Strike Up The Band

by digby

On the Stephanopoulos bobble head roundtable this morning, Cokie Roberts raised the baton and started the drumbeat: the Democrats risk moving waaaaay too far to the left and that is going to be a biiiiig problem for them "just like it was in Vietnam." Yes, she said it out loud. And David Gergen agreed whole heartedly.

Does anyone recall these gasbags saying that Bush was moving so far to the right with his monarchic, fundamentalist, shock and awe presidency that it was going to be a biiiig problem for them? I must have missed all those warnings. Now that he's at 28% and the conservatives are on the run after having proven that there really is a limit to how far the crazed radical wingnuts can go, they are still warning about the Democrats moving too far to the left. These people have not had an original thought in 40 years.

Gergen, meanwhile said that the people yearn for a strong sensible president that isn't reckless like this president is. Again, I don't remember a lot of bloviators warning the American people about how "reckless" Bush was being. In fact, they were cheering him on for being "bold" and "resolute". So, now we want a "sensible" "serious" president, who will, presumably, be just as "sensible" and "serious" as they told us Bush and the grown-ups were until the moment he finally hit a threshold of unpopularity that even they couldn't ignore. Indeed, whomever they approve is always appropriately "sensible" as compared to the dirty hippie he's running against.

Roberts and Gergen are exalted Village elders. Roberts is supposedly a representative of "Democratic centrists" and Gergen a representative of "Republican centrists" but they are both really representatives of the establishment that represents the interests and prejudices of The Village. "The people" are abstract concepts they use in various ways to bolster their central argument that power is best left in the hands of "sensible" elders like themselves. When the people "speak" they are either "Real Americans" asserting their desire that sensible elders lead us out of the wilderness or dirty hippies who want to take the country into perdition.

If we do nothing else, we should ensure that the Democratic candidates pay no attention to these gasbags. That's not to say they shouldn't pay attention to the actual press narratives and the stereotypes that will inevitably emerge. But the punditocrisy should be shunned and ignored. They are promoting their own interests and those interests are always hostile to Democrats, who by dint of their more diverse coalition of Americans, are simply not as willing to bow down to the establishment. They are effectively agents of the Republican party simply because that is the party of authoritarian followers who will put their trust in the elite village elders. Democrats will never win by catering to them. Indeed, it is in our best interest to treat them as the hostile force they are --- it certainly didn't help to try to appease them with "centrism" as the last 20 years have proven in spades. Look at what they and the Republicans have done.