Maybe it's underreported because it hasn't really happened. The Democratic Party has moved to the left but that does not represent the entire country.
It's a paradox: the political center has clearly shifted; what used to be considered "left wing" positions have now become part of the mainstream, and the views of the Right are now at odds with the majority of the American public -- and with reality.
Yet, despite this seismic shift -- grossly underreported by the media -- the Right remains as powerful as ever when it comes to setting the national agenda and dominating the national debate.
Think about it: on Iraq and the exercise of American power, on economic fairness, on corporate responsibility, on the environment and climate change, on the universal right to healthcare, the progressive policies and positions long championed by the left have moved from union halls and MoveOn emails to the sidewalks, backyards, and kitchen tables of Main Street, USA.
This is true - if people are reading the Huffington Post on their kitchen tables.
Healthcare has been an issue since 1990. A version known as Play or Pay was almost implemented under Bush-41. Then came HillaryCare. Had Gore won the 2000 election we would have been presented with AlCare and probably rejected it.
Polls show that most people are concerned about climate change but that they put it very low on their priorities. Right now the price of gas is at or near the top. Imagine how popular climate change will be when people find out how much more they will pay for gas once carbon taxes are applied.
Economic fairness and corporate responsibility sound nice. Translate them into specific policy proposals and see how popular they are.
Nor are there two sides to the proposition that Iraq is our generation's greatest foreign policy disaster. It is. Period. Full stop.
Arianna wants us to run from Iraq as fast as possible. Even if you accept everything that she says about the invasion of Iraq (and I don't), this would dwarf it as a foreign relations disaster. The British pull-out is Basra showed this on a small-scale.
Besides, why wouldn't al Qaeda want McCain to win? He's running to give a third term to George Bush, whose disastrous policies have been the terrorists' best recruitment tool.
This has been an article of faith among the left for years. Fortunately for the world, it isn't true. Winning is the best recruiting tool. We are currently seen as winning and al Qeada is having real trouble recruiting because of it. If fact recent polls show that the world in general has a poor opinion of al Qeada because they stirred up the US. On the other hand, if we pull out then they will be seen to have won and recruitment will soar.
The third factor in the continuing power of the loony Right is the abject, across the board failure of our political leadership to adjust to the fact that the game of "right versus left" has been rendered obsolete by the emergence of a new and vital center. But political movements and political shifts do not fully succeed without bold political leadership -- and if we ever needed that kind of leadership, it is now.
Where is this center? It isn't in Washington. The right still controls the White House and the Supreme Court tilts right. Democrats have a small majority in the House but most of that comes from newly elected moderates - people to the right of Arianna's imagined "new center". The Senate is so closely divided that the Democrats only have a majority because a member they rejected still caucuses with them (Lieberman). None of this signifies a national move to the left any more than the Democratic gains in 1986. Back then the sainted Reagan had similar losses in Congress but the Democratic challenger still lost in 1988. For all of Bush's unfavorable ratings, McCain is in a statistical dead heat with both Obama and Clinton.
The most unintentionally funny part of Arianna's rant is this:
The dynamic between the dithering Democrats and the reality-be-damned Republican Right calls to mind that great line from Yeats: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity."
If the worst are defined by passionate intensity then she must not be paying attention to the Huffington Post, MoveOn, Kos, etc. They get really passionate.
This is really just a leftist attack on the press. Neither side is happy with press coverage but their approach is quite different. The right points to specific examples, often the lead stories and the network anchors. The left deals in generalities. After each loss they complain that the press wasn't a strong enough advocate on their behalf. Arianna seems to be demanding that the press stop covering things that she doesn't think are important.
That's the beauty of a free press. If you don't like the way that the cover things then you can start a rival. You can even name it after yourself and invite your friends to contribute. But you can't tell other media what to cover and you can't tell people what to watch.In a recent interview on 20/20, Arianna implied that when they are in charge, this will change:
STOSSEL: This makes Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly very powerful if they can do this.
HUFFINGTON: They are very powerful, but they will not be as powerful after we finish dealing with them. [LAUGHS]