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The New York Daily News published an article, "Election Day 2012: President Obama is the new Ronald Reagan," with an interesting premise:

In many voters’ eyes, the GOP, and not Obama, was behind Washington’s failures.

And now the President, who already broke a huge symbolic barrier four years ago, has the opportunity to turn a corner and write his way into the history books.
He has proven that we are not, as some pundits insist, a permanently center-right country that reflexively rejects the agenda of any Democrat who tries to take progressive steps forward (albeit through moderate means).

America is changing not just ethnically and racially, but in attitudes.

Obama not only saw this evolution coming, he helped shape it. He has not just moved the political needle for one election. He’s changing America.

I detest the idea that we're a "center right" country. Yes, I live in coastal California, which is not representative of the country at large. Yet every day, I see kids walking home from the middle school down the street. They're as diverse as our society, and not only as individuals. I don't see groups of AA kids, or Hispanic kids, or Asian kids, or white kids. Each group of kids, including many couples, that walks past my house is diverse. They truly seem to not see color.

And it seems as though many parts of the country are outgrowing homophobia and becoming more tolerant, even accepting, of their LGBT neighbors and coworkers.

(No, I'm not a starry-eyed idealist - our religious tolerance lags our tolerance for differences in race, gender, and sexual orientation. What will happen first, a Muslim President or an atheist one? Will I live long enough to see either? But I digress...)

So when I see the NY Daily News, whose editor-in-chief is the former editor of Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World, say that Obama is transforming us into a center-left society, I feel a lot more hopeful about the immediate future. Yes, the Obama Administration and the US Senate will still be at loggerheads with Boehner's House. Yes, we need to apply pressure to not accede with the "grand bargain" or any deal that would raise tax revenues by compromising on earned benefits such as Medicare and Social Security. But my fear of the growing influence of the Teabaggers is lessened by the election results - they lost and we won!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:21:52 PM PST

  •  Wish I shared that enthusiasm (8+ / 0-)

    The Overton window may have shifted a tiny bit to the left nationally, but at the state level, there's more division than ever (and a more right-ward shift), at least in JesusLand.

    I am beginning to believe that the divisions in America won't be healed in my lifetime.  As long as there are those on the right who can make money at exploiting the divisions, they will continue to do so.  Make no mistake: that's what it's all about.  It has much less to do with actual conservative ideology than it does with financial opportunism.

    •  Unfortunately, I agree with this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The hate talk radio, foxnews, etc. all "lost" last night in that their influence didn't prevail, their policy goals did not win, they looked like idiots, etc.

      However, in terms of their ability to make money, this was a real boon to them. They get to piss and moan about everything Obama does for 4 more years. More crazy conspiracies. More stupid books. More ridiculous movies. This isn't going to cause a shift, just more entrenched partisanship.

    •  Yep, Citizens United really screwed up a lot of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      stuff for a lot of people. I agree with those clamoring for filibuster reform, but I'd lobby for campaign reform next!

      I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

      by 1BQ on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:01:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yell at me... g'head (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But I think the skid to the right has not only been stopped, but we've gone back to the left (or forward).

      More women on the Supreme court.
      The Ledbetter Act
      Marriage Equality
      The concept of universal healthcare is more than it was 4 years ago.
      Ending that stupid DADT policy.

      There're many other things.
      Add them all up, and it's a move to the left.
      And momentum to keep going left.

      What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes... Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life

      by Nebraska68847Dem on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:20:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  bully pulpit. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1BQ, CoExistNow, Kestrel228, antirove

    it's time.

    Obama intimated that his second term would be very different.

    I think he's going to impose higher federal standards for elections.

    I think he's going to USE the political capital he has in US.

    I think he's going to continue his campaign, rather than sequestering himself in the Oval Office again.

    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:53:21 PM PST

  •  I hate the very term 'center-right country' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1BQ, Kestrel228

    It's one of those meaningless terms that is thrown around a lot by people to appear insightful to the gullible and ill-informed. (I wrote a small rant on this very point earlier today.)

