The Risk Of Centrism

In this 1996 article, Thomas Edsall lamented Clinton's move to the center:

Clinton's presence in the White House has facilitated the work of the conservative revolutionaries in a way that a fully Republican-controlled government could not have. In his bargaining with the congressional leadership Clinton has moved much further to the right than Ronald Reagan would have considered doing. In the past year Clinton has attempted to structure his Administration as a rearguard holding action, protecting whatever possible of the liberal state. In practice, however, he has been a crucial, if unknowing, participant in an assault on that very state. For both the public and the press, the bipartisan nature of the debate in Washington gives the prospective outcome a legitimacy and a protective cover that would not be possible if a Republican were in the White House with Republican majorities in the House and the Senate.

That's why I liked his substantive legacy, of course. And why Bush's resurrection of massive, profligate government drove me and so many others up the wall.