Angry Moderates

ANGRY MODERATES….One of the things that mainstream pundits have missed in the great “Why Do Democrats Hate Bush?” debate is the nature of so many of the Democrats who hate Bush: they’re moderates.

Angry liberal writers Paul Krugman and Al Franken? Much closer to Bill Clinton and the DLC than to the left wing of the party. Angry liberal candidate Howard Dean? As many commentators have pointed out, his policy positions are pretty centrist. Angry liberal bloggers Atrios and, um, me? In both cases, rhetoric aside, our underlying positions are not wildly liberal.

If the only people who loathed Bush were fringe Greens like Ralph Nader, it would be easy to dismiss them. But shouldn’t serious conservatives be asking themselves why longtime moderates feel such antipathy toward George Bush and what he’s doing? That maybe there’s a little more to it than just an emotional reaction to his personality?

The answer is pretty simple: personalities aside, it has become obvious since he took office that, far from being a “uniter not a divider,” George Bush is in fact (a) radically conservative and (b) does everything he can to hide the fact.

For more on this, moderate environmentalist Rick Bass explains Bush’s environmental program and center-leftist Jack O’Toole explains the difference between substance and sleight of hand to Howard Kurtz. They both speak for me as well.

Washington Monthly - Donate Today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation