Home | About | Donate

Fearful Democrats and the False Allure of Policy Centrism

Fearful Democrats and the False Allure of Policy Centrism

Paul Waldman

ancy Pelosi is worried about 2020. As, of course, is every Democrat, but Pelosi has an analysis of the challenge the party faces that is striking in how tentative it sounds, even frightened. Here's what she told The New York Times over the weekend:

A couple of nerd terms are useful here.

Median: the level at which exactly half of the population has less and the other half has more

Mean: the average wealth based upon dividing all of the wealth by the number of people

The latter is always greater than the former in capitalism. Therefore I say that centrism is MEAN. (It is weighted by dollars and not people.)


The author makes a reasonable case for an obvious point, but repeats a very deceptive cliche: that Republicans resisted everything Obama wanted to do. Again and again Obama is depicted by liberals as having wanted to do great things but was stopped by hideous right wingers. He wasn’t resisted in making awful choices on illegal wars and further empowering the crooked Wall St. culture. As wikileaks showed, Citibank basically picked his cabinet. Larry Summers was his hero for saving the economy that he helped destroy. The 5 biggest and worst banks had 25% of the economy when he came into office, and 50% when he left. He never stood up to Isreal and jailed whistleblowers at a record level. He was consistently against progressive change here and abroad, and was happy to provoke tensions with Russia and foster another cold war. None of this was accidental; all the liberals have given us lately is SLOP: silly loud obnoxious pablum.


Pelosi sez:
“Own the center left, own the mainstream.”

Neoliberal to English translation:
“Own the corporate lobbyist, own the cash stream.”


Arrest the government!

1 Like

4 more years of Trump, that should just about put the final nail in the coffin for this experiment we call the United States. Thanks republican-lites.


I am not in the least interested in electing a Democrat who has a bunch of Republican buddies. I want Democrats who will oppose everything the Republicans stand for. In other words, Democrats with spines. Creatures of fable like the unicorn.


So democrats continue to delude themselves into believing that imitating republicans is to way to win over republican voters despite one disaster after another wherein they are taught by the results themselves that when republican voters are given the choice between a fake republican and a real republican, they choose the real republican every time.


You’ll have to get a warrant issued by the Justice Department first.

1 Like

I don’t think the dems are delusional - they are complicit. They WANT continuous war and the increasing subjugation of the population. We need age and term limits in congress.


Careful…your treading on sacred ground here.

The issue here is HOW you define the “CENTER”. Where is the center, and who gets to define where the Center is? To this point, the neoliberal wall street crowd has been allowed (almost unchallenged) to decide what is Center. This is why the “Center” has been shifting to the RIGHT for decades.

One example:
70% of Americans (BOTH parties) support Bernie’s Medicare For All. This includes a majority of Republicans I’d say THIS is the Center. THIS is MAINSTREAM. When someone refers to MFA as “far LEFT” they are shoveling shit. MFA is Mainstream.

THIS survey from 2016 provides an idea of what was “Mainstream” at the time. I’m guessing it hasn’t changed much.

Biden’s record in office is extreme Right wing.


Don’t forget he didn’t close Gitmo and let the torturers off the hook.



Butch fell back from the wall, his head hurting again. The pug dog collapsed on the ground, his tongue hanging out of his mouth while he panted. If someone else would have been there in the little walled in patio they would have heard him whimpering.

Butch could get up and go back inside the empty house through the doggie door and take a nap in his bed or get something to eat. He could get up and play with the ball in the patch of grass. He could get up and dig up that soup bone he’d buried in the garden days ago and chew on it. But he didn’t like being home alone while his human was away all day long. He wanted to get out, get over that brick wall, see what was on the other side and explore.

So, once more when he was in less pain, he got up, walked as far away from the same place in the wall he tried to jump before, and then ran as hard as he could on his little legs and tried to jump over it.


The definition of insanity is trying to do the same thing over and over again that has failed in the past.

Democrats are insane.

But not the leadership. They aren’t insane. This hasn’t failed them at all. They remain the darlings of the donors. They remain in control of the party. Mainly they keep leftists from ‘messing things up.’

You see the leadership knows something the insane Democratic rank and file that keeps believing them doesn’t know. The leadership knows they are lying.

They know being centrists doesn’t win elections. They know that Sanders would have trounced Trump in 2016. They know that Biden is the most likely candidate, well behind Beto and Mayor Pete, to go down in flames. But they don’t care about winning. They care about stopping the left from taking over their party and ending their gravy train.

They’d rather lose with Trump than win with Sanders or Gabbard.

