Jonathan Cohn makes the good point that Obama's speech on Wednesday is unfortunately going to be seen as the left most position in the debate which makes a compromise between his plan and Ryan's the "juuust right" sweet spot. Cohn rightly suggests that tit would be helpful to have a leftward plan that incorporates left wing values the same way Ryan's plan incorporates Ayn Rand's wet dreams. . . .This "leftward plan" that would incorporate "left wing values" would call for raising certain taxes, a single-payer health care system, decreased military spending and so on. Digby continues:
The problem, unfortunately, is that when anyone sets forth a truly liberal plan like Cohn proposes, they are not only met with shrieks of horror from conservatives, establishment liberals and Democratic third-way centrists stalk them like a pack of hyenas and marginalize them as outside the "mainstream" and assure everyone who will listen that they are not "serious." You may have noticed that Paul Ryan's lunacy is not similarly treated by his own. Indeed, it's not even similarly treated that way by liberals. . . .Of course, there already is such a "leftward plan" that incorporates "left wing values." It's called the platform of the Green Party. Last year, Green party candidates campaigned on a plan called the Green New Deal. Among the primary planks of the plan are single-payer healthcare, reduced military spending and progressive tax reform. The problem, of course, is that anytime someone sets forth a truly liberal plan like that proposed by the Greens, they are met not only with shrieks of horror from conservatives, establishment liberals and the liberal-left base of the Democratic party, the netroots marginalize them as outside the "mainstream" and assure everyone who will listen that they are not "serious." Indeed, the battered spouses of the Democratic party such as those in the netroots consistently go out of their way to exclude Greens who can be readily identified as persons of the left, and rush to the cameras and their publications to assure their fellow liberals that these Greens have no support. Beaten into submission by their abusers, the battered spouses of the Democratic party chose to kick the dog rather than take independent action to escape the abuse.
The fact is that there is no liberal establishment willing to validate liberalism. Indeed, for reasons only they can tell us, they almost always go out of their way to exclude anyone who can readily be identified as a person of the left and rush before the cameras and into print to reassure America that they have no support. I have my theories about why that might be, but suffice to say it's a fairly easily documented phenomenon. There is simply no space in the establishment political dialog for explicitly left policy or rhetoric.