Jonah Goldberg looks at crazed fight for the center of politics, and its accompanying language disconnect:
Behold: We have entered the Age When Dinos and Rinos Rule the Earth. See them battle each other for absolute dominion!
Though this might sound like a cool monster mash of the “Mechagodzilla versus Godzilla” variety, it’s a good deal less exciting and more depressing, like a taste test between 2% milk and soy milk. What we are witnessing is the dawn of the boring phase of the Great Republican Realignment, and it promises to have liberals and conservatives alike going bonkers.
I should back up. Dinos, of course, are “Democrats in Name Only.” Rinos are their GOP counterparts. Nobody actually ever admits to being a Republican in name only. Rather, these are epithets used to describe politicians of insufficient ideological purity or partisan backbone. Think David Gergen without the smoldering sexual intensity [Heh–Ed]. Or, if you can’t, think moderates, squishes, apostates, New York Times-pleasing “mavericks,” centrists, and all the others who want to “get beyond labels” or get a standing ovation from the Brookings Institution.
Galloping toward the center is nothing new in American politics. The parties have always regressed to the mean. The center of gravity is in the, uh, center. What’s changed is that the center has