Conservatives have little reason to worry about a progressive takeover. Inevitably the cozy, comfortable world of political power draws them all in.
Roll Call reports that Senator Evan Bayh is attempting to form a "Blue Dog" coalition in the Senate. The Blue Dogs in the House have long been a counterweight to attempts to enact progressive reforms, including government oversight, business regulation and environmental protections.
Bayh has constantly been floated as a potential VP nominee due to his "moderate" image. He is certainly cementing his position now.
The question this raises is why, when the voters have overwhelmingly elected Democrats to every level of government-Democrats control both houses of Congress, the White House, the majority of Gubernatorial positions and state legislatures-do Democrats reflexively turn to the right?
Certainly it would not be beneficial for supporters of equal rights, environmental protection, labor support and a many other progressive causes to go wild-eyed into the breach, but the constant insistence on a "moderate" approach is pablum designed to placate supporters and opponents.
There is a difference in being pragmatic, however. Pragmatism is not a walk down the fence-line. It is an effort to achieve your ends, even if you have to go around and over a few walls and fences; but it is never loosing sight of the objective. The modern version of "moderation" and "third way" efforts are attempts to strike a stable position perched upon the privacy fence of political leadership.
It was inevitable that the conservative portions of the Democratic caucus would begin to stretch their muscles once they were secure in their position, but they should remember that their "moderation" was not what secured Democratic victories across the country.
Voters were looking for someone to crack down on the out-of-touch business world, retune national security so that it once again serves our nation's purpose and restore dignity to government.
President George W. Bush once promised to "restore dignity to the Oval Office". At the time it was seen as it was, a cheap shot at President Bill Clinton. But it dawned on the American public-beginning perhaps around the time of Katrina-that it was really a bad joke at our expense.