On the op-ed page of The New York Times, Peter Wehner, who's worked in a couple of Republican White Houses, tendentiously makes the case that it's Democrats and not Republicans who have become ideological extremists, all based on a comparison of the Obama and Clinton presidencies. Wehner does demonstrate that there's been a drift leftward, though not a particularly extreme one, especially given where the country is right now on most of the issues he discusses. (If the Obama administration is more tolerant on, say, drug legalization, that's hardly an example of getting ahead of the public.)
But then there's this:
While Mr. Clinton ended one entitlement program (Aid to Families With Dependent Children), Mr. Obama is responsible for creating the Affordable Care Act, the largest new entitlement since the Great Society. He is the first president to essentially nationalize health care.
Really? That's an example of Democrats' drift to the left since the nineties -- the fact that President Obama got a national health care plan enacted?
Did no one at the Times gently remind Wehner that there were, um, efforts made toward enacting a similar national health care program when Bill Clinton was president? Really, it was in all the papers. It was a big deal at the time. A good editor might have saved Wehner from this embarrassing memory lapse -- unless, of course, Wehner's memory is intact and he's hoping his readers won't remember. But he's too honorable a gentleman to pull a stunt like that, right?
UPDATE: Ed Kilgore gives Wehner's op-ed the thorough debunking it deserves.