They aren’t Butch. They’re the wall.


Obama was a centrist Democrat which is to say he was a conservative on economics, a conservative on defense and a Hollywood moderate on social policy.

And the American people elected him twice over relatively strong Republican candidates.

Obama was never a progressive and his policies were never going to appreciably improve the lives of working people in the middle and lower classes.

Biden is much older, far less intelligent, far less charismatic, and much less progressive than Obama.

Does he even have one big idea? I don’t think so. I’m not so sure he has one small idea worth implementing.

Sadly, if Biden is the nominee, every decent progressive should hold his or her nose and vote for him to remove the antichrist from office and to save the supreme court from being ultra-conservative for the next 20 to 30 years.

There are good candidates. Personally, I don’t think you could find a more intelligent, effective and convicted progressive than Warren. But she is a she and an old she at that. Most Americans will think the charisma thing is missing.

Think for two seconds about how unpopular she is and how popular Palin was (and is). Want to elect a Harvard Law professor who has written and implemented laws that actually protect the wealth of consumers? Nah.

Americans want a former beauty queen who looks good in her 40’s, likes to hold guns in her hands, and winks at us from behind the podium. Who cares if she can’t articulate a serious thought about any serious subject. Yeah, please, let’s elect that.

In 2020, America will have no excuse. Every sentient human knows who Trump is, how vile and despicable and corrupt he is, how horrible his policies are.

If Americans still vote for Trump him over the Democrat nominee, America will be as morally dark as Death Valley is dry.


Excellent writing, LWLW.

1 Like

Joe Biden is one of a small handful of Democrats whose moral stature doesn’t reach Hillary Clinton’s. Bill and Hillary were for whatever it took to get elected, and it cost Democrats a candidate who could beat the trumpster in 2016. If you liked Hillary, you’ll love Joe.

Neolliberals win, no matter who wins office, like they won with the trumpster - $1.4 trillion for neoliberals to hide in offshore accounts - or in Delaware, site of Biden’s Senate district.

Biden means jumping back into the ecologically illiterate fire. Moral stature means something important, at this point in human history, if anyone still has the temerity to expect a future worth living.

The trumpster’s playing the fear game, acting afraid of one of the few Democrats he can beat, after the Millennials and Gen X abandon ship on another neoliberal government to vote Green. Neoliberalism has got to stop. Half the wildlife that was here in 1980 is now gone, with neoliberal Reagan’s minions in power. The life system can’t, and won’t, withstand another four years of neoliberal plunder of the life system.


Obama (through SoS Clinton) advanced the API’s coup in Venezuela, cooked and executed the coup in Ecuador because the people who make US sports clothes wanted a living wage, and had the President of Brazil visit the White House the week before she was rat-fucked out of her seat by the CIA and SoS.

Victoria Nuland, a neocon Republican working in Hillary’s SoS, cooked the coup in Ukraine, sending the democratically elected (if corrupt) President fleeing to safety to clear the way for a billionaire even more corrupt President backed by a Neonazi military to oppress the people, with the usual result - civil war, now raging.

In other words, people yearning for democracy got a sack of warm, moist pig shit in the Obama administration.

Biden was neck deep in Ukraine, and may still be. He announced his candidacy at a Comcast owner’s house. Biden’s a polished trumpster.

Obama still holds the record for deportations, but probably not for long.

He didn’t give a hoot in Hell about climate change until he saw what history would see in him in his time as President. He personally rat-fucked the process in Copenhagen to kick addressing climate change down the road, leaving neoliberal oligarchs and plutocrats controlling the process. Neoliberals think the purpose of human life is to make money.

Obama was/is from Chicago, the birthplace of neoliberalism, at the University of Chicago, where Obama taught Constitutional law for a while.

No one who won’t agree to accept the neoliberal agreement gets to be a party’s candidate for federal office.

Thank you, Richard Nixon. But Nixon gave us the EPA, social things like that, and neoliberals have since done away with them. Neoliberals steal the money for social programs, globally.

Then they wallow in pious self worship. Ayn Rand would be proud. Selfishness is still a virtue.


i recall that in 1968 – and then again in 1972 – Richard Nixon was elected. Both times, there was no secret about the dark, vile person he was. Admittedly in 1968, RFK was shot and there was chaos at the Dem convention and the selection of Humphrey. But still, millions of voters pulled the lever for Nixon. This country has a long history of electing blatantly vile persons.


What’s the point of electing Democrats if they are closeted Republicans? The political class treats elections as if they were college football. I guess for them, it is.