Friday, November 07, 2008

The Pundits New Mantra: ‘The US Is A Centre Right Country.’

Almost as soon as it became clear that an Obama victory was a real possiblity the pundits have all taken up the same mantra, that America is "a centre right country":

FRED BARNES: In a center right country, I don’t think American people really want the liberal agenda. But they may get it anyway because they’re upset during the financial crisis. [Fox News, 10/11/08]

PAT BUCHANAN: The country is center right. As you can tell by the fact Obama’s been moving to the center as fast as he can. [MSNBC, 10/16/08]

JOE SCARBOROUGH: The country is not center left. It is center right. This country is more conservative than it was when we took over in 1994 after two years of calamitous Democratic rule. It is a center-right country. [MSNBC, 10/29/08]

However, as both pictures on the left clearly show, (Hat tip to Daily Kos), the sections of the country which moved to the left during the 2008 election is much larger than the section of the country which moved to the right.

The Republicans appear to want to restrain Obama's administration before he has even been sworn in by defining the public, which has just voted for Obama, as somehow fearful of the kind of policies which they voted for.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), whose party suffered tremendous losses Tuesday, insisted, "Democrats should not make the mistake of viewing Tuesday’s results as a repudiation of conservatism," adding, "America remains a center-right country."
So, when Bush beats Kerry by 2.47% of the popular vote this is "a mandate" and proof that the United States is a centre right country. And when Obama beats McCain by 6.3% of the popular vote this is proof that Obama does not have a mandate and that the United States is "a centre right country".

In this way the pundits get to tell the public what they fear and who they really are when all the evidence is pointing in the totally opposite direction.

Huge swathes of the country moved to the left in increasing numbers whilst a small cluster in the south moved increasingly to the right. But to the pundits that matters not a jot. The US is a centre right country and Obama better be very careful not to move too far away from the ideology which the public have just rejected in increasing numbers.

Think Progress:
As David Sirota has noted, the idea that Americans are fundamentally conservative is a myth. Indeed, a majority of Americans want progressive solutions to the nation’s problems, supporting universal health care, expanded environmental protections, a higher minimum wage, the availability of safe and legal abortions, federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, and the rights of same-sex couples to be legally recognized. Additionally, a majority opposes the Iraq War.
But, be careful Obama, if you give them what they want you'll be forgetting that the US is still a centre right country and digging your own political grave.


Will Conley said...

Great graphic and commentary. Boy oh boy, I have a somewhat more frightening interpretation of the graphics. Basically the racists in the south are getting angrier. That's my reading. I can back it up by reminding readers of those two little shits that got arrested last month for plotting a racist rampage and assassination. Expect more of them to come out of the woodwork, abetted by occasional thinly veiled incitements to violence by Fox News.

theBhc said...


The Republicans and the media in the US have been holding forth on this ridiculous conceit for years. It is patently false, but they must hold the narrative line! Surely, it cannot be that the example to the world of democracy is that it is "liberal."

Kel said...


I fully expect the racists to get angrier. They are a hate filled bunch.


They have been playing this tired old card for years. It's patently ridiculous that they should make this claim at the very moment that the US has rejected them and their policies.