On the surface, Barack Obama appears to have little in common with Richard Nixon. Nixon was, in political scientist Stephen Skowronek's terminology, a pre-emptive leader, limited in his ability to disrupt the status quo by the durability of the New Deal regime. Nixon was no more a movement conservative than Obama is a movement progressive, and like Obama he was not entirely trusted to advance movement objectives against the wishes of supporters of the political status quo. Movement conservatives took advantage of the moment by forging a coalition as tentative and unlikely as the New Deal alliance. Organized movement liberals might have pushed back against this positioning, except for the fact that there were no organized movement liberals. Movement conservatism has roots in the anti-Communist crusades of the early 1950s and sought to limit the federal government by reversing the New Deal, which it saw as a perversion of American self-reliance.