November 2, 2008

SCREW THE VOTERS:

Groups Work to Push Obama to the Left (COREY DADE, 11/03/08, Wall Street Journal)

A phalanx of liberal think tanks and interest groups -- anticipating a Democratic victory on Tuesday -- are mobilizing to push Sen. Barack Obama to the left of his campaign positions.

In recent weeks, groups have held conferences, drafted policy papers and lobbied campaign advisers in the hope of influencing what they believe would be the most receptive administration to the political left since Jimmy Carter. The Obama campaign declined to comment about pressure from liberal policy groups.

Left-leaning activists are trying to replicate the surge of conservative interest groups under the Reagan administration that shaped Republican politics for the next three decades, staking out positions well to the left of how Sen. Obama has tried to define himself near the political center. For their part, conservatives likewise are preparing for a McCain victory.

A number of the economic and social prescriptions being pushed on Obama advisers would require greater spending that almost certainly depend on raising taxes -- threatening Sen. Obama's campaign promise to cut taxes.


Except that to the degree that Ronald Reagan changed things it was because he'd explicitly run on such change and had it validated by voters. Meanwhile, the activists moved Bill Clinton to the Left for his first two years and it cost Democrats the Congress. The success of an Obama presidency would be tied directly to the amount of anger he can provoke from liberal think tanks and interest groups by repudiating their desires. The failure would be a function of moving in their direction after running as a kind of Bush lite.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at November 2, 2008 11:25 PM
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