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A Turn to the Left


Sen. John Edwards, seen here biking in Iowa, and the other Democratic contenders have embraced increasingly liberal positions in the race for the White House. (file photo).

Former Sen. John Edwards this morning plans to announce new economic proposals intended to close what he considers corporate loopholes and raise taxes on what he considers the wealthy to finance initiatives to help poor and middle class Americans. All of which raises an interesting question: Is the political dialogue in America moving back to the left after nearly three decades defined to some extent by the ideas of Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush?

Edwards has made raising taxes on the rich a staple of his poverty-themed campaign, disregarding the lessons of Walter F. Mondale, who found that promises to increase taxes didn't win lots of votes. But Edwards is not the only one. Some positions embraced by the Democratic field would have seemed politically too hot to touch not that long ago. All of the leading contenders have vowed to allow gays to serve openly in the military and join in civil unions if not formal marriage. All of them to one degree or another are talking about universal health care, a lightning rod since the Clinton plan collapsed more than a dozen years ago. All of them are competing to be the most antiwar.

And look what happened the other night at the Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C. -- Edwards and Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama all said almost in passing that they would require women to register for the draft at age 18 just as men do today. Not that any of them was endorsing a draft, yet just the notion of registering women for Selective Service once would have been considered radical but this week went all but unnoticed.

Of course, Democrats often run to the left in presidential primaries and later pay the price in general elections. Democratic candidates talked about repealing the Bush tax cuts during the 2004 campaign. Republican strategists are carefully keeping tabs on every liberal idea advanced in these early days and some of them no doubt may not look so politically wise come the television advertising blitzes in fall 2008. But what makes this year's dialogue interesting is that even the Republican field leans more to the left than the typical GOP primary field.

The leader, after all, is former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who supports abortion rights, gay rights and gun control, even if he is contorting to explain those positions to a conservative audience. The last Republican presidential nominee to support abortion rights was Gerald R. Ford, and he nearly lost the 1976 nomination to conservative rival Ronald Reagan. Giuliani's presumed rival, former senator Fred Thompson, reportedly lobbied for an abortion rights group. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney used to be for abortion rights until recently. On other issues too, the ground seems to have shifted. Sen. John McCain is sponsoring a plan to curb climate change. Romney pushed through a universal health care plan in Massachusetts that drew Sen. Ted Kennedy to the signing ceremony. Other Republican governors, from Arnold Schwarzenegger in California to Charlie Crist in Florida, are pushing their own environmental or health plans straight out of liberal playbooks.

Some liberals, such as Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, see this as a shift in the electorate, not just the candidates. And conservatives lament that their Republican governors on issues such as climate change have "gone over to the dark side," as Larry Thornberry put it in the American Spectator. But whether Democrats are just setting themselves up for a general election pummelling or the public genuinely is moving along with the campaign dialogue is up for debate at the moment.

And even if candidates are taking more liberal positions, it doesn't mean they want the label. The L-word remains unappealing to some of them. Asked at the debate if she considered herself a liberal, Clinton quickly answered, "I prefer the word progressive."

-- Peter Baker

By Post Editor  |  July 26, 2007; 10:03 AM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , John Edwards  
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Comments

The pretty pretty boy slip and slide ambulance chaser needs to take economics 101.
Tax cuts, like those of the Bush administration, stimulate the economy and help to correct problems from recession which he inherited when he came into office and to mitigate the effect of catastrophes like 9/11. Decreasing capital gains causes more movement in the stock market and therefore more tax revenue. It works every time. Even JFK did this. It's interesting that the top 5% pay over 50% of the income taxes! And they still get only 1 vote the same as the person paying no income taxes.

Question What's the difference in the government taking money from 1 person and giving it to another and a thief doing the same thing.
Answer no difference

Posted by: ekim53 | July 27, 2007 3:09 AM | Report abuse

there are alternatives to existing systeme

leaders that look a little bit more intelligently disposed towards making America work...by making changes to legislation, social process, and education as well as supporting sustainable domestic energy policies...

I've already outlined a few examples of how I would change things...
with
schools, prisons....
reclaiming abandoned resources, marginalized citizens.
interrupting the cycle of children raising children...with intervention....

training prisoners in counciling, anger management, 12 step programme, requiring that they work in prisons or halfway houses as terms for early release...like that....
smart use of resources, not throwing dollars at it....we don't need richer criminals we need people that can fish
as in give a man a fish, and he's hungry after that meal is gone
teach a man to fish, and he feeds himself...
without middle class blue collar work, you're future fishermen become brigands.

I'd probably use engineers to look at the existing problems from a perspective of context...

like this:
when building a house you use the materials at hand...

desert houses are made from mud, sand, orgainic filler...straw
houses in the mountains from stone...

within the context of the problem,
what solution would make an ecologically sound response...stages, multiple points working toward solution, pilot studies in parallel...

I'd look at drugs, and work with that as a symptom rather than a problem, and address the problem(s)....and ways to work with that...the solution would be a systeme of response....not some testosterone driven stupid-ass response like "Zero Tolerance" which filled our prisons with first time offendors and users...
I'd be a stronger with INS, and ask that
..Countries at our borders start adhering to a code of conduct that would attract their people into staying in their countries...and start creating policy to create that effect...thoughtfully...

I'd put up tarrif barriers near-immediately,
with a 120 day warning period for withdrawing from overseas....I would require that laws passed to regulate be reviewed every periodically by a methode suggested by people on the projects....

in engineering feed-back loops, allow for adjustment of an ongoing process to correct for changes,
we need those in legislation.
I'd apply engineering principles to economies....
I would nuetralize people, that appealed to emotion, by exposing them as demagogues, preachers with a mission to increase their sunday take

there is no reason for failure except that someone is skimming along the pathway....
If I had a chance I would order "enclosed safe-pillory" time for the senators that voted for "comity" and denyed the funds awarded to the Alaskan Bridge to Nowhere to Katrina rebuilding.

I would order an investigation by the FBI into Mississipi and Louisiana corruption....and would establish FBI offices in New Orleans like they did in Atlanta...

I would order INS agents to be trained in terrorist and drug defense and I would remove the Bureau of Homeland Security and Bring the National Guard Home....

and a few other things that have to do with exposing religious _belief_ as something that is abhorrent to the working of the government....there is no room for dogma in a flexible system....

And I would establish a system of legal intervention that would establish suggested basis for avoiding situations that were likely to develop _before_ they developed....
they would make recommendations....

like U.S. Companies being required to adhere to the same standards offshore that they have to meet here....
to avoid foreign competition from domestic companies, for preventing those same companies from damaging other environments, and so on...
other things like,
internet fraud, spamming...that aren't covered by law but resemble current offenses.
I would make it so that being an American was something that people aspired to being like, but making sure that all countries were required to develop their own form of it and quit doing business with theives as theives....

I would reward honesty and punish dishonesty....

Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 10:39 PM | Report abuse

incompetence is defrauding the AMERICAN PEOPLE INTO paying to use the government to steal oil from a defenseless nation...


incompetence is needing to keep OIL CONSUMPTION UNNECESSARILY HIGH to fuel fears in the industry that if we didn't have enough those industries could fail...


instead of encouraging them to use energy wise methods, or not polluting as a way of saving money...


INCOMPETENCE IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPE BUY THEIR WAY TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE W/O BEING EXAMINED...


INCOMPETENCE IS LEADING OUR COUNTRY INTO A MORRASS OF BAD JUDGEMENT...


the bush families are incompetent...


they have a long lineage of corruption, and using governments for their own personal needs...


it's what they do...George H.W. Bush AND HIS SONS, it's what they do.

Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

After politics aimed at the "base" or divide and conquer with 51% of the vote, there may be a trend for politicians to aim for the center and 51% of the vote. I am not sure if people are changing as much how they are defined. Our Constitution and national values are liberal compared to that which they rebelled against however liberalism can go too far in theory so I expect reasonable, thoughtful folk to hang nearer to the middle. Recently I saw data that suggested that maybe 20% of Americans know or care about politics/government. It seems that most devote their attention to entertainment/sports. I wonder if too many go with the perceived winner political movements rather than actually decisions based on left-right or republican/democrat. It is like asking a cow in a stampede if it leans left or right. Articles like these just spook the herd. But as politics may not be that important we do need to impeach the President. The right and Republicans can divorce Bush without eating too much crow. Republican conservatives do not need to go down with the ship when the ship is sinking from sabatoge.

Posted by: ricinro85212 | July 26, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"more liberal places are more prosperous, more educated and healthier "

I've never seen a bigger lie in my life, from someone who obviously believes the drivel being spewed by the likes of Moore and the other crazy liberals.

The UK's teen pregnancy rate is rising. See BBC article...The UK has the highest teenage birth rates in Western Europe - twice as high as in Germany, three times as high as in France and six times as high as in the Netherlands.

The WHO (UN's health org) says that Scotland has the worst crime rate in the civilized world.

Germany's unemployment rate was 9.1% this past June, and also they raised their VAT 3% - so higher taxes. Sounds great.

Cuba is controlled by a despot and his brother where the basic goods of life (say food and milk) are in short supply. Don't even get started about censorship... think sat tv is OK in Cuba? Try arrest and fines.

Socially liberal? France just puts their minorities in enclaves and tends to them when they riot. Sounds like xenophobia is a alive and well in the bastion of liberalism. Lest we forget the unions there who on an annual basis bring the economy and state to a halt to protest "reforms" like a 40hr work week. And youth unemployment there is what 18%? 20%?

We have the largest GDP, and most states individually rival the GDP of entire countries in europe.

I'm unsure about the education levels across the world, but we all know people are trying to get into our colleges and universities rather than india's or chinas. But go figure.

Posted by: IndependenceEveWonderlandBallroom | July 26, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"[liberals] need also to get Americans to believe that this country is a bastion of privilege for the wealthy where there is little hope for "the little people." That is a lot of nonsense as this "little person" can testify."

mhr614,

I'm glad you were able to achieve the American Dream but unfortunately, your story is not representative. If you actually look at the economic picture of our country you will see that there is extreme inequality that is actually quite shocking.

