Saturday, February 13, 2016

How Far Left Has America Moved?

From S­tuart Stevens, at the New York Times:
FROM the earliest days of Barack Obama’s presidency, a comforting assumption developed among much of the center-right political world. The thinking went like this: President Obama was far more liberal than the majority of the country. But given his extraordinary political talents, the fatigue of the George W. Bush years, the economic crisis and the excitement of electing the first African-American president, the country picked him not because of his ideology but in spite of it.

Once this unique political figure was no longer on the ballot, America would revert to the less liberal, more center-right direction that was the norm after World War II. Under this scenario, President Obama wasn’t some profound historical shift but more of an eccentric diversion.

Now it’s February 2016 and an obscure socialist — O.K., a Democratic Socialist — from a tiny state just beat one of the most powerful forces in the Democratic Party in the New Hampshire primary. On the Republican side, a man whom National Review, the conservative movement’s flagship publication, has vigorously denounced, also won New Hampshire in a rout.

How did we get here?

When he entered the presidential race in 2007, Mr. Obama had amassed a voting record that was ranked by National Journal as the most liberal in the United States Senate. In the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton’s campaign warned that the young senator’s record would lead to defeat in November. In that general election, Senator John McCain prosecuted the same ideological case, with little success. Big hunks of America had fallen in love with Mr. Obama.
Keep reading.