When you hear empty talking heads reference the far left wing, just remember that there isn’t one in this country. And when you hear references to the far right, just remember that they operate with impunity in this country. These two “fringes” are not equivalents and the only reason discussions about the far left (inaccurately) evoke images of Obama and Pelosi while discussions about the far right (accurately) evoke images of Limbaugh and Hannity is because the political paradigm has shifted beneath us.
If I had my druthers, Obama would be challenged in the primary because he hasn’t GOVERNED (note, action verb) as a liberal. But it’s easy for Obama to create the illusion of liberalness, or as Steven Colbert would say – truthiness – since what it means to be liberal is now defined by what he says and not what you does.
Last week Obama said that republican wonder boy Paul Ryan was “not on the level” (big duh) and that mild criticism from Obama was met with cheers of jubilee by Obama-bots. Mind you, none of Obama’s centrist policies have changed. But in our restructured political paradigm, soft signaling and empty rhetoric are enough to get liberals to march lockstep behind Obama. It’s also made easier by the continued accusations from the right that Obama’s a socialist. And to my point, socialism wouldn’t be a bad word in a country with a true left wing.
In upside down America, the center-center to center-right operate within a broad space which only widens with each Obama negotiation. Meanwhile, the left operates in a narrow space where center-left polices are derided as fringe. And the worst part of it all is that liberals are contributing to the narrowing of their cherished ideology by celebrating words over actions. In a world where words matter more than actions, all good is impossible. If Obama’s speeches are now the true measure of his progressivism and his actions don’t matter, liberals have already lost.