In 2001, the top 1% of the population owned 40% of the country's wealth, while the top 20% owned 91% of the total wealth! That means that NINE PERCENT of the total wealth in this country was shared by 80% of its residents. My guess is that 80% includes almost everyone reading this article. Now, I'm not suggesting re-distributing the wealth, I think that is a terrible idea. All I'm trying to do is show that there is evidence for the vast inequality in the U.S.

Additionally, there is plenty of economic research that shows that children whose parents earn incomes at the poverty level are incredibly likely to live in poverty as adults, in addition to a myriad of other negative outcomes. It's not as simple as work hard and get rewarded. Again, I'm not suggesting communism. There's a middle ground which involves non-profit organizations providing services for poor families to make their lives easier, policy changes for government agencies that are ineffective and result in poor outcomes for kids such as child welfare and juvenile justice and work reward programs like EITC. I think it is possible to find a middle ground between hardlining free market government and communism.

Source for wealth distribution: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

Posted by: dcfhockeyfoo | July 26, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

who is running the country now????


the same people that tried to off Castro, did the WaterGate break_in, pumped the United States full of COCAINE and made a bundle doing it


people with mafia connections,


and people that are friendly with people that act against their own countries best interests as long as they get paid to do it...


because they would.....


SEARCH on BUSH CRIME FAMILY, nazis


tell your friends, these are the kinds of people that INSIDER WASHINGTON SUPPORTS

crooks like traitors, they know they won't turn on them...they are running the same game...

.
search on OCTOBER SUPRISE, Robert M. Gates


.

Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I notice that


mainstream INSIDER WASHINGTON has started using the term


"liberal," as a pejorative...

kicking David Broders but a few weeks back he attacked me for panning one of his articles

using that kind of garbage liberal/lefty/communist...


a little startling, but nonetheless telling...


you have these ENTRENCHED , not embedded , journalists


that have been listening to this PNAC, JINSA, AEI, AIPAC


NEO CONSERVATIVE GARBAGE SINCE


NIXON


and they have begun to believe that is where the center is....

BRODER ATTACKED ME LIKE A STINKING CHIHAHUA, not that I mind, but his rhetoric was "NEO CONSERVATIVE"


and he puts himself out there like a NUETRAL PARTY....

FRED HIATT IS A FLAMING ZIONIST, but at least he admits it...at the Wisconsin Avenue Paolo's when he's amongst fellow zionists...Perle to name one.

.

Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Universal national service (ie, a draft, though not just for the military, since it could be applied to other areas too) is not a bad idea, if it can be evenly applied. The biggest problem is that elites (people like Bush and Cheney) find ways to weasel out of it through multiple deferments, using family connections to land cushy 'safe' Air National Guard spots. Historically, a disproportionate share of the burden has fallen on the poor and the uneducated, which is obviously unfair.

However, what's going on today isn't fair either. The burden of the war is falling on a very small percentage of the population, who are paying an increasingly high price. Meanwhile, the rest of the country isn't sacrificing anything at all, where in past wars those who weren't fighting at least made some contribution, whether through paying higher taxes (we're getting tax cuts), rationing, etc. Some of the war's supporters claim "they knew what they were signing up for." Well, no, generally speaking, they didn't. Military policy had always been to keep units at home for 2 years for every 1 year deployed. Also, conventional thinking called for increasing the size of the military if there was going to be an extended conflict, something that was instead vetoed by Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted by: darkotaku | July 26, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

When I was in college in 1987, I was president of our College Democrats organization, and got lots of flack from the more liberal students for being too moderate. (I wasn't left wing enough for them.)

Now, I see clearly that I am falling off the left edge of the spectrum of political dialogue in this country.

I don't think it's me that's changed.

I think that the dialogue has been dragged to the right over the past two decades to the point that people who were "moderate" on the left 20 years ago are now considered extreme left. The country has gone so very far to the right.

Posted by: lilifreak | July 26, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

when the whitehouse jams phone lines in new hampshire, it's got nothing to do with a biased media.

when duke cunninghams seat is up for reelection because he's in the cooler, and the republicans spend 15 times more than they've ever spent in that district to make sure that a republican is elected, and the president and vice president tape PERSONAL PHONE messages for phone voicemail use......it's got nothing to do with a biased media........

it has to do with managing perception.

when soundbite mentality is used so effectively that "most Americans," think that we've been attacked by Iraq.........

it has to do with a MALICIOUS CAMPAIGN TO FOOL THEM....


it's not a fricking mistake and has nothing to do with the people being stupid........

it's called media control, by whatever means possible, usually just beyond the law.......

putting out the corrupt Exexcutive Branches spin on things as the truth....

homophobia, demagoguery, jingoism
a few of their favorite tools, maybe you're one too?

the standard of the neo conartiste', when challenged,
is,
the retreat to "appeal to emotion," as the primary theme of reelection campaigns....

because the propagandists' have created a

dumbed down electorate with their, use of the "soundbite," to produce a tailored result...

the attempt to diss_inform, by implication, the soundbite mentality is only part of what angers me........

what angers me is the increasing stupidity, the detatchment from what issues really are...selling homophobia as the MIDDLE CLASS DISAPPEARS...

why would anyone want to create a more disinformed population?

why did they keep slaves from learning to read and write.......control.

you keeps blaming it on the people....

the people that have been driven to taking jobs in the service sector by the corporates voraciousness for outsourcing, originally limited to blue collar workers, now transforming white collar jobs.........

competing with Bangalore for your "inside the beltway dollars,"

good luck TRAITORS........

you're sitting in the middle of it and you just say,
"thank gawd it's the jews and not me,"

Who owns FOX? little Georgeies collusionist AUSSIE FRIEND RUPERT MURDOCH, who owned Clear Channel before it was broken up to hide the fact that a three entity owns most of RADIO and Television right now...as in the USSR PROPAGANDA as media days.....

Rupert Murdoch? Who was prevented from acquiring majority ownership in several large United States Media Corporations about five years ago..........the same rupert...

he wants to control _your_ news.........and who does he love? the neo conartiste'

CNN, used to sort of be an unpredjudiced source of information......

But YOU KNOW the Executive Branch buried Kerry's campaign last election year

by flooding the News Market with "bogus war" stories.......

most of them pre packaged....ready for playing DVD's with bombs going off and cars exploding, just like on Television........zoom bam wowwwieeeeeeeeee

and the DA's at Media central did their patriotic doooooooooooootie........

are they doing it again? are they being played by a smarter Executive Branch and Complicit Congress that wrote the rules on how to control spin and make garbage look like shinola

for the ordinary citizen?

yes, and you sayz "it's all the peoples' fault!," for not being as sophisticated as the doctors of PSY OPS that they employ to trash your brain cells with

GARBAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

*Cornell1984*

What on EARTH are you babbling about? I just revisited the 2004 polls and most showed Bush with a slight advantage which was ultimately the case. And which a majority of Americans now know was a mistake.

These are your top 10 "conservative values" which are obviously just about "conserving" your privilege in society and oppressing everybody else:

1) Wars for OIL
2) Theocracy
3) Oppression of women, gays and ethnic minorities
4) Torture
5) Destruction of the earth for corporate gain
6) Dead and diseased American children for corporate gain
7) Abandoning of the poor
8) Tax breaks for the rich
9) Stifling all citizen dissent by calling it "anti-American"
10) Strengthening al Qaeda to continue the politics of fear

And that's just the top 10. I wasn't sure whether TREASON and defense of TREASON, shredding the Constitution or trying to eliminate the balance of power should have been in there, but one thing is for sure: it's time for a shift on over to the left. The right has failed and disgraced our nation and any balanced person can see that.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | July 26, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

If Edwards were in an election to find the biggest hypocrite, he'd win by a landslide. I wouldn't put it past him to have the gall to not tax $400 haircuts or excess energy used in 10000+ square foot homes. He's just like Senator Ted, a limosine liberal until those policies affect them personally.

Posted by: Larsen770 | July 26, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

REMEMBER the current fiasco/regime STARTED?

probably not, it was actually more than a few years ago.

key player:
GEORGE H.W. Bush Sr., son of NAZI SUPPORTERS DURING WARTIME, hehas purportedly been involved inthe CIA since BAY OF PIGS, Zapata OIL days....connections through his fathers and families interests and CIA/MAFIA/OIL/DRUGS since the early 1950's...

George H.W. Bush Sr.:
sent APRIL GLASPIE to Iraq, who with a nod and a wink told Saddam that his border dispute with Kuwait could be settled with military force and the U.S. would look the "other way." a lie, aruse, a deceit.

Saddam invades Kuwait, we now have an official reason to be there....HOT DAWG!!!
looks like we'll establish a presence in Kuwait, we already have one in Saudi/Turkey...our CIA trains al QUEADA, did bushes CIA train the 9/11 pilots.

Saudi Royals were given the rights to Saudi Arabia by the Brits after WWII, the SAUDI Royals were put into power BYTHEBRITS...

Protecting the Kuwaiti's??????????:
We go into Iraq with Stormin Norman....and kill 400,000 thousand Iraqis and

STOP SHORT OF Bagdhad....you know why, WE'RE GOING BACK...that's why we stopped...


and now that we occupy, are embedded in Kuwait,
we put the country of Iraq into a stasis with embargoes, until we need to harvest it,

the world economy is shifting and things are ripe....China Pakistan, and India are emerging...

THEN, the family needed to intervene....in this case the international riche, which includes the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and the US Affluent that stand to make a bit of cash....mind you the Germans, English and French have their hands in this...but your buddy dubya, is the gawdfathers only VISIBLE son....but the others worked behind the scences...opening security systems, fixing elections...


so U.S.A. intervenes on NATIONAL TELEVISION...bombs going off, constant coverage, city surrounded, surveillance on every living thing that's bigger than a booger..


and somehow, miracle of miracles, like the virgin mary turning up on your french toast:
Saddam escapes from Bagdhad with THREE [3] tractor trailer LOADs of cash.

