Let’s Get Extreme in 2016

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To put it mildly, the New York Times has not always been America’s best source for balanced political news. That said, the paper offered some sage advice to Democrats following their bloody loss in the 2014 midterm elections:

The Obama years have in effect represented a political trade-off: Democrats largely abandoned the more centrist, line-blurring approach of Bill Clinton to motivate an ascendant bloc of liberal voters. That strategy twice secured the presidency, but in the two midterm races it meant sacrificing the culturally conservative districts and states that had ensured Democratic congressional majorities.

The NY Times, along with USA Today, Business Insider, The Washington Post, and virtually every mainstream outlet that isn’t clamoring for a feminist/socialist takeover of American politics recommended the same strategy. You’ve gone too far to the left, said the analysts, and you’ve lost the voters in the process. Time to buckle down, compromise, and put the liberal agenda on the backburner.

And it seemed, with his relentless campaigning for the 2014 spending bill, that Obama was listening. While conservatives – including this one – have lamented the amount of back-breaking compromise GOP leaders were willing to engage in to get the bill through, the president was also willing to bend a little. He got a lot of what he wanted, of course, but he has at least taken a short break from his throne to re-acquaint himself with the American system of government. It isn’t perfect, but since when is anything in Washington perfect?

The Great Uprising

Apparently even mild concessions on the president’s part were enough to inspire a liberal revolt within the Democratic ranks. After slamming Republicans for shutting down the government in October 2013, the same Democrats were calling for a standoff showdown after seeing the inside of the $1 trillion bill. Concerns over campaign finance and changes to the Dodd-Frank Act have put the liberal wing of the Democrat Party in opposition to the president for the first real time in his White House tenure.

Apparently willing to marginalize their party’s chances of 2016 success, 300 people who used to be on Obama’s campaign staff signed a letter pleading with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president. It has not been lost on commentators how ironic it was that liberals like Warren were opposing the spending bill with every bit the ferocity as conservatives like Ted Cruz.

So, maybe that’s the answer. Let’s duke it out in 2016. Forget the Clintons and the Romneys and the Bidens and the Bushes. Let’s go to the extreme. Let’s have a real national dialogue that ends with a national vote. Do we want an ultra-liberal like Elizabeth Warren to sit in the Oval Office? Do we want a Tea Party guy like Ted Cruz at the helm? Forget about compromise and cronyism and “business as usual.” Let’s have a real referendum on the two major competing ideologies, and let’s see, once and for all, which way America really leans.

At the very least, it could be a lot of fun.