Dionne attempts the debugabooification of Obama as "some new, leftist tribune":
His preschool proposal, after all, is modeled in part on the success of a program in Oklahoma, one of the nation’s reddest states. Most of the president’s initiatives involve modest new spending and many, including his infrastructure and manufacturing plans, are built on partnerships with private industry.
Even the president’s welcomed call to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour and to index it to inflation was cautious by his own standards. In 2008, Obama had urged a $9.50 minimum wage, and it rightly ought to be set at $10 or above.
Yet Dionne's is a sober, realistic portrayal more suited for historical perspective than sharply contrasted politics, while the GOP bugabooers prefer intoxicated caricatures more suited for yesterday's politics than electoral victory. The recent spectacles of Rubio, Rand and McConnell all feigning the moderate vapors over Obama's leftist re-radicalization have been pathetic at best; at their partisan worst, the spectacles are the death throes of a party that simply knows not what to do.
That is not to say the Republican Party won't figure this out, however. For there are other spectacles, too, such as Haley Barbour's frontal assault on the "purity" freaks and Chris Christie's open embrace of the bugabooers' bête noire, President Obama. This minority faction's biggest headache at the moment is not, as reported, the American electorate--Barbour, Christie & Co. knows, as Obama knows, that America is still a fundamentally conservative nation--but the Republican primary system, which, if left unmolested by the rules-jiggerers, will keep spitting out its Akinses and Mourdocks and Iowan disasters like demons from hell.
This internal power struggle is for now rather sickly in comparison to the primordial Goldwater Revolt that inexorably ensured it, although few are failing to recognize it for the civil war it is. Yet the Goldwater Revolt began not only as a propaganda offensive but as an inside job--the creative manipulation of party rules and delegate-selection; maneuverings much below virtually everyone's radar--as could the rebellious revanchism of today's minority faction.