So, the Republican Party embraces its Tea Party wing, willing to compromise its conservative political perspective for the sake of enthusiastic, if simplistic, voter support, while the Democratic administration, not content merely to ignore its Progressive wing, feels the need to mock it.
David Brooks assures us that the party of banned masturbation will not discomfort the "independents," whose votes will be determinative in 2010, even as the Obama administration draws the same conclusion with regard to its stated contempt for its own passionate left.
The net effect of all this political calculus is that both the Democratic and Republican Parties are scrambling for the votes of an amorphous "independent" constituency, and are blurring any definitive identification with the wings of their own parties. Politics as usual.
In this bizarre world, Barack Obama assumes the mantle of George W. Bush, arguing in court, for example, that his executive powers permit him to ignore the Constitutional protections that our nation extends to those accused of wrongdoing -- that they be detained only after charges have been issued, that they have a right to face their accusers in open court, that they have access to legal counsel, and that they have the right to a speedy trial in which the burden of proof is on the accuser.
Meanwhile, the Republicans present themselves as shocked that the President has not done more to create jobs for blue collar Americans. Ah, yes -- Republicans, the historic champion of the working class. I wonder why it is that even casual voters are disgusted with both parties?
The clear losers in this political miasma are Progressives. The President has announced that he will continue to ignore our well-articulated concerns, and he also will condemn us if his bland political pragmatism fails in the elections of 2010, with the result that an impotent Democratic Party is replaced by an impotent Republican Party.
Progressives are an unrepresented constituency. It is a constituency that Candidate Obama courted ferociously to win the Presidency, and will no doubt court again in the next few weeks. Given the public contempt of President Obama for Progressives, Candidate Obama will have his hands full in that effort.