$9 BILLION$ in CASH right? Anyone in dubyas extended family gotten riche lately?

the museums were emptied right? ha ha ha...that's rich.

as far as conspiracy goes,

there never was a CIA/NORIEGA/BUSH Sr. connection right? and the Chilean president wasn't asassinated in DC with full CIA knowledge, while POOPPY WAS DIRECTOR, and where'd that white up George W. Bushes nose come from? NORIEGA????

the thing of it is,
the United States suckered, under George H.W. Bush, Saddam Hussein into attacking Kuwait, so we could be the "heroes", and become military occupiers...to lead us to this point....


walking down the road with no impetus to replacing our dependence on oil, a non-renewable resource....because it's not to the benefit of the countries leaders

this has a lot to do with _families_ working together _not related by blood_, as well as politics that don't include you as a positive recipient of thier efforts, as well as...

helping you to understand that it isn't all cowboy hats and honesty leading you...

Saddam was deliberately mislead into attacking Kuwiat, by President George H.W. Bush, we indicated that we would look the other way if Saddam wanted to reacquire some land and oil wells that he thought the Kuwiatis had taken.....so we would have an excuse to extend our influence.

did we tell Saddam Hussein the truth?

no.

it wasn't to our advantage.

the bushes intimately understand the middle eastern tribe mentality, they have trbal mentality, they protect and work with their own....they use the government to get what they want for their tribe

ps. you're not included in their tribe....

morons in charge and morons voted them in...using demagoguery as a political tool needs to be exposed....predjudice as a tool.

you want a better country quit pandering to morons and pandering to hate.....

the point of it is, the bush family, is trying to bury some information that needs to be understood

the ultimate threat to this country is dis_information and people who spew it.


I would suggest that those who would use thier governmental office for personal gain at the expense of the citizens lose thier citizenship, and be charged with treason and their properties confiscated....

intimidation as control shouldn't be tolerated....
read the bill of rights, the right to bear arms was specifically inserted into the Bill of Rights to prevent the United States from being taken over from within, which is what has happened....

that's the point, a dictatorship and a congress that takes advantage of citizens, doesn't deserve to serve....


Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

More like moving back toward the middle, where we are all are after all!

Posted by: EllenBedlington | July 26, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

It's about time. We have had a steady stream of lies and bad polcies for more than two decades. Take any issue. Health Care? I keep reading the same garbage about us having the best health care system in the world. Well, it's not. It isn't even in the top ten for quality of delivered care. We spend over 9% of GNP on health care whereas the rest of the Western world spends around 3%. Our system is rife with fraud and abuse, over charges, corruption and lousy care....and a completel lack of care for 40 million of our citizens. Take outsourcing and guest workers. While nearly 30% of our own engineers and computer programmers are out of work, we are allowing hundreds of thousands of Indian and Chinese "guest workers" here on H1-B visas to take jobs. Usually it is older workers and workers with families who are axed. They have the higher medical and other benefit costs and cannot work those 70 and 80 hour work weeks that the indentured servents from Asia work. Take corporate and government corruption. Take ill advised foreign adventures like Iraq and Afghanistan. Take corrupt funded right wing talk radio that spreads malicious lies and is used to brainwash the stupid, the silly, the hate filled, and the fearful. Genuine liberals like John Edwards and Barak Obama are our chance as a nation and a people to once again have an Amercian dream. The clodhoppers on the right, the neoncons like Bush and Clinton and Cheney are dinosaurs that deserve their place on the ash heap of history.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 26, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

the use of the term liberal

or left...


is appeal to emotion,


asking you to "NOT THINK" to buy the label

w/o examing the product


only the honesty_challenged


would use such an inferior addressment in order to attempt to succeed...

it is a form of "bait 'n switch"


uneducated and poor are most easily misled by such unintelligent blathering....


.

Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

War4Sale wrote: "Bush/Cheney is the most extreme right wing administration in U.S. history."

So do you consider Bush's policies on trade (limiting), immigration (relaxing restrictions), the budget (increasing deficits) and foreign policy (neoconservitive, as has been correctly pointed out is an activist form of intervention with liberal roots) extreme right wing? I suggest you are misinformed.

I'll admit that this president is conservative on many social issues. But he has let down many economic conservatives and conservative libertarians, and is actually left of Bill Clinton on numerous issues.

Posted by: RambleOn | July 26, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

what are the MEN AND WOMEN IN IRAQ DYING AND LOSING BODY PARTS FOR??????

OIL and drug trafficking...

AND !!!,

are the United States Soldiers getting a cut, of _t_h_a_t_

____________________ M O N E Y ? _____________________no

no, they are getting their legs blown off, getting medals of honor and waiting two years to be declared disabled as they lose homes that they can't make mortgage payments on.

READ THIS:
Just as the Iran-Contra scandal evolved to include drug smuggling, the Iraq War also is closely related to drug smuggling. While the Bush regime has so far managed to keep the drug smuggling aspects of the war from reaching the media, evidence is beginning to emerge. The evidence comes largely from a former FBI translator turned whistle-blower, Sibel Edmonds. Hired to translate intercepted messages soon after 9/11 this Turkish lady first blew the whistle on the FBI for dragging its feet. She has state emphatically that she has seen documents that prove the Bush administration was fully aware of the terrorist attack before 9/11. While ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT, has imposed a gag order on her, this courageous lady has only been able to speak in generalized terms. However, she has repeatedly stated that when viewed as an international drug smuggling operation the picture becomes clear.

Sibel Edmonds has provided a huge clue in her generalized statements, a clue that points directly at the BUSH FAMILY and DICK CHENEY. Haliburton the oil services company formerly headed by CHENEY has a long history of involvement in drug smuggling and gunrunning especially through its Brown and Root subsidiary. Brown and Root also has a long history of providing cover for CIA agents. In the late 1970s Brown and Root was implicated in drug smuggling and gunrunning from oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico built by Brown and Root and using ships owned by Brown and Root. In the 1990s Brown and Root was implicated in smuggling heroin to Europe through Russia. The heroin originated in Laos.

The Russian incident surfaced in 1995 after thieves stole sacks of heroin concealed as sugar from a rail container leased by Alfa Echo. Authorities were alerted to the problem after residents of Khabarovsk, a Siberian city became intoxicated from consuming the heroin. Alfa Echo is part of the Russian Alfa group of companies controlled by Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven. The FSB, the Russian equivalent of the FBI firmly proved a solid link between Alfa Tyumen and drug smuggling. The drug smuggling route was further exposed after the Ministry of Internal Affairs raided Alfa Eko buildings and found drugs and other compromising documentation. Under Cheney's leadership of Haliburton, Brown and Root received a taxpayer insured loan through the Export-Import Bank of $292 million dollars for Brown and Root to refurbish a Siberian oil field owned by Alfa Tyumen. The Alfa Bank is also implicated in money laundering for the Colombian cocaine cartels.

THERE IS $80 BILLION IN UNRECORDED PROFITS IN THE FIRST STEP OF AFGHANI OPIUM COLLECTION, refinement...three steps later it could be worth $400 BILLION, in unrecorded profits...

Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"Relax people - America will never elect Hillary or Obama bin Laden. I'll give 3 to 1 odds the Republicans take next year's election AGAIN!" jackstraw703

Is that the best you have jackstraw703? A little schoolyard name calling and desperate fantasy world prognosticating with absolutely nothing to back it up? I guess you think President 25% is very popular as well. And the war is going GREAT but the lib'ral media is just lying about it, right?

One only has to look at the fundraising to see how little support Republicans have this cycle and where the mementum is. It's anemic, and nobody in their field can challenge Hillary OR Obama. Anyway, I'm not worried. You guys are screwed and you deserve it. You have utterly failed to lead this country into anything but a black hole.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | July 26, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post, a left-wing liberal newspaper, tells us, that based on the word of its left-wing liberal columnist, EJ Dionne, the country is turning left. Well, heck, it must be true. It was so well researched. It is backed up by so many facts and statistics. Every election, we are told by the NY-DC crowd that no one they knows is going to vote for a republican. ABC The Note (in 2004) wrote they could not find one person who voted for Gore in 2000, who would vote for Bush in 2004. They literally didn't know one of the 55 million Americans who would voted for a republican. Please, please keep telling us that liberal will run the world, that they care more about the civil rights of terrorists than of US students in public education, that Cuba is Utopia and Michael Moore makes sense.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | July 26, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"Mrs. Clinton has said in public she prefers to be called a progressive, which works only if she painstakingly calls her opposition nonprogressive. Never call Republicans traditional. It caters to their myth-making. The tradition in America is as liberal as anywhere. Someday, by grace, we will celebrate that fact."


This is a fascinating post. It starts by using "progressive" and "liberal" as synonyms, when on crucial political issues (such as abortion, the scope of civil liberties in general) the two are completely opposite when given their traditional definition. It then turns around and, with no sense of irony, attacks Republican's who label themselves as traditional as "myth-makers".

Progressives, correctly defined, believe that government is for the general welfare and, where the its a close call under the constitution, the individual takes a backseat to popular will. Since people misuse word so frequently these days you could always argue that yours (progressive = anything liberal) is the CORRECT definition of "progressive" in the same way one might argue "lol" is the correct way to spell "laugh out loud". You could argue that. BUT that is not the TRADITIONAL definition of "progressive" anymore than "lol" is a traditional spelling.

Democrats/liberals recasting themselves as "progressives" is perhaps the biggest coup of political propoganda/myth-making of the first decade of the 21st century.

Roe v. Wade, school prayer and speech cases (expect the most recent one) are highlights of anti-progressive governance.


Posted by: dummypants | July 26, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

News flash, Washington Post: America never turned to the right. What happened was a Democratic Party that was hijacked by big government, tax-and-spend socialists who turned their backs on traditional liberalism. And this in turn allowed a right-wing coup that came to power on the backs of unprecedented voter apathy and disgust.

The coattails of Ronald Reagan are finally ending with this current president, and the first candidate (from either party) who advocates a return to Reagan's philosophy (i.e. "Government isn't the answer to our problems. Government IS the problem.") will win the hearts of the American people.

Posted by: jdroberto | July 26, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

in order to form a more perfect UNION,

the destruction of the class of graft will be emminent...

what the TAXPAYERS, those whom money comes from...not the elitist, tax evaders...


need to understand is that INSIDER WASHINGTON,


doesn't want the people to understand what is going on...

_THEY_ will furnish people simple labels, libberahs, homosexxuahs, negrahs, wimmens libbahs, laborahs, yankee doodle dandees, colonists...

to hide, obscure, prevent the people from seeing the real issues...

they will sell them homophobia and demagoguery as family values...

when the ACLU and gay people should have been charging them with flouting "hate crime" laws...

wanna play, I will toast you like fritoes...

