I, like Duncan, can't stand this term. The wise old men of the Beltway have rendered it meaningless in any real applicable sense.


First, except on a few mostly social issues there really isn't all that much which can be neatly fit into a left-center-right-axis. Mostly centrism is used be elite opinionmakers to denote sensible, set off against real or (more often) imagined "extreme" positions which are of course wrong because anything "extreme" has to be wrong. Except, perhaps, invading countries for no good reason.

Kevin Drum, who is a good friend and an excellent blogger–I think falls into a trap

I hope the liberal blogosphere doesn't get into the habit of automatically trashing centrist positions simply out of pique against some of centrism's more annoying practitioners. After all, trying to govern solely via populist intuition won't work any better than relying on a bunch of blue ribbon commissions.

…that Jane describes

I like Kevin Drum, and if I called up Central Casting and said "send down a Centrist" he'd be the guy they'd dispatch. Reasonable, dad-like, a thoughtful guy who speaks in measured tones and would not look at all ill-suited riding a lawn mower. But these are largely aesthetic considerations, and by-in-large I think it is on this basis that the moniker "centrist" is handed out. And those who considers themselves thoughtful and reasonable assume that they are in the "center" of all things and that other thoughtful, reasonable people should agree with them and are likewise going to be "centrists."


But as I write below, I would actually posit that the real problem is the liberal punditocrisy which reflexively rejects anything that is tainted by its association with grassroots populist sentiment. Particularly now, when many experts were marginalized because they failed to support the war and many liberals of both the netroots and grassroots were proven right, it behooves the establishment to open its minds to thinking from outside the usual suspects in the beltway. That doesn't mean they should trust us liberal bloggers' "guts." We would not ask them to. It means they should stop trusting their own. Their guts, like Bush's, are defective.


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