It should be noted that there are two kinds of leftist. Smart and dumb. Obama is the former. That means that he actually understands that the coalition that elected him last November is extraordinarily fragile and that if he isn't damn careful that coalition could dsientegrate in damn sort leaving him dealing with a Republican congress for however many more years he's got. Then there are the dumb ones that think this last election, which in reality revealed that given a choice between left and left lite Americans prefer left by just enough to matter at least when the economy is in the tank and the left lite currently holds the primary power position - the presidency, demonstrated a wholesale shift to the left by the American voter. This explains why his followers on the extreme left think of Obama as middle of the road. He's not stupid. And of course when you are already so far to the left yourself that you are about to fall of the edge everyone else looks like a centrist.