Not long ago, E.J. Dionne was proclaiming that the new era of progressivism in America had arrived. After years of stagnation, the country was finally ready for a major political transformation.
It turns out, however, that America is still a center-center, if not a center-right, country. That’s why, as Dionne reports today, even “progressive” candidates — e.g., Joe Sestak, Bill Halter, and Mark Critz — are working overtime to disavow their liberalism. In some cases, e.g., Mike Oliverio who defeated Rep. Allen Mollohan in West Virginia, doing so is the key not just to being elected, but to winning in the Democratic primary.
Is Dionne ready, then, to admit that that his 2009 exuberance was irrational? Of course not — we’re talking here about the master of making chicken salad out of chicken droppings.
So the lesson Dionne tries to extract from the sprint away from the left by the likes Sestak, Halter, and Critz is not that leftism is political poison because the country continues to reject a broad “progressive” agenda. Instead, today’s lesson is that Democrats are “ideologically diverse.”
They are, but taking the lead from their president, only during the campaign season for the purpose of pulling the wool over voters’ eyes.
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