So low and behold, I find out today that Thomas Frank, the current spokesperson for leftist ODS now that no one is paying any attention to Glenn Greenwald, is a former Republican. He validates my theory about all this in his recent column titled: We are such losers.
Frank's point in this article is to suggest various similarities between Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama (apparently they're losers as far as he's concerned). Along the way he demonstrates his white male privileged ignorance by suggesting that the demographic changes we see today will no more shift politics in favor of the Democrats than the wishful post-Watergate assumptions of the 70's. And he actually assumes that President Carter's symbolic gesture to turn down the White House thermostat and dawn sweaters was indicative of his embrace of austerity rather than about energy conservation. That's some major level ignorance!
But overall Frank's message about these two presidents eerily mimics the Republican obsession with the futility of intelligent policies over those steeped in ideology. Here's the money quote at the end.
The moral of this story is not directed at Democratic politicians; it is meant for us, the liberal rank and file. We still “yearn to believe,” as Perlstein says. There is something about the Carter / Obama personality that appeals to us in a deep, unspoken way, and that has led Democrats to fall for a whole string of passionless centrists: John Kerry, Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, Gary Hart and Bill Clinton. Each time, Democratic voters are enchanted by a kind of intellectual idealism that (we are told) is unmoored from ideology. We persuade ourselves that the answer to the savagery of the right—the way to trump the naked class aggression of the One Percent—is to say farewell to our own tradition and get past politics and ideology altogether. And so we focus on the person of the well-meaning, hyper-intelligent leader. We are so high-minded, we think. We are so scientific.Whenever you hear one of these idiots talking about "centrists," its helpful to replace it with "pragmatists." That becomes obvious when, at the end of the quote, Frank mocks the idea that Democrats "are so scientific." In other words, he thinks we're losers because we are wedded to pragmatic ideas that are grounded in science rather than a rigid adherence to ideology.
We are such losers.
All dressed up in his liberal sheep's clothing, Thomas Frank sounds an awful lot like a Republican to me.