The Beltway Punditocracy is arguing it was a victory for 'Centrism' and, since they are the MSM's go to people, that construct is getting a thorough airing. It seems 'Hotline' is ready to lay on some more threadbare thinking:
The American Democracy ConferenceYeah, that's the same Carville who wanted DNC chairman Howard Dean removed because Democrats won majorities in the both the U.S. House and Senate. Carville might be good at making a sow's ear look like a silk purse, but when it comes to ideas about political movements, look else where(!).
Once again, The Hotline has partnered with the Univ. of VA's Center of Politics to present our 9th annual American Democracy Conference. It's a unique year-end event in that it doesn't just look back on the year that was but looks ahead to the election that will be.This year's ADC will feature a keynote address by James Carville, ...
David Sirota has pointed out what's wrong with the Beltway idea of Centrism.
David Sirota: The "Center" of What, Exactly?Beyond the Beltway, out here in (no color code added) America, there's something happening that doesn't fit the pundits worn-out explanations:
David SirotaTue Nov 28, 1:42 PM ET
That's really the problem with the term - and with Washington's definition of it. "Centrism" as defined in the political dialogue today means "being in the middle of elite opinion in Washington, D.C." But if you plot this "center" on the continuum that is American public opinion, you will find that it is nowhere near the actual center of the country at large. The center of elite Washington opinion is ardently free trade, against national health care, opposed to market regulation, for continuing the Iraq War, and supportive of the flattest tax structure we've had in contemporary American history. That center is on the extreme fringe of the center of American public opinion, which is ardently skeptical of free trade, for universal health care, supportive of strong market regulations, insistent that the war end soon, and in favor of making the tax system more progressive.
This is not some conspiracy theory I'm putting forward here - it's all out in the open, proved by public opinion data readily available to anyone who looks for it (I wrote an article on this for the Nation with some of it a few years back). I've long hoped for a day when the media references to the "center" meant the center of the United States of America, not merely the center of K Street, the National Press Club Building, The Palm at Dupont Circle and Fox News's Capitol Hill studio green room. Perhaps that's too wishful. ...(full article)
- Des Moines Register -
Whatever it's called, stand up for the little guy
REGISTER EDITORIAL BOARD
November 28, 2006
An interesting shift in the political lexicon has accompanied the change in control of Congress. The new Democratic majority isn't being described as liberal, but rather as centrist. Some members also are embracing a label that hasn't been heard much lately: populist.
Populism has been out of favor for a long time, perhaps because it carries connotations of demagoguery, of rabble rousing with popular but unsound proposals.
But the original meaning of populism was to stand up for ordinary people against powerful, moneyed interests. The country could use a little of that right now.
There certainly is a general belief that government responds only to moneyed interests and that the average American is powerless against big corporations.
Congress has occupied itself in recent years with confirming those suspicions by letting industries write their own legislation and generally working to make the rich richer.
If the new populists in the next Congress can govern with the interests of ordinary people foremost in their minds, it will be a welcome change. ...
... The test for the new Democratic populists will be whether they live up to the label. (full article)