The survivors of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid wreck are more liberal than ever before.
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From the Club for Growth to the Tea Party, conservatives have enjoyed increasing success mounting primary challenges within the GOP. Last year, conservatives were even willing to risk losing the general election to defeat moderate to liberal primary candidates anointed by the party establishment. Angry progressives have not been as successful. Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) all survived liberal primary challenges. The biggest scalp on the netroots’ wall belongs to Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who bounced back from his 2006 primary loss to defeat Ned Lamont that November.
Democrats like Lincoln ended up losing to more conservative Republicans rather than insurgent progressives. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS), easily the most conservative Democrat in Congress, lost his House seat based simply on his vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. That’s why Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), one of the Blue Dogs who held on last year, made a show of running against Pelosi for minority leader. So swing-state Democrats may decide to buck the liberal tide. No less a liberal than Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) flip-flopped and ultimately voted for an extension of the tax cuts.
THE LIBERAL TEMPER TANTRUM could end up helping one Democrat: President Obama. In his presentation of the tax deal with Republicans, Obama demonstrated his visceral distaste for triangulation. The Obama who once mocked Bill Clinton’s school uniforms proposal had to trot out Clinton to make public case for the deal, since he was personally unable to do so without rebuking the Republicans. But House Democrats tried to push so far to the left on the issue that Obama couldn’t help but be to their right.
Then again, liberal dyspepsia could also complicate triangulation by denying Obama any meaningful Democratic support for future deal-cutting with Republicans. Obama-backed policies that become law only through the votes of Republicans and Blue Dogs will deflate his liberal base ahead of the 2012 presidential campaign. The reason Clinton could afford to triangulate was that liberals felt they couldn’t do any better after three straight election losses to Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Today’s liberals are in a much different mood.
If liberals keep pushing Democrats to the left of Obama, people will no longer ask if the party has learned anything from electoral defeat. Instead they will have to ask another question: Do the Democrats have a death wish?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?