.
Let's use Obama's bill of particulars against Romney as a yardstick to measure his own place on the political spectrum — as if it weren't painfully obvious.
Obama says Romney is locked into extreme positions on economic issues because Romney favors across-the-board tax cuts that "would mostly help the rich."
Obama discredits himself in the very words of his charge. If the cuts are across-the-board, they don't mostly favor the rich. In fact, Romney — to my disappointment, by the way — is suggesting reducing deductions for upper-income earners. Obama, on the other hand, apparently believes that the bottom 49.5 percent of income earners are getting ripped off because they are paying zero income taxes. He must think his actions in expanding the public sector, increasing the food stamp rolls and removing the work requirement for welfare are moderate.
Obama says Romney is extreme for not signing on to his quixotic wind energy hallucinations — as if anyone who doesn't believe in the government's throwing away billions more at failed and scandalous green energy experiments is the extremist — as opposed to recklessly implementing such policies when the nation has one foot in the bankruptcy door.
Obama says Romney lacks "serious ideas" and refuses to "own up" to the responsibilities of what it takes to be president. These take the cake.
Romney is proposing serious entitlement, tax and spending reform and reducing the unprecedented regulatory burden strangling the private sector. Nothing remotely extreme here. Sorry, Mr. Obama; that rabid dog will not hunt.
Obama has amassed deficits in excess of $1 trillion in each of his four years. He has not produced a budget that would yield deficits below that threshold in the next decade. He has not even presented a plan to reform entitlements, has obstructed Republican reform bills and has saddled us with a brand-new budget-busting entitlement (Obamacare). His own budgets failed to get a single vote — not even a Democratic vote. Extremism?
How about Obama's serious ideas? The only idea Obama has come up with since 2008 has been government spending. There is no evidence he can even ponder economic solutions straying from that nightmare. He certainly will not reduce the tax and regulatory burden on producers and small businesses, and he most definitely will not take his pillow off the face of the smothered private sector. He can't, because he is a dogmatic extremist who would rather preside over national financial catastrophe than deviate from his straightjacketing ideology.
How about owning up to the responsibilities of being president? Do these include intentionally dividing Americans, sidestepping a bipartisan budget commission he formed for political cover, orchestrating America's military decline, sabotaging domestic energy producers, grotesquely gloating over the killing of Osama bin Laden, and endless golf outings?
Social issue extremism? Romney can hardly be called an extremist on abortion. He not only rejects Todd Akin's formulation; he supports the rape exception. Obama, on the other hand, opposed Illinois' Born Alive Infant Protection Act and supports partial-birth abortion.
Perhaps most laughable is Obama's assertion that unlike Romney, he will be willing to compromise on a range of issues. If his entire first term doesn't prove that claim is sheer carnival barkery, then nothing can. Romney, on the other hand, has sometimes been criticized from the right for compromising too much with Democrats.
Obama's left wing has become so extreme that it would have the nation believe that mainstream conservative ideas are now extreme and that the extreme positions it promotes are moderate, reasonable and routine.
Only if George Orwell defines the terms — and for Obama and today's left, he increasingly does — is Romney extreme and Obama a centrist. I suspect that in November, Obama is going to find out just how far out of phase he is with the electorate, but we shall see.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book, "The Great Destroyer," was on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction for six weeks. Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.