The massive suckitude of centrists: It's all about the Rolodexes
It's all about the Rolodexes.
With our famously free press, it really is that simple. All the capital the Beltway 500 has is in their Rolodexes: those relationships. And since the names in those Rolodexes are all either Republicans, Republican enablers, or DINOs, it's only natural that the 500 would continue to book them, quote them, and teabag them. It's kinda like refusing to sell your house when the housing market's collapsing.
And it's the same deal with the (loser) Beltway Dem consultants. They have an interest in keeping Democratic numbers as close as possible to Republican numbers, because they try make their money at the margins, by taking big bucks for eking out small victories. Their capital is in their Rolodexes too, except instead of "sources," they have pollsters, media buyers, bad media producers, etc. And they've got the classic unethical consultant's gig: Sucking dollars out of a client by treating symptoms, but never causes. (Because if they ever solved the problem, the money flow would stop. Right?)
Both these happy, comfortable denizens of the Beltway cesspool (Carville, Hillary; Wittman, Lieberman) are under threat from two fronts: the netroots, and the 50 state strategy. Remember, a functional Democratic party apparatus at the state level, driven by citizen involvement, means the Beltway consultants are fucked; there's no money for consultants in a system that works. It also means the press is fucked, because they might actually have to interview people who don't serve them free food.
And the code word for keeping the the Democratic loser consultants and the Republican enabling press in business and at the cocktail weinie table is:
And "centrism" is also code for denying the Democrats their natural governing majority; a majority which would turn the value of their Rolodexes to zero. Or possibly less than zero. Since being associated with the Clusterfuck that is the criminal Bush regime, let alone enabling or supporting it, really should be a negative. A big fat negative.
Wait a minute. What was that I just wrote?
"Natural governing majority" for Democrats? Bien sur! Shit, the Republicans know this already. They wouldn't be working so hard to suppress Democratic votes otherwise, eh?
What has enabled the ludicrous notion that Centrists are not only important, but the winners of election 2006?
Let's look at the WaPo article that inspired this post, starting with the ludicrously bad headline Iraq Group a Study In Secrecy, Centrism.
Only in the intellectual vacuum that is the Beltway could a plan to allow Republicans to consolidate the authoritarian gains of the criminal Bush regime be decribed, with a straight face, as Centrist.
Only in the Beltway could a bald admission that the Republicans, despite--or because of--their iron control over three branches of government, made it impossible for government to function be treated as support for Centrism:
In the history of U.S. foreign policy, there's been nothing like it: a panel outside government trying to bail the United States out of a prolonged and messy war.
Sweet Jeebus. There's never been anything like it because there's never been an administration like this one. Bush really is the worst President ever. Call me crazy, but if the criminal Bush regime were a functioning government, we wouldn't need a panel outside government to address basic issues of war and peace, now would we?
And only in the Beltway could a Constitutional crisis be hidden under a banner with a strange device:
There are many other amazing inconsistencies in Robin Wright's wide-eyed article. This is a beauty:
... the 10 commissioners -- five Republicans and five Democrats.
And then there's this. First we have:
It was at times an intellectual free-for-all, participants said.
Then there's this:
All the experts wanted to make sure Baker, who is still closely connected to the Bush family, was in the room when they spoke. Several noted his telltale body language, which could dismiss a comment with as little as a raised eyebrow.
"We were all reading his face. If someone was expounding on something, Baker would get a distant look. He made clear he was not willing to go down that road," said an expert who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the final report has not been released.
Well, which is it? Experts speaking their minds freely, or sycophants waiting for Baker to twitch an eyebrow? I know which option I think is correct...
NOTE Glenn Greenwald has more.