Writing for In These Times, a politically progressive monthly magazine of news and opinion created by life-long socialist James Weinstein, Laura Washington explains how the Democrats have seized the middle ground and ushered in a “Second Clinton Ascendancy.”
On a post-election edition of PBS’s “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” presidential historian Richard Norton Smith told Lehrer: “The Democrats clearly have an opportunity to demonstrate that they’re the Bill Clinton party. You know, historically, I think the real winner this week is Bill Clinton.”
Smith, a scholar in residence at George Mason University, argued that in recent years “we saw the Democrats veer off” to the wilderness of the left, much to the delight of the Bushies. But the 2006 election sweep, according to Smith, gives the Democrats “an opportunity, particularly with a new crop of moderate and relative conservatives, to reclaim plausibly the middle of the road. And if they succeed at that, I’m telling you, Bill Clinton looks like a prophet with honor.”
Got it. When I noted Smith’s point to my leftie friends, they all had to agree, though grudgingly.
So let’s acknowledge this Second Clinton Ascendancy…
She goes on to express her opinion on how the Democratic primaries may pan out, declaring it will be a race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. What I find most interesting about her piece, though, is how she labels the Democratic left in regards to Obama.
Listen beneath the barrage of adoring arias in the national media and you’ll detect grumblings from the Democratic left… Still, I predict that by 2008, the whiners will be vanquished.
Later in the piece is perhaps the passage “progressives” will find the most difficult to stomach.
Take Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), who headed the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee. The Deaniacs may caterwaul, but I give Emanuel full and unconditional credit for the 2006 Democratic “thumping.”
So do I.