Chait's entry last week about Obama as the GOP's next slated conservative--"But you know who really does have a scary socialist agenda threatening to destroy all we hold dear about America? Hillary Clinton"--is spot on, partly because, as Chait notes, the Republican Cause of fear-escalation requires such recalibrations of old fears to make room for the new, but also because presidential histories will instantly grasp the frame as essentially correct.
Chait guesses at the GOP's future, reset assessment of President Obama as "a prudent moderate, seeking to expand government only when there is demonstrable need and the opportunity for a bipartisan solution."
Yes, the GOP's revisionist hypocrisy will be breathtaking. But the revisionism itself will be perversely apt, will it not? And that really does throw into question the ideological meaning of modern progressivism. Is it, in deed, the new conservatism, which is the far older conservatism merely masquerading as progressivism? And if this is so--which I would agree is the case, and, apparently, so would Chait--whither a distinctly defined progressivism?