.

Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Nice article that should tell us that left or right party shoudn't matter; just the issues should matter. Sadly, the article loses me when it makes such a silly statement that attempts to show Fred Thompson is for killing babies. Thompson was a paid lawyer and lawyers represent many with whom they do not agree; this makes me wonder what else in the article is misleading or biased. And never forget that polls are misleading; according to exit polls George Bush lost his second election to the presidency. The media wants a Democratic president so badly that it loses sight of the facts. And the facts are that many Americans detest the far left as much as the other half detests the far right. That leaves candidates like Edwards with no chance to take the country. I would predict an ice storm in Florida before Edwards ever sat in the Oval Office.

Posted by: McInnesmom | July 26, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

America has to move to the left for many reasons, including the simple reality that it would be impossible to move any further to the right than we already have without abolishing elections altogether and crowning, "The Decider" emporer for life.

Bush/Cheney is the most extreme right wing administration in U.S. history and they are also the most unpopular of the modern era. The reason is clear - they do not represent the majority of Americans, which is also why they don't care about their humiliating standing in the polls.

This is government of the people, by the corrupt, for the corporations with ocassional meaningless gestures to the religious fundementalists to keep them voting. As the last elections proved, they've created a backlash and the next election will drive the remaining "loyal Bushies" out of power for good.

Posted by: War4Sale | July 26, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans turned liberal into a dirty word as a signal welcome to Southern Democrats following national Democrats' successful passage of the Civil Rights Act. Thus liberal and Lincoln were sold together "down the river' in trade for segregationists, creationists, anti-suffragists, monarchists, pro-death, pro-corporeal, pro-torture, pro-corporate, and anti-human votes of every recidivist stripe. Today's GOP is headed out history's door just like Nazis and American Tories, the latter being Benedict Arnold's Party that likewise opposed the liberalization of America.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 26, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Pilot1 -- you are ill informed or just partisan.
Edwards has proposed a return to the Reagan/Clinton tax rates for those, like myself, who make over $200,000 to pay for his universal healthcare proposal and Obama's healthcare proposal would be financed by returning to the old rate for those making over $250,000. As a business owner, I think it might work to my advantage if we had nationalized healthcare. In effect, I may have to pay a few dollars more in income taxes, but my bottom line will drastically improve because eventually, I won't have to pay even half as much for employee health insurance.

Posted by: veeve | July 26, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Conservatism has been weighed and found wanting. Americans are coming to realize that America is about liberty, that liberty is never perfectly safe or pretty, that you reduce the liberty of others only by limiting your own, and that the conservative administrations of the recent past have held their power, first by playing to the worst in all of us, and then by instituting programs so un-American that one has to question just where their loyalty is. (Hint: Follow the money.) Conservatives have pretty much flaunted their moral hypocrisy--that, or demonstrated staggering incompetence at keeping their adventures under the radar. Their mouthpieces have pretty much turned hate speech into an art form. Their Nixonian campaign tactics are becoming more and more transparent, their rhetoric more and more yawn-inducing or startlingly anachronistic.

Sad, isn't it, that the Clintons are considered liberal.

The left/center is not off the hook here. As our experience with the current Congress makes painfully clear, once you've got the ball, you have to do something with it. Something significant.

Posted by: szwheelock | July 26, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Edwards is our only chance to win the White House in 2008. When was the last time a northern democrat won the Presidency...JFK in 1960! Almost fifty years ago, and his opponent (Nixon) was also from the North. LBJ, Carter, and Clinton...all Southerners. Edwards is the one!

Posted by: logcabin1836 | July 26, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Unfortunately, "spreading democracy" has never been the goal of the neoconservative mindset. Instead, the neocons have hidden behind the veil of "liberalization" of Iraq and Afghanistan to do what they've always been focused on - securing Western access to oil resources in order to guarantee America's global dominance."


The west has ALWAYS had access to oil resources!!! Or wait did we just start driving cars after the invasion of Iraq???

The ONLY thing we have been able to agree with middle eastern countries on in the past 50 years is our access to their oil in exchange for money, lots and lots of money. Such oil money has been the lifeblood of despotic regimes in the middle east (see UN Oil for Food Scandal).


Its actually probably more accurate to say that France and Russia opposed the war in Iraq in large part because they saw oil contracts in Iraq held by French and Russian government owned companies as being threatened by regime change and/or disruptions in supply. AT MOST you can say that the United States thought invasion might open the door to U.S. companies to win those same contracts. But thats spectulative, the French and Russian interests were already vested.


Its straight up laughable to say the U.S. wanted to "dominate" the resources, when middle eastern countries have always been falling over themselves to sell oil to industrialized countries (see the never ending qouta cheating by members OPEC), and when the interests that MIGHT have benefited were PRIVATELY OWNED American companies, opposed to STATE OWNED and controlled operations from France and Russia. Who also happen to be the two most nationalist countries in the world. Being French, I can attest for the former.

Posted by: dummypants | July 26, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

actually,

the 70's were times of rampant ease of life, with enough for everyone.

if ahnold is saying otherwise he talking out of his netherregions..

QUALITY of life, doesn't mean rape of the middle class...


the stupidity of destroying an entire segment of society, that is actually the reason for BIG MONEY existing...

is amazing. MIDDLE CLASS DEFINED AMERICA...

even the bell curve is a NATURAL EXPRESSION of what should be as far as how things should be...

money concentrated in 1/3 of 1 PerCent is the result of graft, tax evasion, circumvention of the Constitution, fraud, influence peddling, sloppy thinking and prevention of the law from being enforced once it has been enacted.


EXAMPLE: enforce the law against HIRING _ILLEGALS_

the _illegals_ will be gone next week.

.STFU Ahnold.

.

Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Relax people - America will never elect Hillary or Obama bin Laden. I'll give 3 to 1 odds the Republicans take next year's election AGAIN!

Posted by: jackstraw703 | July 26, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

asking the question the way you are, you are assured of a fillin the blank response...

the question you should be asking is if rampant ignoring of the politics of big business for a landed minority that excludes them from inspection of their impact on the majority...


part and parcel of what is wrong with our country right now?

can a president by fraud, fraudulently decided to unilaterally use the United States Military as an extension of his will to acquire...

when it benefits him and a close circle of friends and destroys the health of our country???

that is the question you should be asking...

left or right have nothing to do with anything.

your ignorance at simplifying the issues makes you part of the problem as to why AMERICANS are not being able to grasp why their world is not what it used to be. YOU NEWSMEN ARE NOT WHAT YOU USED TO BE...

you are entertainment, not scholars, you don't have a clue what you are looking at and you confuse people with your lack of insight.

.

Posted by: afraidofme | July 26, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

One of the paradoxical results of the complete radicalization of the American political landscape brought about by the Bush administration (and one that his party and its fellow travelers may soon experience as a rude shock) is that with the landscape now "scorched" from their radicalism, there is plenty of room for radical approaches to enter this space. In fact, it's almost a given that the current regime will have to be answered in some radical fashion, even if it turns out only to be somewhat rhetorical.

Posted by: willmcjunkin | July 26, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Edwards already got his, now he is going to stick it to the so called rich. Unfortunately if you make more than $50,000 a year you are rich to a democrat. The wealthy like himself will not suffer nor pay any more taxes. Instead those people and business that provide jobs will be bilked for more and more every day. This is a return to the bad old days of socialism of the sixties that did not work then and will not work now.

Posted by: Pilot1 | July 26, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

What shift? American beliefs have always covered a wide range. It is simply the fact that the GOP has been in charge and got all the press. Now we have divided government and both sides are getting an airing.

Personally I did much better financially under Clinton than I have under Bush. I made a little money in the stock market and there were a heck of alot more job opportunities coming my way then than there are now. So all these people talking about Democrats destroying the economy are blowing alot of hot air as far as Im concerned. Id LOVE to go back to the economic realities of the Clinton years!

Posted by: MarcMyWords | July 26, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

We are neither left or right, we have lost our way and gropping in the darkness. There is paralysis of thought and no solution for future. Inside the beltway, only oppurchunists talk from the paralysed side of their mouth.
Our country has lost its nerve and direction, walking up a slippery slope. This is a sad plight.

Each of us have become demons of greed loosing all respect to oneself. There is no RIGHT or WRONG. None of the current candidates are worth to lead this country. The Media is absolutely pessimistic and incoherent.

Posted by: jayrkay | July 26, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"How can anybody honestly take a complete "side" on global warming, immigration, the disappearing middle class, not to mention Iraq and world-wide concerns about terrorism?!"


Amen, Brother. I tried to echo the same sentiments at 11:58 AM (see pasted text below). As an independent both in terms of party and ideology I agree that wedding ourselves to any brand name party or ideology makes us worse participants in affairs of public importance and, as a result, amounts to a dereliction of our duty to be informed citizens.


"The bigger story this columns misses is that liberals and conservatives are merging on key issues. Its simplistic, and dare I say symptomatic of some bias, to charcterize the current flow of political gravity as a one-way street. On some issues people are getting more "conservative". Polls have shown Americans favor more restrictions on abortion than they did 30 years ago. Guliani might be more pro-life but its a little pre-mature to use him as an indication of anything, since he hasnt even won a primary, let alone the nomination. By the same logic we could point out that Obama seems to have abandoned the race-baiting that democrats have become hard-wired to take part in, instead chosing to stress personal responsibility over victimization. And, one could point out that Democrats as a whole have suddenly found religion.

Even though it might not be as flashy or read as good as a headline (or perhaps it simply requires powers of analysis beyond those resident at the washington post), the real story is that the electorate seems to be choosing the best of both liberal and conservative ideology and politics. The American people, it seems, are finally prepared to move beyond the simplistic zero-sum notions embraced by this column."

Posted by: dummypants | July 26, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

First, the primary basis for the argument that things are tilting leftward seems to be that Democratic nomination seekers are putting out liberal campaign fonder. Did I forget to mention these people are running for the Democratic nomination??!! We all know who vote in big numbers in those primaries--lefties.

