Matt Stoller of MyDD dips his toes in the Denial river this week with his piece “The Progressive Convulsions Start,” a twisty turney OpEd that contradicts itself thoughout. Consider his admission in the very first line that “progressives” have been “shut out of the Congressional halls of power” because Ct. Sen. Joe Lieberman was chosen to give the Democratic radio response to Bush on Walter Reed. He then cites other examples to build his case – Russ Feingold “polexed,” John Murtha “sandbagged,” and Sen. Harry Reid’s ultimate act of betrayal – allowing the highly rated FOX News to anchor the Nevade Democratic candidate debate.

He points out the nefarious Rep. Rahm Emanuel (who won the day for Democrats in 2006) is “training” freshman house members in the ways of the DLC, allowing him and Rep. Hoyer to “consolidate” power. He states quite honestly the “progressive” movement didn’t defeat Lieberman last year, and then finally arrives at his conclusion. Despite outwitting “progressives” at every turn, congressional centrists are… ready? Congressional centrists are “exceptionally weak.” Hillary Clinton? Joe Biden? Joe Lieberman? Evan Bayh? Weak. Jim Webb? Jon Testor? Weak. 16 new centrist Democratic house members? Weak. And not only are they weak, Stoller explains, but they arrived in power by “accident.” Apparently poor uninformed voters had no idea who or what they were voting for.

Stoller’s tinfoil hat explanation? These centrists “convinced” progressive voters to “STFU” while they stole power away from “progressives” with big money and connections. Stoller goes on to explain how centrists have no “real base,” even though a January 2005 Gallup poll found 59% of rank and file Democrats want their party to take a more moderate course, a 2006 Zogby poll found 61% of Democrats want their leaders to soften their ideological stances in the spirit of compromise, and a 2006 Pew found self described moderate Democrats outnumber self described liberal ones.

Stoller continues by claiming centrists have an organizational advantage dating back to the mid-1980s (as if Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter all stumbled their way to power without benefit of organizational skills.) “Progressives,” Stoller explains, “haven’t been around for very long” even though they ran a candidate in the 1948 Presidential election against Truman, protested the nomination of John Kennedy, and managed to get George McGovern nominated in 1972.

Finally, and mercifully, he ends his piece with another dubious claim – the centrist hold on power will only last another two years. I suppose 2008 will mark the beginning of that glorious “progressive” revolution we always hear about. One problem, though. CBS exit polls last year show there’s a large chunk of the electorate that is moderate, independent-minded and turned off by partisanship. 47 percent of voters described their views as moderate, 21 percent liberal and 32 percent conservative. And 61 percent of the moderates voted Democratic. Stoller gives no evidence of that trend reversing itself in two years.

Stoller may be merely rallying the troops with hyperbole. Or he may have fallen into a fresh pile of left wing truthiness.

(For Centrist Democratic news and opinion, read DonkeyDigest) 

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