Think of this as Volume 14, Number 5 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
The differences among Republicans are only over which Roosevelt they seek to repeal -- Franklin or Theodore.
Poke a Democrat and you will usually get the answer Nixon. It's not so much what Nixon did -- in many ways he was our most liberal President ever. It was how he did it, what I call the Nixon Thesis of Conflict.
The Nixon Thesis is deeply embedded in our political culture now. We assume that politics is war, that every battle is binary, that the other party is an "enemy" that must be destroyed, not a collection of fellow Americans with which we do political battle, then join for a beer. Political reporting is dispatches from the front.
It is this Thesis that Barack Obama is most determined to overthrow. The goal of his politics is to simply repeal Nixon.
This was much in evidence at last night's State of the Union speech. Given recent setbacks in Congress and in Massachusetts, my natural instinct is to fight back. They kick you in the balls, you kick them back, harder.
Kicking them in the balls is what the Netroots were built to do. Howard Dean, Jane Hamsher, Markos Moulitsas, what they have been building online is the liberal equivalent to the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. They believe in something, something completely contrary to what conservatives believe in, and they're determined to fight for it as conservatives do.
I agree with them. I would much rather give my money and time to Moveon.org than to a Democratic National Committee that supports weak sisters like Ben Nelson.