12/07/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This Day In 'Center-Right' Schizophrenia

Ever since the American people flocked to the polls and pulled the lever for a change in direction, specifically toward a more progressive set of policies and principles than the ones we'd been getting under George W. Bush and were offered by John S. McCain, right-tilting pundits have fallen all over themselves to insist that the United States remains some sort of "center-right" nation - this despite the fact that positions they once advertised as "extreme," like ending the Bush tax cuts and withdrawing from Iraq, are now, quite clearly, embraced fully as mainstream positions.

Nevertheless, the rightward chatterers prattle on. Matt Yglesias, who's been a two-day strong clearinghouse of push-back on the center-right myth, compiles this video of people insisting on the conventional wishful thinking.

Of course, none of this explains how the Obama got to be the candidate who, in Karl Rove's words, "smartly and wisely ran a campaign" that emphasized how center-right everyone was, TWO DAYS after being branded far and wide as a socialist radical. Alan Colmes actually called Karl Rove out on this!

ROVE: Let's make it clear: He ran a center-right campaign. He said -

COLMES: Center-right? He was accused of being a radical socialist.

ROVE: Well, if you dug in.

Unfortunately, Hannity interrupts with some blather, so we never get to learn precisely how many licks it takes to go from the hard radical Communist lollipop shell to the chewy center-right goodness inside (or vice-versa - it's sort of hard to follow!) and that's too bad! The answer would have likely been the "cold fusion" of political science. Ultimately, though, it sort of leaves you with the impression that...sorta...Karl Rove...maybe...doesn't really have a gollydarned clue what he's talking about!

For my money, though, the one guy more out of touch than all the Mynah Birds of the Center-Right is Joe Lieberman. Back when his GOP friends were prevailing against radical community organizers, he was on stage at the Republican National Convention telling the audience that "Senator Barack Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who I think can do great things for our country in the years ahead." Two days ago, as those same GOP pals started polishing their best "center-right" arguments in advance of a certain McCain defeat, Lieberman was tacking in the opposite direction, telling Glenn Beck that he had a "fear" that America "would not survive" if the Democrats succeeded on Election Day. Now today, he doesn't seem to know what he wants to do. At this point, I have no idea who Lieberman should be caucusing with! Maybe it's time he went on home, to caucus with himself.