by digby

Following up on dday's post below, I'd just like to expand a little bit on the Halperin comment. In case you didn't see it, here it is:

He could have gone for centrist compromises. You can say to your own party 'sorry some of you liberals aren't going to like it but I am going to change this legislation radically to get a big centrist majority rather than an all-Democratic vote'. He chose not to do that, that's the exact path that George Bush took for most of his presidency with disastrous consequences for bipartisanship and solving big problems."

I'm sure you recall how recalcitrant the Democrats were during the Bush years --- when they helped him pass every crackpot idea he ever had, even after he had stolen the 2000 election.

There will be no change without changing the village. They live in an alternate universe in which no matter what the election returns say, conservative policies are always preferred and liberals are the reason for the country's problems. This is what "post-partisanship" means in practice. The majority of people may want something different, but the conservatives don't and they still rule the political establishment, if only out of habit and by default. The only question is how long the Obama administration will persist in believing that they should appease the villagers rather than taking their case directly to the American people.

We've seen this movie before. It was 1993 and we had another young president (faced then with a strong and growing Republican party) who had promised to end the "braindead politics of the past." The forces of the status quo schooled him right out of the gate about who was in charge and no matter how much he appeased them, it was never enough. Clinton survived a vicious partisan onslaught, but he also had the benefit of a quick recovery from a mild recession and a technology bubble of massive proportions to help him.

Obama is facing a weaker Republican Party but a much bigger set of problems, with the stakes being exponentially higher. We just don't have time for this nonsense again. At some point, the Democrats are going to have to confront their central political problem, which is that the conservatives are not appeasable and that political and media elites have either been brainwashed by conservative propaganda or are conservatives by choice and they have to convince the citizenry that their ideology is better for their personal well being and the well being of the country. Until that happens, the conservatives will remain in power even as an opposition force and their failed ideology will continue to destroy this country. This isn't a game anymore. They have to pass good policies.