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The very immoderate benevolent overlord Rick Michigan

by: Eric B.

Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 17:51:49 PM EST

Since benevolent overlord Rick Michigan signed Right to Work legislation, the mainstream media that endorsed him has sprinted away from him. He was a moderate Republican in the frame of your Bill Millikens, who was first and foremost interested in results and politicking second. Today, Teh Demas finishes off the job by saying, "Wait, benevolent overlord Rick Michigan never actually said he was a moderate."

This is true. Benevolent overlord Rick Michigan never once said he was a moderate, which at one point led me to suspect that he'd govern in the fashion of a George Bush Jr. rather than a William Milliken. In fact, during the campaign, he said next to nothing because the state's political media was impressed by his unwillingness to say anything and but his willingness to spend money on a Super Bowl ad (that bit so impressed Pete Hoekstra, that he did it himself two years later to somewhat different results).

What I think gave people the impression that he's a moderate is that he's not a dog whistle politician. He doesn't play the political game, which is to say that he's not a rightwing partisan. He's just conservative, although his actions suggest that he's not nearly as conservative as the rest of the loonies who buffed out the GOP's 2010 field were.

She ends with this, which is worth addressing:

A final word. I find great value in centrism and always have, which is one of the reasons I am frequently reviled by both the left and right. In a country that's as polarized as America so often has been, the middle frequently is where policy gets made. But I don't believe in centrism for centrism's sake or trying to appear "balanced" by overzealously calling partisans "moderates" for isolated actions.

If you find great value in centrism because that's where policy is frequently made, that is the very definition of centrism for centrism's sake. The problem is that the center isn't where policy is being made right now, here in Michigan or in Washington. The center has shifted precipitously as the Republican Party has tilted to the right. So, trying to play to the center means playing to a dot that is moving to the right. And, by the way, the same people who are making policy are the same people who thought that Mitt Romney was an iron lock to unseat the president, that we could not raise the debt ceiling without hurting our standing, that arming teachers is the way to prevent mass school shootings, that climate change is a hoak, that tax cuts create revenue, that Terri Schiavo was a minute away from opening her eyes and singing, "Onward Christian soldiers," who question evolution and that a government program started in the 1970s cratered global finance.

At some point, you have to take a stand, not on where policy is actually made, but where policy ought to be made.

Eric B. :: The very immoderate benevolent overlord Rick Michigan
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Dems were willing to play along with the illusion of him being liberal because 1). some actually believed him to be, and 2). some wanted to encourage his better angels against the decidedly and unambiguosly right-wing legislature he was going to have to deal with.  So long as he stayed away from the basic rights of the Third Rail of Michigan politics (unions), people were willing to begrudingly give him a pass.  And, speaking of unions, let's get something straight, because I hear even a lot of Dems with the whole "the UAW is shit/Michigan unions couldn't polick their way out of a paper bag", a majority of Michigan still unequivacally support unions not just in theory but in practice, and certainly the basic rights like collective bargaining and as we've seen, dues-paying for coverage.

The bloom is off the rose, now; the train has left the station.  No one has to pretend, anymore.  No one can pretend, anymore.  Most important, no one is going to pretend, anymore.  I hope everyone feels liberated, now, on both sides.  I also hope this is a lesson to those that believe rich men in politics can't be bought that they, indeed, can be bought.

BTW, while I don't think Teh Demas is as bad as some of the other Lansing talking heads, I find it a bit silly that she is pretending that she didn't play the game, too.  She played it less often than most, but this "I told you so" schtick is kind of rich coming from her.

Same thing Obama did tonight.
We ALL have to give - even though we ALL didn't trash the hotel room.   I think centrists are worse or as bad tea partiers.  All they leave in their path is destruction.  The only measurable is how much.  

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