One of the most puzzling things that those of us in the Rubin wing of the Democratic Party face is that we get no credit for any of the good things we do in the eyes of "centrist" commentators, and the Republicans get no blame for any of the bad things they do in the eyes of "centrist" commentators.
No More Mister Nice Blog tries to explain what is going on:
No More Mister Nice Blog: YES, PAUL, THESE PEOPLE ARE DESTROYING AMERICA, BUT THEY'RE NOT REALLY A CULT OF CENTRISM: I agree that these people bear a great deal of the responsibility for our plight, but I don't really think they're a cult of centrism per se. If Barack Obama had taken office and pursued a genuine left agenda -- large tax hikes on the wealthy, nationalization of failing banks, a return to Glass-Steagall, single-payer health care -- I can guarantee you that any continued economic weakness wouldn't be blamed on "everyone." It would be blamed on liberalism. And the same would go for a debt crisis.
The cult only says that "everyone's at fault" when Republican extremism is at fault. That's because the cult's real problem isn't a lust for centrism -- it's an aversion to acknowledging that Daddy GOP beats us. It's the kind of denial that takes place in households where there's domestic abuse.... At all times, the system accepts the notion that Republicans are good and decent and well-meaning, even in failure (see, e.g., George W. Bush). At all times, it accepts the notion that what Republicans are advocating is within the pale. If Republican extremism becomes so blatantly obvious that it must be acknowledged, extremism on the other side must be found (or invented, or blown up out of proportion), so Daddy GOP won't be charged with abuse -- the story we agree on is that "everyone" was fighting. And we just go on living that way.
Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?