E.J. Dionne (via the Sacramento Bee) write about Obama's grand plans, how they seems to be moving forward -- pretty successfully so far -- and what it means to the lunatic far-right and their possible, permanent isolation in political wilderness:
Bill Clinton tried to create a Third Way. Now, President Barack Obama is doing it. This is exciting but also disconcerting.Also, if you have a chance, check out DKos's nirbama's great piece on Dionne's editorial, Dionne: Obama Succeeding in Isolating GOP...
Over the last week, the true nature of Obama's political project has come into much clearer view. He is out to build a new and enduring political establishment, located slightly to the left of center but including everyone except the far right. That's certainly a bracing idea, since Washington has not seen a liberal establishment since the mid-1960s.
"Liberal establishment," of course, sounds terrible to many ears, and Obama would never use the term. But those who led it in its heyday accomplished a great deal, from Medicare to food stamps to Head Start to federal aid for schools. Its proudest achievements were civil rights laws that paved the way for the election of our first African American president.
And in the next phase of his security efforts, Obama hopes to bring civil libertarians and moderate conservatives to the same table to work out rules on detainees. These would be more protective of their rights than Bush's were but tougher than the American Civil Liberties Union might have in mind.
The establishment Obama is trying to build would make the country better – more equal, more just and more conscious of the government's constitutional obligations. The far right is being isolated, and Republicans are simply lost.