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Obama's Tradition of 'Favoring Pragmatism Over Absolutes'

The return of the pragmatic big-spending liberal, Barack Obama, at the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Norway.

That "pragmatic" big-spending liberal Barack Obama is at it again. Reporter Jeff Zeleny, covering Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech for Friday's edition, claimed the president "continued a pattern evident throughout his public career of favoring pragmatism over absolutes."

(The Times has its own long-standing pattern: Ignoring the political landscape and claiming a clearly liberal president to be a "pragmatist.")

He delivered a mix of realism and idealism, implicitly criticizing both the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as inadequately appreciating the dangers of the world, and President George W. Bush as too quick to set aside fundamental American values in pursuit of security. And he embraced the concept of American exceptionalism, the idea that the United States has a special role as a defender of liberty, even as he promoted multilateralism.In that way, he continued a pattern evident throughout his public career of favoring pragmatism over absolutes.

So the Obama administration is running up big deficits and pushing government-controlled health care in the name of a centrist kind of "pragmatism"?