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Are Progressives Going the Way of Bush Republicans?

intro_thankyouMegan McCardle looks at the liberal revolt over LieberCare and thinks so.

This was not a failure of political will or political skill.  It was the manifestation of a political reality that has long been obvious to everyone who wasn’t living in a fantasy world.  If progressives decide that the lesson from this is that they haven’t been sufficiently demanding and intransigent, they are going to find themselves about as popular with the rest of America as the Bush Republicans, and probably lose their party the House next year.

I really don’t know what that means.

For one, it’s a fair bet that the bases of the two parties are roughly the same size. So progressives are already “about as popular with the rest of America” as Bush’s base.

But the stranger thing about this comparison is that, while Bush’s popularity among independents plummeted over the course of his two terms, his support among Republicans remained high until the last year of his presidency.

In stark contrast, part of what’s driving Obama’s numbers down is the dissatisfaction of liberals.

McCardle says the bill is “hideously unpopular” but she doesn’t acknowledge what’s driving all of this discontent: Democrats and Independents think Obama got rolled by “moderates” like Lieberman, and they do not like what the “moderates” did to the bill. It’s not because people think the left is being too mean to the White House or Joe Lieberman.

It’s not progressives that need to learn a lesson here. It’s the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania.


As several readers have correctly pointed out, I forgot the quotes around my use of the term “moderate” with respect to Lieberman and the ConservaDems. Fixed.

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