Being a centrist independent, it’s strange to watch the folks inside the two major parties wring their hands when their own more ideologically extreme members flip out over things like Obama’s vaguely center-left budget speech.
Apparently some left wingers in the Democrats’ shrinking tent are screaming even louder for a primary challenge to Obama next year, since his speech wasn’t sufficiently, purely liberal / progressive. Somewhere along the line they haven’t noticed that Obama is just a regular liberal, not left wing, and he does compromise at times (which he said he’d do on the campaign trail).
It’s amazing that Nancy Pelosi is even in the position as the Dems’ leader in the House still, following her leading their caucus to a tidal wave of a defeat. But as the budget compromise deal passed the House, she communicated disdain for the bill, and that the negotiations had included the less-far-left Harry Reid, Obama and Speaker Boehner.
She must not have gotten the memo that she wasn’t the head honcho in the House anymore, which is odd, given that she led her party into the minority.
These are the consequences of losing elections. The Democrats lost huge majorities because they lost the swing vote that gave them the majority in 2006, and the White House in 2008. They did that, largely through completely ignoring moderates, centrists and independents.
The right has a bit more momentum on the budget issue, and the public leans a bit more conservative on fiscal issues in some ways as well. That Pelosi and the progressive left in the House refuse to accept that reality and try to get what they can from a compromise rather than having hissy fits is both telling and disappointing.