Second, the most obvious argument that this is a "nomination conversion" comes from the Republican primary about which you observe "Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney used to be for abortion rights until recently." Didn't you mention that Romney is seeking the Republican nomination??!! We all know who votes in those primaries--pro-lifers! Rudy is, smartly, running on law and order/national security, knowing that the rest of the pack will split the social cons. A good bet by him I think when you consider that national security and law and order are also red meat in Republican primaries and he has the best bona fides on the subject.

In case anyone didn't notice, most (all?) of those 2006 Dems (and some 2004s) who took out Reps are not close to running to the left these days! That's probably a lot more telling about the current drift than Primary politics.

Posted by: lovinliberty | July 26, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I may agree with your general argument, but requiring women to register for the draft is hardly a "leftist" position.

In reality defining the debate in terms of left and right is meaningless. You don't have to be at all left leaning to oppose torture and the unilateral invasion of countries that are doing nothing to you. Everybody wants fair taxes, nobody is overjoyed when a corporation gets away with not paying taxes.

Posted by: George14 | July 26, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, legacies of the last liberal movement. Rampant unemployement, stagflation and entitlement programs that eat 2/3's of the total U.S. budget. Good times, lets do it again

Posted by: AustrianOak | July 26, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"dummypants says, 'liberals have a frighteningly bad habit of comparing republican politicians to people who rounded up 6 million jews, pakced them on trains, and sent them to remote out posts where they exterminated them with poison gas.'

Actually, the current American conservatives are much more like the Taliban."


Ok, at least that comparison is not wildly offensive. I'll take that as progress, even if the comparison is still wildly exagerated. "wildly exagerated" being an understatment.

Posted by: dummypants | July 26, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"Only when voters are disgruntled and insecure do "leftist" policies appeal to them. By leftist in today's America is to feel;

1. The pain caused by globalization where workers lose jobs paying above $ 35 per hour (with health care benefits) when production and customer service gets shipped abroad and they have to accept $ 15 per hour substitutes (without health care). This switch devastates the middle class, wrecks families through joblessness, homes get repossessed and personal bankruptcies rise."


It may not be "leftist", but its certainly not "Democratic" since the one Democratic President in that last 25+ years is the one who got NAFTA passed. Can't blame that on Republicans.

Posted by: dummypants | July 26, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

It's offensive to see how the corporate media uses old verbiage to depict Democrats. There is no left, only reason and fairness and suppor....

It's a mystery to me how many people vote for their values and then vote against their own self interest and when they are in the hole, blame someone else.

Save the unborne baby,,,,but I just ignored my future and that of my family only because someone put it in my head that Jesus would pay me back!!

Posted by: moemongo | July 26, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

" 'since every-other poster seems to conflate neo-conservative with conservative i'll point out again that neo-conservatives are actually ex-liberals.' "

The emphasis is on the "ex". Reagan used a lot of these same "ex"'s ideas when he was president. Most have been "ex" for decades, like Reagan himself."

Howie 14, you seem to assume that since neo-cons are no longer "liberals" in name that (a) their ideas are not the result of an essentially liberal ethic; and (b) they must be conservatives in name and substance.
On (a) I would suggest that you not take everything at fact value. And on (b) I'd point out that the world (or even the United States) is not neatly divided into conservative or liberal. Moreover, once you start considering more than any single issue, right and left and the various shades of gray cannot even be accurately represented by a continium.

"Next you'll start on the one about Dems being for slavery 140 years ago makes the GOP the real civil rights party."

As you admit yourself, its quite a jump from 40 years ago to 140 years ago.

You seem to have a trouble with the idea of substance Howie. The key is that modern Democrats' views on racial justice are substantively different from those of AnteBellum Democrats. And the key is that dogmatic liberal views on the universality of the righteousness of certain ideas have not changed much in the last 40 years. Nor have their sometimes naive beliefs as to how these just ideals can be realized. That is the substance of the neo-con vision for Iraq.

Is it any wonder that the substance of Hillary Clinton's plan for Iraq is right out of the hard headed conservative playbook?

Its a good old fashion role reversal, Howie. To put it in liberal terms, its a little bit of foreign policy cross-dressing.

Posted by: dummypants | July 26, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm with LiberalTarian.
Like JFK, I believe that throwing money at problems is unlikely to solve anything. Real solutions are a lot harder to come by.
My worst nightmare: a nanny-state fascist like Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: concernedcitizen3 | July 26, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Wishful but dillusional thinking. The large majority of this country is behind the conservative right. The loud minority along with the liberal press is the only thing swinging left!

Posted by: independent_1 | July 26, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, dummypants - let me sketch out a quick scenario where the results you tout are the same as mine but for the opposite reason: In my world there never would have been a 9/11 had a Democrat been elected; the reason there hasn't been another attack is because of where that attack came from and who controls those who did it. If enough public inquisition occures, you bet there will be another attack, followed by marshal law and bush for life. This entire presidency has been a sham to cover an agenda that promotes globalism, ( the dirty kind ) as well as to shunt huge amounts of money to those who help with the deceptions. I realize that pragmatists consider this concrete results, and anyone in the totalitarian or Imperial mindset will think it clever. However we still have respect for the homeless as well as the lower middle class, the middle class and the upper middle class. those who have millions and billions and lust for more need to EARN respect and realize they need to give back also. The threat in the political illusion is a contrivance, as are most of the defense issues. Here at home we are being dealt a thin schmear of schite with lots of blabber and fillabuster, to show us who is serious about things. We, as a nation, are swinging back left because we see that all the bull that has poured out of Republican organizations over the last forty years has been dictated by the New World Order people, who feel entitled by values which appeal to only one percent of the worlds population. This is called Plutocrasy, at best, or Imperialism on the next step down, and having a press and media embeded in the administration is only a plus to produce the Television version of "1984" by just using newsreels. Since
the version of events thrown down by the Bush Cabal, including the FACTS withheld, is a creative act, any other scenario is just
as valid, and I have facts and figures, concrete events, to share and point to, and plenty of people, right and left, are looking it all over, because what is rotten in DC is starting to stink up the whole Nation, home and overseas, now that the heat is on and we are not paying through the nose for it. The republicans sound like a clashing of cymbels, which means LIES, while the
Democrats squeak like mice and nibble at things, without ever getting down to business. Im for a government that protects its people before the interests of businesses which have no humanistic interest at all, -and we are not going to let it all go bye bye. The Augean Stables will be cleaned this summer!!

Posted by: bebeyond49 | July 26, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when politics trumps stewardship, ideology trumps science, and when faith trumps reason.

This is what happens when a government treats the people like chattel, and becomes nothing more than the Ministry of Lies.

And this is what happens when people wake up and realize they have been betrayed.

Posted by: ethanquern | July 26, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

A turn to the left? Puh-leeze.

We don't let T ball games go 100-0.

Until there are punishing and I mean PUNISHING windfall taxes on profits and obscene levels of income, we're still chugging along cluelessly towards an Empire's collapse, having long since sold off much of the American Dream.

Progressive taxation won't stifle innovation one bit. It will just make it less lucrative for those who SELL U.S. Intellectual Property (in many cases overseas). Let's face it, for every patent holding engineering team who does well we now have CEO's and executive suites who gorge on the spoils.

The Unapologetic redistribution of wealth in this country is now essential if we are to survive as a Democracy. We can't all work as prison guards.

Posted by: fugeddabowdid | July 26, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that anyone who is not a Republican fascist is a member of The New Left.

Personally, I am a JFK liberal, as he describes it:

September 14, 1960

What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."

The party is not swinging toward the left, but swinging away from lunacy!!

Posted by: LiberalTarian | July 26, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are surely applauding the blatantly liberal ideas coming from Democrat candidates as political extremists can not win national elections. I wonder how many women voters appreciate Hillary and Obama wanting women in the military in a time of war?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | July 26, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Our Constitution is a blueprint for a liberal democracy, hence the trend, hence our official label by nonpartisan democracy watchers is liberal democracy. Republicans made 'liberal' a dirty word to discredit all the gains made by FDR, Jour glory. Mrs. Clinton has said in public she prefers to be called a progressive, which works only if she painstakingly calls her opposition nonprogressive. Never call Republicans traditional. It caters to their myth-making. The tradition in America is as liberal as anywhere. Someday, by grace, we will celebrate that fact.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 26, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The country needs to run through these patterns. Reagan successfully shifted positions that were at the time considered to the right to the center and pushed the previous center leftward. The Reagan Bush I and Bush II presidencies were booms to corporate america, and that is on a certain level a good thing, after all america needs strong corportations for the economy to thrive, yet we've seen no regulation, so as corporations get richer the middle class is buckling under the pressure of healthcare costs, college tution, housing and energy costs. Its time for the pendulums to swing back the other way a to relieve some of the strain of the middle class.


Posted by: jamesbedell | July 26, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

A turn away from fascism is indeed a turn to the left. We can't count on any of the major candidates to do that.

Posted by: ExDem | July 26, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

That the three leading Dems are for extending draft reg to women totally
proves their unfitness to be President.
Forgot the phony left-right debate, Ron
Paul is the only candidate worth voting for. The issue is as always the individual
versus the collective. Read Atlas Shrugged
and ignore the usual centrist statist hacks. The neocons are as much enemies of
liberty as the so-called pwogs.

Posted by: mike_hardesty7 | July 26, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

THE CONSERVATIVE COALITION consisted of a base of Bible-thumping evangelicals who provided the voter turn-out, and an apex of neo-conservatives who provided the policy.

By an odd turn of events, however, the evangelicals don't have a horse in the 2008 race. McCain never satisfied, Giuliani too liberal, Romney a Mormon, and Thompson, for whom they had high hopes, has lots of baggage, including lobbying for Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile the neo-cons, who want to establish an American Empire in the 21st century, have bungled their initial effort at carrying a big stick and using it all the time, and are caught in a dismally unpopular war in Iraq.

What to do?

Attacking Iran is a possibility, but besides having global blowback potential, could arouse deep anger at home.

Raising values issues (abortion, gay marriage) to get Thumpers to the polls will seem cynically predictable and prove ineffective this third-time around.

Looks like an eight-year reign of the Democratic Party.

Their best ticket for 2008: Hillary Clinton and -- who? Joe Biden? He's good but is same-old, same-old, adding experience and gravitas but no excitement.