    America is certainly changing in its attitudes. But I attribute very little of this to the President. The fact is if you look at the polling on any of a number of key issues of the day, the populace as a whole is to the left of the permissible viewpoints within elite policy circles. And this has been true for quite some time. Bipartisanship in Washington is not the solution, it's a huge part of the problem.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:54:13 PM PST

    •  That was a great way to put it. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Demi Moaned, Kestrel228
      Regardless of how Americans actually feel, what's called center or centrist these days is still far to the right of what it was even twenty years ago.
      I completely agree. The standards under which I grew up are so very progressive compared to today. I'm just relieved to see the pendulum swinging back.

      I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

      by 1BQ on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:05:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Center-Right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1BQ, Odysseus, Demi Moaned

    It's a perfectly useful term, in the correct context. The problem is that it the media threw it out there without giving any context as to what it meant. The media was floating the idea that we should adopt the GOP agenga because America is a "center-right nation".

    But terms like center-right imply an international scale of comparison. The GOP of today is not a center-right party, but a far right party. And far from being left-wing extremists, the Democratic Party would be considered rather conservative in much of the world.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:00:06 PM PST

    •  "All things being relative..." definitely applies (0+ / 0-)

      here. As I just responded to a comment above, I grew up in much more liberal times.

      I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

      by 1BQ on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:07:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's a good way of putting it in context (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1BQ, malevola

      Yes, if the term were used on some kind of international, trans-temporal scale I might not object to it.

      But it's commonly used like this. The 'center' is defined as the midway point between whatever Democrats and Republicans in Congress are advocating. That 'center' is already far to the right and then we're told that America as a whole is actually to the right of that. It's just intellectually shoddy if not downright dishonest.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:15:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for expressing it this way. I agree with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1BQ, Kestrel228

    you.  My neighborhood is a lot like the one you're describing.  I was just thinking today how it actually looks like a Sesame Street set.  Good to see these changes happening, and there's no doubt that Obama's reelection both reflects those changes and encourages the process to continue, at least in places.

  •  I accept that we're a center-right nation. (0+ / 0-)

    So long as the new definition of "center-right" is a country that sends openly gay women to the Senate, votes for legal recreational marijuana, and votes in favor of gay rights. Because if these things are now center-right, if those things are on the right side of the spectrum of what's possible, it means the left side of the spectrum of what's possible must be absolutely amazing.

    Isn't that how the Right forced the window further and further right over the years? Even when voters were backing them up, they would shout to the heavens about how America is going to hell because of leftist perversions.

    If the Left made the mistake of adopting a Republican idea (like the healthcare mandate), they would turn around and call it the most leftist thing ever. So inch by inch the window shifted to the right as things that used to be considered "right" are now considered "far left." This is how we wound up with the DLC and Blue Dogs, a bunch of Democrats who thought they had to be Republicans in order to win.

    If we shift the window so "center-right" includes supporting gays and sensible drug policy, then we'd be cooking with gas.

    This is why every time somebody wants to bring up the "center-right" nonsense on a Sunday talk show or in a debate, the automatic response should be the gay Senator and the marijuana and the gay marriage. Only accept the "center-right" terminology if it's on our own terms.

    •  There's a deeper disconnect re: "center-right" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim Abbotts Right Hand Man

      The most extreme of the right believe themselves TO BE IN THE CENTER, not on the furthest reaches of the fringe.

      That's how the Window got shifted:  attack the center for being so far to the left, and demand that it 'catch up with the folks'.

      We need to do much the same:  every WORD they utter should be branded loudly and dismissively as the dishonest manipulations they are.  We should refuse to take them or their policies seriously for even a second, dismissing them out-of-hand as deranged inversions of traditional American values, and demanding that they GET SERIOUS.

      Refuse to talk on their terms.  EVER.  Reframe EVERYTHING.  Call them on EVERYTHING.  EVERY.  TIME.

      The new center MUST BE to the LEFT of what we've achieved so far.

      This year, I'm doing something I've never done before - I'm voting a straight Democratic ticket

      by chmood on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:18:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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