Monday, January 12, 2009

Nothing New Under the Sun

Glenn Greenwald, in a recent article, points out, as he has in the past, that Obama's centrism is not new and is pretty much de riguer for Liberals and Democrats in Washington.
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.

Several weeks ago, I documented that this was the exact approach that fueled Bill Clinton's candidacy and the Clinton Presidency. That's what Clinton's widely-celebrated Sister Souljah moment and his Dick-Morris-designed "triangulation" were all about: "moving toward the center in a way that upsets some of his liberal allies," as Ignatius put it today as though it's some brand new Obama invention.
He's not wrong.

He also points out that Obama is not likely to pursue charges against Bush Administration lawbreakers. That's pretty predictable, but disappointing. Sends the message that breaking the law is no big deal if you rise high enough in the ranks of power.

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