Oh Ain’t It The Truth?

Glenn Greenwald at Salon:

The central tenets of the Beltway religion — particularly when a Democrat is in the White House — have long been “centrism” and “bipartisanship.”  The only good Democrats are the ones who scorn their “left-wing” base while embracing Republicans.  In Beltway lingo, that’s what “pragmatism” and good “post-partisanship” mean:  a Democrat whose primary goal is to prove he’s not one of those leftists.  The Washington Post‘s David Ignatius today lavishes praise on Barack Obama for his allegiance to these Beltway pieties — and actually seems to believe that there is something new and innovative about this approach …


Whatever else one might want to say about this “centrist” approach, the absolute last thing one can say about it is that there’s anything “new” or “remarkable” about it.  The notion that Democrats must spurn their left-wing base and move to the “non-ideological” center is the most conventional of conventional Beltway wisdom (which is why Ignatius, the most conventional of Beltway pundits, is preaching it).  That’s how Democrats earn their Seriousness credentials, and it’s been that way for decades

The “non-idealogical center”!!  Guffaw.

Why is it that Republicans manage to govern significantly to the right, in line with their base, and stay in office for eight years while Democrats have to move significantly to the right to stay in office?  If it’s actually true, maybe it’s because right-wing voters can  count on Democrats to to betray their base and govern significantly to the right.  If this isn’t an argument for the need for a truly revolutionary politics in order to inject the word “change” with basic meaning, I don’t know what is.

Read the whole thing here

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