Recommendation: SENATOR JIM WEBB as vice-presidential candidate. Webb is smart, dynamite as a speaker, and brings war-hero credentials to the ticket. What he lacks in moxie, the Clinton organization can add.

CLINTON / WEBB 2008.

Posted by: goat909295 | July 26, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

For twenty-five years this country has been governed for the benefit of the global corporations. The mainstream media has aided and abetted in this and now wants to call change a "turn to the left." We need to stop letting them brainwash us.

Posted by: ExDem | July 26, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be some confusion here about neconservatives - several posters have said they are "former liberals" or "liberals on steroids" because they want to introduce "liberal values" around the world.

Unfortunately, "spreading democracy" has never been the goal of the neoconservative mindset. Instead, the neocons have hidden behind the veil of "liberalization" of Iraq and Afghanistan to do what they've always been focused on - securing Western access to oil resources in order to guarantee America's global dominance.

That is why Bush and Cheney don't "care about the polls". For the neocons, domestic politics and international diplomacy always take a back seat to making sure we have unfettered access to "U.S. interests" and friendly regimes with which to deal with regarding oil.

End of story.

Posted by: kwieczerza | July 26, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

This country can't possibly turn to the left; not with all the newspapers, the radio and the television stations all owned and run by big corporations. They all let everyone on the right off by not challenging them on their lies and coruption and they attack every left-leaning concept, idea and person that dares to speak his or her mind including Presidents of other countries.

Posted by: ajain31 | July 26, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The Sixties influence of California on education has reached its peak. The American sentiment is cooling to the liberal, lax attitude towards 'group think,' hand-outs, and underachievement. Because of the indulgent 'feel-good' stream that permeates US education, we are fast becoming a second-rate nation. Americans are sick of this influence, and the profs in the system who think this way are retiring. . .

Posted by: IIntgrty | July 26, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

A right-wing blogger offers this:

"Karl Marx hated social injustice and inequality, too, and his system was a monstruous [sic] failure." Theodore Roosevelt and FDR hated social injustice and inequality too and their system was a tremendous success. In fact, their progressive ideas saved capitalism and the American way.

Today's progressives want to save America from Bush and Cheney. So let's send pathetic Bushie propaganda about "class war" to the ash heap of history. Its the same load of malarky that we used to hear in the 1930s hurled against Roosevelt and his New Deal. If there is any "class war" going, it is the Reagan onslaught on the American middle class since the 1980s that has widened the gap between classes, enriched aggrandizing CEOs and hedge fund managers beyond the dreams of Croesus, and made the position of middle class Americans more precarious and stressed.

Let's help progressives save what's left of the New Deal and begin to repair the damage that the "Loyal Bushies" have wrought on our once great country.

Posted by: emainland | July 26, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"This kind of statement infuriates me. Plumbers, construction workers, long-haul truckers, these are truly hard working people. Most wealthy people did not lift a finger to get their wealth, they inherited it."

What leftists never understand, or won't admit is this: There aren't enough "rich people" around to pay for their silly programs. Go look at the tax burdens of all those "progressive" (although giving up personal freedoms for a nanny state is hardly pregressive, it's downright stupid) countries. Note not what the so-called rich people pay, but what EVERYBODY pays, or at least working people. What you will see is the current crop of socialists will eventually move down the economic ladder in order to pay for their programs. (How many TRILLIONS have we wasted so far on the "Great Society" garbage?). Play class warfare now, most all of us are for soaking the rich, but I guarantee you, you'll pay for it later.

Posted by: websterr1 | July 26, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Even a move to the center would be a nice change. In the last 25 years, politics has been much more polarized from one extreme to the other. Even the Independant label is being used as a cloak by Republican and Democratic loyalists in an attempt to appear to represent the center.

I blame the increasing use of lobbyists for the purposes of GREED and self-centered intrests and religous extremists.
The average middle class, middle of the road voter has been completely ignored by the two main parties. Corruption, hypocrisy, lies, fraud and greed have become accepted values and even encouraged by todays parents and politicians to "get to the top" by stepping on the backs of others.

I am looking forward to a move away from the extremists and a move that includes the intrests of ALL Americans and all classes, not just the rich and powerful.

Posted by: morningglory51 | July 26, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I realize many of these issues are considered "left" or even "liberal", but these ideas actually reflect a more 'centrist' attitude. The Democrats and the Republicans have so polarized and radicalized their platforms on these issues that any slight departure is now viewed as skewing the entire platform. The vast majority of Americans are FED UP with this highly partisan politics and want representatives who support them, not a party, not the one with the most money and certainly not special interest groups - unless that is what their constituency actually supports. Politics is a four letter word.

Posted by: joelhar1 | July 26, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Peter Baker plays along with the "Loyal Bushies" and their shots at strawmen of the "Left". But are the 70 percent of Americans that believe Bush is wrong on Iraq "leftists"? Are the 46 percent who want Bush impeached all "liberals"? How about the 80 percent who don't think Bush is doing enough on global warming? All "leftist" those who want to keep Social Security?

One Bushie (above) asked, "Are you suggesting we do away with our military altogether?" Well, Switzerland and Costa Rica did and they are flourishing. Japan kept its military small and defensive and became a world economic giant.

We are a floundering, muscle-bound military colossus, with armed forces dwarfing all the other nations of the world combined, yet we still seem timorous, paranoid, fearful, insecure, always eager to listen to demagogues like Cheney and his neocons cooking up the next military strike and preemptive atrocity.

Does extraordinary military spending keep us safe? Not on your sweet patootie, Missus Sanders. IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST. it will save us lots of money in the long run.

Posted by: emainland | July 26, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Poll after poll shows that the general public has opinions to the left of candidates of both major parties on issues such as environmental protection, international relations, healthcare, regulation and taxation of corporations, social security and sexuality.

We are currently witnessing the fallout from decades of right wing governance and a conservative corporate media that has abetted it and there is a powerful backlash in progress that is pulling both parties to the left as a corrective force. Even the Republican party feels it, which is why they are frantically distancing themselves from Bush/Cheney and why the front runners for the Republican nomination are all more liberal than their candidates from the recent past.

We can only hope that this will effect enough change to at least begin repairing the unprecedented damage to our nation that has been done by "The Decider" and his flock of bleating sheep.

Posted by: War4Sale | July 26, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Demagoguery is an essential part of the campaign of populists like Edwards. They need to appeal to class envy, and the class warfare theme and the angry emotions of what they call "the underclass." They need also to get Americans to believe that this country is a bastion of privilege for the wealthy where there is little hope for "the little people." That is a lot of nonsense as this "little person" can testify. I was born in the US of hard-working immigrant parents and made my way by dint of hard work and study. This country owed me nothing as an individual but the opportunity to make of myself what I could. I am grateful for that. I attended a large state university paid for by the taxpayers and I will forever be grateful for that opportunity. I served my country in time of war and was proud to do so. Edwards and other liberals Democrats, many quite wealthy themselves, emphasize their view of the US as one rife with racism, inequality, social injustice, etc. I know a different country from theirs although I am far from having the enormous fortunes they enjoy- not do I envy them their money. But I have nothing for contempt for their disservive to the country. Karl Marx hated social injustice and inequality, too, and his system was a monstruous failure.

Posted by: mhr614 | July 26, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Forget policy for a moment, I want to see a real RAGBRAI picture of John Edwards. Forget the staged photos with a smile plastered on his face, give me something when he's nearing the top of a long hill in the sweltering afternoon heat & humidity of a late July day in Iowa. Or one hoisting a beer in one of the small town bars that cater to these riders every year, slaking their thirst developed out on the hot asphalt. In other words, show me a human being. He is one, right?

Posted by: bsimon | July 26, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

This left-right, democrat-republican, and even Bill O'Reilly's (Fox) secular-progressive/conservative "thing" is hurting us all. How can anybody honestly take a complete "side" on global warming, immigration, the disappearing middle class, not to mention Iraq and world-wide concerns about terrorism?! If ALL candidates stopped thinking about themselves, their careers, and the talking points of the day -- and started thinking about WHAT'S GOOD FOR AMERICA AND AMERICANS, we'd ALL be better off. As a voter, I haven't felt that I've had "say" for at least the last 30 years! Where are our RATIONAL candidates? It's not about "should we have gone to Iraq", it's about "what do we do now." It's not about "is there such a thing as global warming", it's about caring about our planet in a realistic way. It's not about "do we still welcome immigrants", it's about "are entitlements going to come out of the pockets of the already burdened middle class". Legalized abortions have been an "issue" in every election since the 70s -- yet, no matter where the president of the day "stood" on the issue, it still exists. Let's wake up! Let's figure out how the average American can once again be represented in this democracy.

Posted by: lovingamerica | July 26, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

This country can't possibly turn to the left; not with all the newspapers, the radio and the television stations all owned and run by big corporations. They all let everyone on the right off by not challenging them on their lies and coruption and they attack every left-leaning concept, idea and person that dares to speak his or her mind including Presidents of other countries. I, personally, see no hope and am totally disgusted. Especially with the New York Times already attacking Spitzer every chance they get.

Posted by: mcsherman | July 26, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

dummypants says, "liberals have a frighteningly bad habit of comparing republican politicians to people who rounded up 6 million jews, pakced them on trains, and sent them to remote out posts where they exterminated them with poison gas."

Actually, the current American conservatives are much more like the Taliban.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | July 26, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The only honest politician is Ron Paul the rest are all corrupt some just more than others. Vote Ron Paul for a sea change in American!

Posted by: american1 | July 26, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The dialogue in America isn't moving to the left so much as it's moving back to the middle, to reason, to reality. For the last decade or more, and especially since the "Bushies" took over it's been dominated by a radical right wing agenda.

Posted by: AHermit | July 26, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Only when voters are disgruntled and insecure do "leftist" policies appeal to them. By leftist in today's America is to feel;

1. The pain caused by globalization where workers lose jobs paying above $ 35 per hour (with health care benefits) when production and customer service gets shipped abroad and they have to accept $ 15 per hour substitutes (without health care). This switch devastates the middle class, wrecks families through joblessness, homes get repossessed and personal bankruptcies rise.

