Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nate Silver on Obama as a Leftist in Centrist Clothing

Nate Silver is still writing quality analysis over at 538. A few days back he weighed in on whether Obama will govern from the center-left or far-left.

Silver examines every policy proposed on Obama's website, and rates them on a one-dimensional left-right scale. I think his analysis is misleading, foreign policy clearly needs to be evaluated on a pragmatist/ideological scale, and maybe other policies should be as well. An economic liberal/paternal scale would be helpful as well, though Silver notes that some of Obama's policies flirt with libertarian paternalism, so that might break down too.

It's unsurprising that everyone has such a hard time categorizing Obama, since our two-sided political labels are completely inadequate to capture any modern policy.