For several years, Jane Hamsher and her site Firedoglake have been a loud voice of the take-no-prisoners “progressives,” cheerleading the 2006 Ned Lamont campaign against Joe Lieberman.
Now, Hamsher is crying foul over the Senate health-care bill — this was not the Change she voted for — and getting a lot of ridicule from conservative bloggers like Ace of Spades. Meanwhile, some of her progressive pals are excoriating Hamsher for having appeared on the eeeevvillll Fox News. William Jacobson observes:
While Hamsher is ultra-liberal, she points out that the Senate bill will lead to increased costs on the middle class. Sure, Hamsher may be harping on a point that is not key to her agenda, but she recognizes that she needs to appeal to more conservative voters if she is to kill the bill.
This is a case of the Left understanding — for its own reasons — why the Senate bill is a monstrosity. As I mentioned the other day, at least the left-wing has some principles, even if I disagree with those principles.
The kind of disillusionment that Hamsher is now experiencing can have transformative results. David Horowitz and Peter Collier, New Left radicals in the 1960s, famously had “second thoughts” that led them into the conservative camp during the Reagan era. Tammy Bruce, a former NOW activist, has become a popular conservative talk radio host. And let us not forget that Ronald Reagan was himself once a self-described “hemophiliac liberal.”
It remains to be seen whether Hamsher’s current disillusionment will be powerful enough to cause her to reconsider her “progressive” commitments. But public opinion polls indicate that the disappointments of the Obama era are already yielding a bumper crop of those whom I called, three weeks after the 2008 election, “Future Ex-Democrats.”