by Damozel | Here's a post by Roy Edroso at Alicublog. It's full of truth:
Matthew Yglesias observes that the cry of "he must govern from the middle" is already going up. But these people don't know where the middle is. The government owns a majority interest in several heretofore private banks, is embroiled in foreign adventures for which it cannot pay, and, from the looks of the various referenda results, is riven with significant cultural divisions. It looks more like Lord North's Britain than what we usually think of as America. The new President is better advised to seek solutions rather than some mythical center line to toe.
Have a look at the prominent conservative thinkers (I know, I know) who are working on a conservative "game plan", trimming like little Clintons in search of the Joe the Plumber vote that brought John McCain all the way to 163 electoral votes. They're looking for the middle because they have nothing else to do. It's a fittingly harmless occupation for people who are not going to be making policy anytime soon.
The fact is, the dialogue of conservatives moved so far to the right under Bush---driven by various blowhards and nutjobs, while the more tempered conservatives kept opportunistically quiet as long as they got tax cuts for this silence---that what these people think of as "The Center" remains far to the right of even a moderate Democrat---or even some moderate Republicans. They've lost any sense of where the true center lies. On the wingnut continuum, Andrew Sullivan is a wild-eyed liberal.
I expect that everything that the (according to Paul Krugman and me) far-from-far-left Obama does while in office will cause them to fume and rage impotently. Obama wasn't my first choice---I admit I initially preferred John Edwards and then Hillary---but now I've seen more of him, I'm all for Obama. I would like for his to be a popular administration. But here's the thing: he's never going to be able to please the wingnut base and I hope he won't bother to try.
For instance. My husband, a British Tory when he lived in the UK who sees himself as conservative, considers himself a liberal by American standards and certainly a Democrat. My British in-laws, also conservative, were for Obama all the way. This is the reason so many Europeans all across the European ideological continuum love Obama: by their standards, he's a reasonable centrist and a political pragmatist who will govern with his brain and not his gut.
I was relieved that I wasn't the only one concerned by the McCain concession, or rather its ugly backdrop:
I still insist, against the tide, that McCain's concession speech was more a disturbing than an inspiring spectacle. I've heard dissension at the traditional call for cooperation with the victor before, but nothing like the ugly response of the Phoenix crowd, and to my eyes the famously irritable McCain was annoyed by it (though of course grim memories of his whole "challenged" campaign were probably uppermost in his mind). (Alicublog)
At Runnin' Scared, he said more:
McCain's concession featured many encomiums to Obama, which might have seemed more gracious were the gang of angry honkies he addressed in Phoenix less frighteningly surly; their truculent response -- boos, grudging applause, and random bellows -- made it seem as if McCain were exercising crowd control rather than delivering a valedictory. That aside, McCain was clearly moved, a little tight of jaw, and annoyed, all of which were his right and well within his character as he has displayed it. His best moment was his humorous reference to "the most challenged campaign of modern times," in which he showed both pique and perspective. The rest was boilerplate, which was his duty, and, as always, he rose to it.
That's what I saw and heard too. And it worried me.
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