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“Center-Right” Nation?

November 17th, 2008

There’s been a lot of talk from the right that the United States today is a “center-right” nation; I noted this from Bay Buchanan about a week ago, and we’ve been hearing it a lot since–obviously it’s a widely-distributed talking point the right wing has created in order to give the impression that conservatives are still effectively, if not titularly, in control of things.

Of course, the idea is pretty silly, and falls apart under inspection–and not even close inspection at that. For the past two Congressional elections, Democratic candidates have been winning in large numbers–not just the Senators, where conservative seats have been coming up for challenge in larger numbers, but in the House as well, where everyone must be elected every two years. Obama–the recently elected Democratic president (with a bigger share of the popular vote than any president in the previous four elections), will have a near-super-majority in both houses this time, with more numbers on his side than any Republican president in the past, oh, who knows how long.

But then there is the fact that Americans self-identify as Republicans less and less, and as Independents and Democrats more; it’s hard to imagine a time when the right-wing brand name has been weaker.

Let’s put it this way: if the Republicans had the same thing the Democrats have now: super-majorities in both houses of Congress with the numbers promising to shift even more in their direction two years from now, a popular president in the White House who won by a very comfortable popular margin, and name-brand identification of the Democrats tanking–do you think they would accept claims that the nation was “center-left”? Hell no, they wouldn’t even accept the notion that the nation was center-right. They would claim that the nation had become solidly right-wing and would accept no argument about it, period.

The Dems are hardly that strident, but they do have one thing straight: whatever the nation is right now, it is certainly not on the right of the center line. How much to the left the country has tilted is yet to be seen, but it’s more than just a tiny bit, that’s for sure.

This latest “center-right” myth is simply yet another attempt to work the refs and create a myth that reality is much more right-wing than all the actual evidence says it is. In that sense, this is right in line with myths such as the “liberal media” canard we’ve been bombarded with for so long.

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  1. Tim Kane
    November 17th, 2008 at 14:36 | #1

    It’s the big denial that Republicans are going through.

    I’ve noticed comments in other places along these two lines. It’s a center right nation and Republicans lost because they weren’t conservative enough.

    I say let them run with that one. But while they are at it, they need to be mocked. The idea that the nation is center right should provide fodder for the comics.

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