Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fearing the Left? Why?

Since people I respect are happy enough with Sotomayor's selection for the Supreme Court, I'm fine with it too. Certainly Obama didn't give Latinos much in the Cabinet, so this is good politics as well.

But of course there's been much consternation about Obama ignoring truly progressive candidates. The reason is obvious, as Bernard Nussbaum, Bill Clinton's former White House counsel states: “I don’t think that he’s worried about the left. I think he’s doing the same thing [appointing moderate justices] we did."

I'm sure Obama's not worried about the left. What is the left going to do? Since the progressive blogosphere believes he's their president and try to cheer him on when they can (despite frequent disappointments), Obama can basically completely ignore progressives in making these decisions.

Now, you'd think one lesson the Democratic Party took from 2000 was that you can't piss off the left too often or they might lash out. And maybe that's true. But with the possible exception of labor, who should be really angry at Obama right now, none of Obama's main constituencies have shown any inkling of revolting. Without that threat, why wouldn't Obama go toward the center?