Me, October 2004:
So the result of a Kerry victory would be that policies that are nearly identical to those of the Bush administration would go forward, just as they did under Clinton--but with practically no domestic opposition, and no significant international opposition either. The harm would be all that much greater as a result.
Glenn Greenwald, last week:
Yesterday's speech and the odd, extremely bipartisan reaction to it underscored one of the real dangers of the Obama presidency: taking what had been ideas previously discredited as Republican or right-wing dogma and transforming them into bipartisan consensus. [...] That's the real danger. Obama puts a pretty, intellectual, liberal face on some ugly and decidedly illiberal polices.
Ah, sweet, sweet music.
This is the core (but not always stated) premise of everything I write about domestic US politics: that the Democrats are not only comparable to the Republicans but are actually worse, because they anesthetize opposition both within the country and around the world. This happens in part automatically (because the major source of opposition to Neanderthal policies comes from liberals, and most US liberals automatically identify with and reflexively defend the Democrats) and in part as a conscious Democratic strategy. And while it's true that the Democrats are better in some ways and on some issues, they're not enough better in enough ways to compensate for the extra damage they can do thanks to their ability to neutralize dissent.
This is the first thing I'll explain to a liberal who believes that a single counterexample (abortion! the Supreme Court! gay marriage!) is enough to prove that whatever their faults, Democrats are unquestionably preferable to Republicans. And if there's one good thing about Barack Obama—and it burns my fingers just to type those words—it's that he's making it much, much easier to convince people to give this argument a fair hearing; honestly, it's like he's made it his personal political mission to illustrate just what "a dime's worth of difference" means, right down to the last penny.
Although Greenwald hasn't embraced the full argument yet he's at least on the right path, and I give him credit for continuing to follow his principles where they naturally lead. And no matter what comes of it, it's good to have high-profile liberals explaining to the party's perennially abused base exactly why Democrats are potentially more dangerous than Republicans.