(Rhetorical) Change They Can Believe In

Hullabaloo blogger digby deflates (11/21/08) what she says “has actually been an article of faith among the gasbags for a very long time”:

Until recently, what they proclaimed (without qualification) was that this was a “conservative country.” The election of a Democrat with a popular mandate required them to change their rhetoric. But it hasn’t changed their belief.

Here’s historian and highly respected thought leader Jon Meacham just before the election: “It is easy–for some, even tempting–to detect the dawn of a new progressive era in the autumn of Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency…. But history… tells us that Democratic presidents… usually wind up moving farther right than they thought they ever would, or they pay for their continued liberalism at the polls.”…

This is an article of faith among the political establishment. In fact, it’s one of the greatest successes of the conservative movement to persuade these villagers that Democratic presidents are doomed to failure before they even begin.

In digby’s eyes, this “is just their way of preserving their belief system in the face of a repudiation by the people.”