A reader writes:
Now that we have the benefit of almost a year of track record, which you didn't have when you wrote in January, we can say that your headline, at least, was wrong. Yes, Obama takes a liberal position on some issues. But he also takes what is, on any reasonable definition of the term, a conservative approach on other issues. He is, in short, a moderate.
And that, I suspect, is what really frightens the far-right.
Because a political realignment towards the center would be a far greater threat to them than a realignment which went all the way to the left. After Reagan, the Democrats had to break down and nominate a fairly conservative candidate (Clinton) before they could win an election. After Obama, the Republicans won't face nominating a liberal candidate, which would be unlikely any time soon. But they would face having to nominate a moderate candidate -- which would mean taking the party out of the control of the would-be theocrats and giving it back to the center-right which controlled it pretty much from 1952-1992.
And that, in contrast, is a real possibility.