Peter Wehner in the New York Times:

AMONG liberals, it’s almost universally assumed that of the two major parties, it’s the Republicans who have become more extreme over the years. That’s a self-flattering but false narrative.

This is not to say the Republican Party hasn’t become a more conservative party. It has. But in the last two decades the Democratic Party has moved substantially further to the left than the Republican Party has shifted to the right.

Wehner then goes on to argue with what amount to mostly social policies (gay rights!) and a few other cherry picked issues, to argue that Obama is substantially to Clinton’s left. (Not on immigration, executive power, non-identity-based civil liberties, assassination, and a number of other issues.) He also conflates conservatism with running surpluses (not in living memory), and so on, and ignores Obama’s help in bailing out the rich in an unprecedentedly massive way.

Or look at this beauty:

Those who insist that the Democratic Party’s march to the left carries no political risks might consider the fate of the British Labour Party earlier this month. Ed Miliband, its leader, ran hard to the left.

Miliband, of course, did no such thing. The SNP ran hard to the left, and swept Scotland. Labour ran slightly to the left of the Conservative party, and did terribly.  What Wehner is doing is “creating” facts, attempting to move the major parties rightward, and not leftward.

But I’m not particularly interested in in debunking his ridiculous column; I simply want to note that it exists. This is the creation of the circle of acceptability, which is so vastly important in determining what parties are willing to do when they take power.

Read my earlier article on the British election for a more detailed analysis of how right-wing framing works, and how it is, now, beginning to fail the neo-liberals.

(h/t Tim Armstrong.)

If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.