We face what appears to be an unprecedented election in 2008: whixh when surveying the field can make one truly miss precedent! Let us briefly survey the existing field of contenders.
The contemporary Democrat Party has long abandoned a moderately conservative or centrist ideology, but at least it used to tease us with trojan horses and/ or second tier candidates who could legitamately profess some independance from the left wing special interests that wholly dominate it. The former category entailed Bill Clinton, who promised "middle class tax cuts"; Al Gore in 88 and Joe Lieberman in 04. The latter category included such candidates as Paul Tsongas, Bob Kerrey, Reuben Askew, Ernest Hollings, John Glenn, and even Gary Hart.
In the post civi rights era, there used to be something known as a Southern Democrat that often played a vital, moderating role on the candidates more aligned to liberal causes. These figures, who generally accepted the broad American poltical mainstream political construct, are fast becoming a remnant of a more innocent, simple time. Viable candidates who resembled this description such as Senator Bayh of Indiana and Governor Warner of Virginia capriciously withdrew from the race out of resignation that their national Party has become an unforgiving, orthodox monolith.
The three leading candidates for the Democrat nomination this year are all embedded with the instincts of the Left. Edwards, Obama and HRC all have their respective roots in agressive liberal activism. John Edwards as anti - business trial attorney, Obama as social advocate, and Hillary as doctrinaire left wing activist. From these three candidates, only Obama can legitimately claim a mantle of some distinction as an outsider who has not been dependent on the usual liberal interest groups. Yet his ideology is basically indistinguishable from the other candidates. Edwards continues his trek from southern political candidate towards his current strongly liberal persona. Ironically, it is HRC who is attempting to present herself as slightly less liberal and less partisan than her opponents. Yet there are few politicians of note who can claim a more unequivocal, ardent, Leftist pedigree than she can. Who in the 90s could have imagined that the Madame DeFarge of American politics could credibly attempt to position herself this way? Perhaps she deserves great credit for the effort, but all tactics aside, there is no substantive challenge to HRC's radical past or liberal establishment present from the center.
The reality is that the liberal monolith Democrat Party will go unquestioned from within in 08. It is this fact more than any other that, even in the wake of a very unpopular Republican Presidential tenure, could usher in another four years of a Republican White House.