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Posts Tagged ‘moderates’

Moving toward the center

Posted by Richard on July 12, 2008

Obama is discarding (at least outwardly) a lifetime of far-left, radical beliefs and is moving toward the center at breakneck speed. McCain long ago embraced the center, that vast muddled ground where conventional wisdom says elections are won. 

Mo'thanskin brought up this issue the other day in a comment to my post about revolting Republicans.

Leave it to a liberal Democrat to recognize what should be obvious to Republicans, but isn't (emphasis added):

It is hardly unusual for a candidate to move toward the middle in a general election; in fact, it is fairly standard operating procedure. That is part of what bothers some on the left.

Ben Austin, a former Clinton White House political deputy and early Obama supporter, called the senator's perceived drift "unnecessary and potentially counterproductive" for a candidate who aspires to be a transformational figure.

"To the extent progressives see him as the Reagan of the left, Reagan didn't tack toward the center," Austin said. "He moved the American electorate to the right."

Reagan didn't pander to the whiners and those with class envy, either. Reagan focused his campaigns on positives and an optimistic vision of the future, but he wasn't afraid to criticize the bad ideas of his opponents. And he didn't campaign in some kind of spineless, timid, unfocused "can't we all just get along?" mode.

Like some people I could name. 

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Cheerfully ceding control

Posted by Richard on January 5, 2007

Just as there are some women who find it "liberating" to be subservient and confined to a burqa, there are some Republicans who are much more comfortable with the Democrats in charge and their own party in the minority. For the past umpteen years, many Republicans have acted as if they were still the minority, preferring to let the Democrats set the agenda and define the terms of debate. Now, they’re acting as if they’re relieved that the Democrats are back in charge:

“The place is like a bubbling bottle of Champagne, overflowing with joy and hope and civility,” said Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia. And to think, this guy is in the minority now.

“People want us to stop acting like kindergarten kids,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee.

The Warners, Alexanders, and Snowes of the Republican Party have been "liberated" from the burdens of governing, effectively promoting "core beliefs" they only pretend to have, and opposing ideas they don’t really oppose. Now they can go back to being the "loyal opposition," politely but ineffectually mouthing platitudes about limited government, fiscal responsibility, and all that other nonsense that they never really believed and didn’t want to implement. And they can go back to doing what they like best — schmoozing and compromising and back-scratching.

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Centrist Democrats

Posted by Richard on October 27, 2006

Larry Kudlow has been talking about a "remarkable shift" taking place in the Democratic Party — a move away from the hard left orientation of recent years and toward the center. According to him, this was "under the radar" of the mainstream media until yesterday’s LA Times article on the subject.

I don’t find this news all that new or suprising. I certainly recall reading that the Dems went out of their way to recruit candidates who were veterans — maybe I just assumed that they’d be more centrist or conservative, too.

I guess I didn’t realize the extent of the shift:

As Larry Sabato pointed out on tonight’s show, there’s somewhere north of twenty moderate to conservative Democrats poised to be elected to this new Congress. This crew is pro-business, pro-life on abortion, supported by the NRA and so forth.

Get this: Over thirty of the Democratic candidates for the House are conservative enough to have been green-lighted by the Blue Dogs or the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.

If two-thirds of these more centrist Democrats actually win, I suppose that’ll be pretty remarkable, and in the long run, as Kudlow said, a "very good thing for the American people." But in the short run, those Dems will do just as the Republicans direly predict:

"They claim to be pro-life, pro-gun and anti-tax, yet their first vote in Congress would be to elect the most liberal speaker in American history," said Jonathan Collegio, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which aims to enlarge the GOP majority in the House. "In the first hundred hours they will roll back tax cuts and open investigations into the administration."

Even some centrist Democrats privately fret that the chairmen-in-waiting may be harboring pent-up desires for a robust liberal agenda and partisan investigations that could hurt the party. "There’s a desperate need for fresh blood, a general changing of the guard," said one moderate Democrat who asked not to be named.

Maybe a Democratic Party leadership that owes its narrow House majority to its most conservative members will be somewhat chastened and cautious — but recent statements by Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman, and Charlie Rangel don’t inspire confidence in that possibility.

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