2. When the average American worker sees the managerial and entrepreneurial class earn astronomical incomes and live obscenely lavish lives. Adding insult to injury is the brazen support of Bush to these fat cats through tax cuts, giveaways to oil companies, pharma companies and letting the Halliburtons of the world to gouge the American taxpayer through inflated no bid contracts. Bush's opposition to controlling global warming is seen as a ruse to protect profits of the auto and oil companies.

3. Utter lack of sympathy by Bush for the plight of the poor. That 45 million do not have health care coverage; that he is adamant at vetoing extension of subsidy to health care for poor children, has savagely cut funding for job retraining for laid off workers, rankle and has led to anger against the "right wingers".

4. That his self labeled "war on terror" is a failure. It has only created hatred for America globally while not reducing threats even in mainland USA.

It is this frustration that has led to people embracing so called "leftist" ideas. Suddenly everyone seems to have discovered virtue in universal health care which is the norm in every developed country bar NONE except the USA!!!!! Likewise virtue in closing loopholes in the tax code that enables venture fund managers to treat normal income as capital gains and deprive the Government of billions in taxes. And for withdrawing tax concessions to those earning over $ 200000 per year so their taxes can pay for uplifting the poor. And to get tough with China and other dictatorships to force them to play fair with the US in international trade.

Victor Hugo wrote "No one can stop an idea whose time has come". Equity in sharing the fruits of economic growth and realizing that human dignity can only be maintained when the worker earns a decent living are the objectives of "leftist" thinking. Democrats have embraced this idea, it is for Republicans to swim with the tide or retreat to the wilderness as was their fate for 40 years until 1994.

Posted by: padmanabhan40 | July 26, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"Most wealthy people did not lift a finger to get their wealth, they inherited it."

what a presumptuous, blanket, inaccurate statement. can we have an IQ test screening process on WaPo's message boards? to be fair, if you define wealthy as having over 100 million dollars then who knows, maybe you're right. if, like most people (it makes me wonder how much money YOU have), you define wealthy as anyone making six figures, or perhaps a per-capita income of $50,000 a year (income flow terms), or maybe two million dollars in assets then most of those people certainly have worked hard for it. for sure, some of it has to do with opportunity, and to be sure most of it has to do with making certain decisions at certain points in life as to what is important to you and how much you are willing to work/invest in terms of work and time in order to earn that extra dollar down the road.

Posted by: dummypants | July 26, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"since every-other poster seems to conflate neo-conservative with conservative i'll point out again that neo-conservatives are actually ex-liberals."

The emphasis is on the "ex". Reagan used a lot of these same "ex"'s ideas when he was president. Most have been "ex" for decades, like Reagan himself. Next you'll start on the one about Dems being for slavery 140 years ago makes the GOP the real civil rights party.

"Their ideology is actually liberalism on steroids. For example: 'lets go to Iraq and set up democracy so every woman can have an abortion and get breast implants'."

If Halliburton could get a cut of the abortion/implant deal, in a no bid contract at a huge cost to U.S. taxpayers, today's CONSERVATIVES would be all for it.

"Hence, the complaints from conservatives that Bush has run the most un-conservative administration ever."

This is another common conservative gambit, the guy's policies are a failure and he's no longer popular? Guess what, he wasn't a REAL conservative anyway.

From the time Reagan took the mantle of conservative leadership from Sen. Goldwater, the movement's goal has been a one party, authoritarian state with welfare for the rich and powerful and scraps for everyone else.

9/11 almost got them there.

Posted by: howie14 | July 26, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The Bush years have reaffirmed what Americans understood in 1992: conservatism is ineffective because it is
does not speak to reality. There is no conservative theory which has worked in practice. From supply side tax policies to laissez faire regulation and budget policies to neoconservative foreign policies to backwards social policies on gays, abortion and science, conservatism has failed utterly and completely. (even Reagan rejected the type of neoconservative approach to make peace with Gorbachev and open the door to ending the cold war.)

The only thing conservatives can do is muscle their way into power and attempt to destroy the fabric of our pluralistic constitutional democracy and impose a neo-fascist religiously conservative government. They might succeed one of these years but they will not rule for long.

Posted by: khyber900 | July 26, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

tlsanders1,

I find your comments offensive to the many brave volunteers who have served in our armed forces, completed boot camp and completed tours of duty in combat. The debate question was a hypothetical intended to challenge the candidates. I happen to agree with some of your comments about the draft, but to suggest that our armed forces are brainwashed and "screwd up" mentally is crossing the line. Perhaps you suggest that we do away with our military altogether?

Posted by: RambleOn | July 26, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

All socially liberal countries (think Sweden, and the like), have lower murder and violence rates; lower abortion rates; lower DUI rates, and on and on. These nations have secular governments, yet the supposed values issues of the very religious are better handled than we do here in the US. Why is that? I believe it is because they dont mix religion and government - something that the US forefathers knew very well, and what this country was founded on. What I dont understand, is how the religious people cannot see beyond their own rhetoric, to see that (for example(s)) a more attainable goal of less abortions will do far more to limit abortions than a ban; that gay unions will do nothing to my (or anyone elses) marriage; how the poor really could use some help, and that god has not stepped up yet to help; etc etc. I just dont understand why people cannot see beyond their own faith, when there are many other faiths, and some (like myself) who dont believe in any faith - and that all of these positions are valid, because it is all based on how we feel about the world around us. I dont understand how we cant just meet on the common grounds, the common goals, and let the rest of it fall to the wayside until a later time. Want less abortions - educate people on condoms, healthcare, abstinence, adoption, and the consequences/responsibilities of raising a child. One shoe will not fit all - the rest of the foot we should postpone dealing with until such time that we either agree, or we can make another common ground approach.

Posted by: Michael_A1 | July 26, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I doubt that the country is "turning left". More accurately, I think the country is "turning" toward common sense, toward the law and our Constitution, toward fairness for all Americans and away from greed, imperialism, incompetence, and special interests.

History shows that when the greedy get caught going overboard with both hands in the cookie jar, they tend to throw a bone to the "little people" with some program or such to appease the anger o fthe commoners. Hopefuly, they will take this opportunity to reform the healthcare system?

Posted by: kralford | July 26, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

websterr1 said that taxes are "...stealing money from honest hard working people ..."

This kind of statement infuriates me. Plumbers, construction workers, long-haul truckers, these are truly hard working people. Most wealthy people did not lift a finger to get their wealth, they inherited it. I wish there was a way to determine whether a person's money truly came from hard work or not, and tax 80 percent of that money that did not come through any work that they did. Wealthy people think they are entitled to wealth because they were born into some kind of aristocracy class, and the lower-class (even though they work their asses off) just don't deserve the wealth, and that is B.S. !

Posted by: Wadsworth1 | July 26, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the fact that there was no loud outcry after democratic candidates responded in the affirmative when asked if women should have to register for the draft means that in reality people would accept that. I didn't really believe that they meant it. I thought they were just afraid it would sound chauvanistic if they said that women shouldn't register for the draft. In the same way, I don't believe for one minute that they would really be willing to work for minimum wage - they just didn't dare say they wouldn't, except for one. I was impressed by him, because he was honest. I would be appalled if women had to register for the draft. I know how I would have felt in high school at the idea I might have to go into a war. I would have been terrified. I don't believe that men should have to register for the draft either. I believe that the draft is a form of slavery. I don't believe there can be any justification for forcing people to do any job, especially if that job will risk their lives. When you force somebody against his or her will into the army, you are wasting their potential in the occupation they would be best fit for - they might have been fine doctors, scientists, but instead, even if they are lucky enough to come thru safely, they might be too mentally screwed up by the brainwashing they get in boot camp, and what happened in the war, to function as they could have before. What a tragedy when that happens! Also, no matter if it sounds chauvenistic or not, it is a real problem, if both men and women are subject to the draft, there are going to be many, many, many cases of children left at home with nobody to take care of them. What about them?

Posted by: tlsanders1 | July 26, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

" 'What part of we havent gotten attacked in 6 years don't you understand?'

The part where we were attacked, with anthrax, which the administration calls a weapon of mass destruction (it was one of the phony reasons for invading Iraq"

oh you mean the terrorist attack that EVERYBODY has forgotten about??? LOL. it mustve been so bad that i totally blocked it out of my memory, which isnt the case with 9/11. sorry dude, my bad!

"Soon conservatism and republican will be curse words in the same vein as nazi and fascism.

Soon, the new progressives will be in charge and we can begin to heal ourselves from 3 decades down the wrong path"

liberals have a frighteningly bad habit of comparing republican politicians to people who rounded up 6 million jews, pakced them on trains, and sent them to remote out posts where they exterminated them with poison gas.

from a purely political point of view, it looks like liberals are ready to overreach once again. their relative competence makes Bush look like a good president.

2008 might be the year where watching democrats self-destruct under the pressure goes from humurous to painful to watch.

Posted by: dummypants | July 26, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Won't we all miss crony capitalism, wars based on lies, and "intelligent" design? Ah, the good old days.

Posted by: noGOP4me | July 26, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The author makes an excellent point. I've actually pondered idea that we are in the beginning of a leftist movement similar to what occured in the 60's and 70's in the US and UK. But we're smarter now in my opinion. Conservatives are embracing more liberal social issues because they make sense. Republicans are considering more progressive foreign policy initiatives because everyone can see what is currently not working. And liberals (not named Edwards) will not abandon the conservative economic principals embraced by Bill Clinton in the 90's.

Posted by: RambleOn | July 26, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Left is right. End of sentence.

Posted by: Faggyliberal | July 26, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Calm yourself. The country is not going liberal. It is returning to a more balanced, less ideologically driven view.

Posted by: msmellick | July 26, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

It's a "turn to the left" only because we gotta go left in order to get back to the CENTER.

Posted by: hawke | July 26, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse


since every-other poster seems to conflate neo-conservative with conservative i'll point out again that neo-conservatives are actually ex-liberals. Their ideology is actually liberalism on steroids. For example: "lets go to Iraq and set up democracy so every woman can have an abortion and get breast implants".


Hence, the complaints from conservatives that Bush has run the most un-conservative administration ever.


also for those clamoring for "vidal sasoon" edwards, this country with go to a flat tax system within the next 8 years.

by the way did anyone see the onion headline that reads, "edwards promises to end all bad things by 2011"? seriously what is that guy still doing in the race? id give ron paul a better chance of winning

Posted by: dummypants | July 26, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

What part of we havent gotten attacked in 6 years don't you understand?

