Pivot to the center, Mr. President - Bill Daley
Daley's advice is good, but tardy, and either a bit disingenuous or self-deluding. He wrote this about the upswing in Democratic fortunes in 2006 and 2008:
[I]ndependents and Republicans supported Democrats based on a message indicating that the party would be a true Big Tent -- that we would welcome a diversity of views even on tough issues such as abortion, gun rights and the role of government in the economy.
This only goes to show that the Democrats' leftwing leadership did a fine job hoodwinking a majority of voters. But you can only dupe voters for so long.
So, why is a turn to the center too late for Democrats? The ideologically-driven Mr. Obama and Democrat congressional leaders, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, have already set the nation on track for record debt and deficits, robust inflation, higher taxes and a probable second recession in 2011. And let's not forget about that big lump of coal in every American's stocking: government-run health care, which sooner rather than later, will greatly aggravate the aforementioned problems.
A one-eighty by Mr. Obama and his merry band of statists would offer only the slimmest of hope of averting an economic train wreck. And changing gears would greatly alienate the left, the Democrats' core constituency, and scuttle whatever credibility remains for Mr. Obama.
Election year conversions aren't rare in politics, but they rarely last beyond Election Day. Mr. Obama and his Democrats aren't fooling anyone this go-round. The "grim political fate" that Daley hopes his party avoids is, barring unforeseen and dramatic events, likely unavoidable at this point.