Moderate Democrats Paul Begala and Evan Bayh wasted no time after the election before rebelling against the true losers of yesterday’s elections: the left-wing of the Democratic Party, led by President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
Yes, President Obama and the Democrats need to move to the center. Fortunately, that does not mean slow-walking gay rights or repealing the 14th Amendment. Rather, it means a strong, centrist jobs program and a clear, centrist commitment to limiting the power of corporate special interests. If they have the skill and adaptability to reclaim the center, the Democratic comeback won’t be far behind.
It is clear that Democrats over-interpreted our mandate. Talk of a “political realignment” and a “new progressive era” proved wishful thinking. Exit polls in 2008 showed that 22 percent of voters identified themselves as liberals, 32 percent as conservatives and 44 percent as moderates. An electorate that is 76 percent moderate to conservative was not crying out for a move to the left.
Expect more moderate Democrats to start spewing fire at their party’s leaders in the coming two years. Especially senators up for reelection in 2012 will do everything in their power to either push their party to the center or to distance themselves from Obama and his radically progressive friends. The only question is whether they’ll succeed or not: the answer will likely determine the outcome of the next elections (for Congress, the Senate and the White House).