The Economist interviews Richard Posner. In response to a question about whether Obama will take the country too far left and give the GOP an opening, he says:

President Clinton in effect co-opted the conservative agenda; I have often referred to him as the consolidator of the Reagan revolution. His economic policies were conservative, but he also supported capital punishment and welfare reform, though obviously the control of Congress by the Republicans was a big factor in the latter. His judicial appointments were generally of moderates, and the two liberals whom he appointed to the Supreme Court were less liberal than the justices they replaced. If the current administration moves the country left, conservatives will be able to campaign from a position of responsible conservatism, rather than pushing a conservative agenda beyond reasonable bounds in order to differentiate conservatism from the centrist policies of moderate Democrats.

Posner channels my thoughts. But how to restrain the hardcore authoritarianism at the base? Maybe in 2016, if Obama pulls this off. Then again, there's always Joe Scarborough.

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