That's what readers of his column today would inevitably conclude. After all, Friedman called President Obama's support of the health care reform plan pushed by the Heritage Foundation in the mid-90s a "leftward initiative."

Clearly Friedman is very confused about the shape of the American political spectrum. He repeatedly refers to the plan put forward by Morgan Stanley director Erskine Bowles and former Senator Alan Simpson to cut Social Security and Medicare for middle class retirees "centrist." In fact, polls consistently show that the vast majority of people across the political spectrum strongly oppose cuts to these programs. The Bowles -Simpson cuts only seem to enjoy support from a small group of elites in political and financial circles. That does not make them centrist.

On a non-economic point, Friedman argues that if the Republicans lose a second election to Obama then it will force the party to change, pointing to the change in the Democratic Party after it lost consecutive elections to Ronald Reagan. In fact, the Democrats lost three consecutive elections, with George H.W. Bush defeating Michael Dukakis in 1988.

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