Sunday, November 26, 2006

That word you keep using--I do not think it means what you think it means

Discredited neo-cons point to it. The Iraq Study Group is said to embody it. Blue Dog Democrats claim they own it. Demoralized Republican (and DLC) strategists hope they can maneuver Democrats onto it. Media commentators predict the inevitability of moving toward it.

What is it?

It's "the center" in American politics. And if ever there was a word that so many people have staked so much on helping people get so wrong, no good example comes to mind.

Coming from very different directions, Sirota and Greenwald each has a great piece on why the center isn't what or where the faces on the television are telling you it is.


Chuck Butcher said...

Since my political leanings have little to do with that theoretical center, I don't have to be worried about being defined by them. The absolute inaccuracy of the Beltway definition is probably obvious to everybody except the Beltway.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Center, schmenter, whatever. I discovered LONG ago that the whole scale gets pushed around. I thought I was toward the center at one time... uhm - 1980? Maybe...? Now I'm hanging completely off the left side (depending on whose scale you're looking at). But I haven't moved. I'm right where I was 20 something years ago.
I found a post comparing the cover of time magazine after 2006 Democratic blowout and after the 1994 Republican takeover. The 1994 cover had a graphic of an angry out-of-control elephant trampling a hapless donkey. The 2006 cover graphic was a red cirle and a blue circle overlapping - the small center elipse being purple. Of course this indicated that the voters were appealing for a move to "the center"...