A typical Villager philosophy is that a Democratic President must always throw his liberal base under the bus as soon as he takes office to be taken seriously. That litmus test is never applied to Republicans, though. Was there an outcry that George Bush must buck conservatives to appear legitimate to the American people? Of course not.
THIS WEEK's roundtable turned their attention to the budget today, and Paul Krugman agreed that health-care reform is incredibly important to the state of the economy and something he hopes President Obama gets done. Matthew Dowd pivots away and evokes the Villager Mantra:
Dowd: At some point, in order for him to demonstrate to the American public, he at some point -- soon -- he has to take on some significant constituency of the Democratic Party. If he believes in change and he wants to do things, which may be the health-care debate, which he may have to take on, at some point, a constituency. As of yet, he has taken on no constituency in the Democratic party...
The panel immediately went into a discussion on Obama's Afghanistan War plan, which the left is not at all singing praises over, so Dowd was immediately proved wrong. But the idea that President Obama has to attack his own base is ridiculous and patently false. I wouldn't mind President Obama taking on the Blue Dogs or Evan Bayh's power hungry group, but that certainly wouldn't count in the minds of the Villagers.
Digby writes about this in her post: Soljah Politics
What, you don't recall the press insisting after both Bush elections that he needed to repudiate his most enthusiastic followers as often as possible to maintain his credibility?
Oh wait. Sorry. I'm mistaken. They didn't. They just celebrated the fact that Real Americans had insisted that there would be no oral sex in the white house and that the president would throw strikes at Yankee stadium. Even after the Terry Schiavo circus, they didn't say anything about Sistah Soljahing the Republican base. (I suppose they couldn't --- after all, the Republican base are Real Americans unlike the crazy hippies on the left.)
Dowd has no credibility on this since he helped elect Bush for two terms before he "soured on George." Isn't it interesting when the rats jump off a sinking ship?