The part where we were attacked, with anthrax, which the administration calls a weapon of mass destruction (it was one of the phony reasons for invading Iraq).

Posted by: kirk | July 26, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, because the right has been hijacked by the radical serio-religious right and corporate special interests that do not reflect the needs and desires of most Americans, who are centrist and moderate. The right, with their greed and unprecented attacks on the Constitution and complete disregard for the rule of law and checks and balances, has alienated all by the most radical in this country. Couldn't happen to a more deserving and worthless group.

Posted by: vze2r3k5 | July 26, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

It would be foolhardy to call the repudiation of robber-capitalism, neo-imperialism and militarism a drastic "turn to the left!" Quite to the contrary, it is an honest attempt by ordinary citizens to prevent the political and economic ruin of the nation!

Posted by: dgward44 | July 26, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I am gratified to finally see the pendulum swing back towards progressive thought and policies. For far Too long have we been becoming backward looking, paranoid, fiscally greedy, imperalistic, planet killing warmongers held under the sway of evilly corrupted dicators (BUSH) and a congress bought and paid for by big corporations. Soon conservatism and republican will be curse words in the same vein as nazi and fascism.

Soon, the new progressives will be in charge and we can begin to heal ourselves from 3 decades down the wrong path.

Posted by: gbennett | July 26, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Throughout history, free-market capitalism, imperialism, oligarchy, and even cleptocracy have been the signs of the failure of a system that favors the rich over the poor and middle class. Let's just admit that the United States has been going down the wrong path for a very long time. We now have a mountain of evidence that the right wing ideologies of global world domination by economic and militaristic intimidation and propaganda has made the world a more unequal, more dangerous, and less hospitable place.

Bottom Line: Equality of condition should be the goal, even if it is impossible to ever truly reach it. Only then will "equality of opportunity" take on any meaning at all. Only then can people actually pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, as the saying goes. Only then will a rising tide actually lift all boats.

Call it leftist ideology if you want, but the most respected economists the world over agree, and they would not call it leftist; they would call it the economics of a socially healthy nation.

We are simply beginning to witness the return of the politician that realizes that if you simply tell the truth about how the country is really doing, the population will get behind you and give you a chance to change it. Dig?

Posted by: nonordinary | July 26, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

You need to get outside of the Beltway more. People out here in the "hinterlands" are angy-about Scooter Libby, the war, the lying, the secrecy, healthcare, CEO pay. 70% of Americans want out of Iraq, over half are in favor of impeachment of Bush and Cheney. I think you would change your outlook if you got out more.

Posted by: chabstritt | July 26, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"...how completely insane the socialist ideas are of the Left, and how most of them involve stealing money from honest hard working people..."

It's not about "stealing money" from average taxpayers, nor is it even about making businesses and wealthy Americans pay a greater percentage of their income - it's about making them pay their fair share. With all the tax loopholes and offshore accounting, it's no wonder that, while my taxes are 35% of my income, many wealthy people pay 20% or less. Oh yeah, I forgot... that's so they can "reinvest" that wealth into the economy and make it stronger. Otherwise all those yacht builders would go out of business and have to start selling apples on street corners... and you know where that leads.

Posted by: louchelife | July 26, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"What is amazing is that things were allowed to swing so far that issues that once were considered "American", not liberal or conservative were allowed to be presented as "un-American". Against torture, you must be against the troops, against listening to private phone calls,etc., you must be un-American."

You are confusing neo-conservative over-reaction in the aftermath of the unthinkable events of 9/11 with genuine conservative values. (hint, neo-conservatives are actually ex-liberals who wanted to force liberal universial values on foriegn nations) If Gore or Kerry had been president I'm sure they would have taken some steps that would be rather hard to reconcile with traditional liberal values.

"It's not about ideology, it's about results. Conservatives deliver on images of strength and security. But they've shown they can't deliver tangible results."


What part of we havent gotten attacked in 6 years don't you understand? Believe me, in London or Madrid they view that as a "concrete result".

The bigger story this columns misses is that liberals and conservatives are merging on key issues. Its simplistic, and dare I say symptomatic of some bias, to charcterize the current flow of political gravity as a one-way street. On some issues people are getting more "conservative". Polls have shown Americans favor more restrictions on abortion than they did 30 years ago. Guliani might be more pro-life but its a little pre-mature to use him as an indication of anything, since he hasnt even won a primary, let alone the nomination. By the same logic we could point out that Obama seems to have abandoned the race-baiting that democrats have become hard-wired to take part in, instead chosing to stress personal responsibility over victimization. And, one could point out that Democrats as a whole have suddenly found religion.

Even though it might not be as flashy or read as good as a headline (or perhaps it simply requires powers of analysis beyond those resident at the washington post), the real story is that the electorate seems to be choosing the best of both liberal and conservative ideology and politics. The American people, it seems, are finally prepared to move beyond the simplistic zero-sum notions embraced by this column.

Posted by: dummypants | July 26, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

It looks more like the "leftward" move is more of a move back to the centrist values of common decency to one's fellow man.
In my opinion the center has moved right over the last decades, as witnessed by the virtual takeover of the rightwing extremist neo-cons.

Posted by: Lucretius | July 26, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I think you need to get outside the Beltway more. People out here in the "hinterlands" are angry-about the commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence, the war, the secrecy, the lying, health care, CEO pay. 70% of Americans want to get out of Iraq, over half favor impeachment of Bush. You would change your opinions if you got out more.

Posted by: chabstritt | July 26, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

In many ways, this country is divided between most of the American people on one side and the Republican Party AND THE CORPORATE MEDIA on the other side. The conservatives have had the big megaphone for nearly three decades. The country is not shifting to the left. Thanks to the Internet and isolated voices in the media such as McClatchy, the American people are finally being heard.

Posted by: daveb99 | July 26, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Conservatives despise goverement (taxation), even wise government. So, we now have the highest debt ever, while wasting billions of dollars with NO oversight of government spending (hHlliburton, Blackwater, etc). Liberals respect the power of taxation, and the WISE use of taxes. Pretty simple and clear. More than anyone else, John Edwards understands the possibilities of a progressvie tax basis, because he has based his candidacy on that principle (that weathiest should be taxed at the highest percentage of their income, wealthier next most, and so on). He is the only one to question the role of private health insurance companies, which control our private health care system. Edwards understands that Americans pay our police, fire rescuers, teachers, first responders and civil servants from a public pool (taxes), and we could easily do the same with our doctors and nurses. Pretty clear and simple. Edwards.

Posted by: mainetimes | July 26, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Conservatives deliver on images of strength and security.

Except for failing to prevent the September 11 attacks, and failing to track down Osama bin Laden.

Except for failing to prevent the anthrax attacks, which President Bush himself described as "a second wave of terrorist attacks" in a November 2001 radio address, and failing to track down whoever did it.

That's two examples of conservatives failing to provide security and failing to punish the people responsible.

Posted by: kirk | July 26, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

We should have been moving more to the left years ago, when Reagan was mortgaging the future with his credit card style of economics. It continued uninterrupted until its rapid acceleration today under George W. Bush. I'm relieved to see that people are generally more concerned with environment, education and health care than they seem to have been in previous years. Maybe those of us who care about the future and not just immediate profit will not have to move to Vancouver after all.

Posted by: Faggyliberal | July 26, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Damn, ya think? Its only been blindingly obvious to those of us who are not blinded by Republican dogma or slaves to the MSM narrative (to the extent those are different things) since the blowback from the Terri Schiavo law hit the polls.

Posted by: srobinson2 | July 26, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Of course the momentum is to the left. The right as a philosophy has failed and it's that simple.

People are staring to realize that a philosophy revolving around the idea that government can't work is unfit to govern. It would be against the right's beliefs to do a good job. Any moron can look at the US and clearly see that the more liberal places are more prosperous, more educated and healthier - along with lower divorce rates and teen pregnancy and other so-called "values" issues. These differences are even more striking when comparing liberal Western democracies to the generally more conservative USA.

Posted by: sequoiaqueneaux | July 26, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I think once Americans realize how completely insane the socialist ideas are of the Left, and how most of them involve stealing money from honest hard working people, they'll turn away in disgust as they so often have over the years towards a more middle ground. Most folks other than fanatical partisans and reporters aren't really paying much attention yet.

Posted by: websterr1 | July 26, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It would certainly be about time to get back to looking to the future instead of remaining on the path back to the Dark Ages that this country has been on since 1980. It has been an embarrassment for almost 30 years to be called an American due entirely to the 'pube party and their attempt to "talibanize" our nation. IF we can get our collective heads out of our _sses we stand a chance of reclaiming our place of "shining beacon" of hope, learning, freedom, etc. Currently we are ANYTHING BUT.

Posted by: spike59101 | July 26, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Did Bush really tell Americans to just VISIT AN EMERGENCY ROOM if they don't have health insurance? Is this our doltiest president, ever, or what? I had to visit an ER and stay overnight five years ago. The bill came to thirty thousand dollars. Not everybody has been raised with a silver hoof in his mouth like Bush and his sibs. W is way too overpriviliged and way too stooooooopid.

Posted by: bellhopp | July 26, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least since 2000, we Americans have gotten a good look at how a conservative government works. And, being reasonable and practical people, decided we can do better. It's not about ideology, it's about results. Conservatives deliver on images of strength and security. But they've shown they can't deliver tangible results. And that matters. We'll see if the Democrats can do better.

Posted by: jp1954 | July 26, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Is it so amazing that the pendulum has swung the other way? What is amazing is that things were allowed to swing so far that issues that once were considered "American", not liberal or conservative were allowed to be presented as "un-American". Against torture, you must be against the troops, against listening to private phone calls,etc., you must be un-American. The press is much to blame for not asking tough questions, the public is much to blame for not participating.

Posted by: jppollock | July 26, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The most important reason that Edwards should be president is the fact that he is not bought off and the corporations and corporatocracy and their controlled MSM are scared to death of him! Edwards all the way!!

Posted by: swtexas | July 26, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The most important reason that Edwards should be president is the fact that he is not bought off and the corporations and corporatocracy and their controlled MSM are scared to death of him! Edwards all the way!!

Posted by: swtexas | July 26, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

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