On this, the 100th day of the Obama presidency, there can no longer be a doubt of what this president has accomplished: the destruction of the Republican Party as we know it. After Senator Arlen Specter's stunning switch in party affiliation, the Republicans in Congress will be reduced to a sputtering stump group of grumpy old white men who just don't get it.
The GOP no longer has room for moderates, and, with this sudden turnabout, Congress will have no room for ideological filibusters -- for those who preach the doctrine of I, me and mine. Self-interest will no longer be deemed a virtue, and society's needs will no longer be the laughing stock of political meetings.
This is an accomplishment as big as any bank relief legislation, health care proposal or even green energy initiative. For the force that transformed the life and welfare of so many Americans, that deregulated markets, that involved us in an unprovoked war, that threatened to sink the economic system of the entire world, is spent. From now on, a new language will be spoken in Congress, the tongue of social responsibility.
Linguists tell us that a similar change in our spoken language occurred sometime in the 16th century. Called the Great Vowel Shift, the English language changed from the way it had been for generations. Instead of having continental values of vowels and consonants, sounding very much like Italian, it became the sprawling, multi-layered, diphthong-laden language we all love.
Such seems to be the case with the economic language Obama is teaching the country right now. Ever since the Reagan Revolution, a certain economic talk -- called free market theory at the University of Chicago and rational choice theory at its birthplace, the RAND Corporation -- has prevailed. It posits that collective decisions are veiled dictatorships, that government is the problem, that consumers are sovereign, that greed is good.
That concept of the invisible hand on steroids is now old talk. And with the conversion of Senator Specter and the most likely victory of Al Franken in Minnesota, with the complete takeover of Congress by Obama's followers, it may soon become as extinct as that old English dialect.