Charles Lane, who I’d never heard of but works at the Washington Post Brain Trust, settles it once and for all: Obama really is a socialist and Michele Bachmann, et al., aren’t that extreme.
If Democrats saw Obama’s 2008 victory as a chance to build a progressive majority, they have so far failed to capitalize. Gallup recently asked Americans to rate their ideology on a liberal-to-conservative scale of 1 to 5. The average result was a right-of-center 3.3.
More alarming for Obama, voters scored him at 2.3, to the left of center — and put Mitt Romney at 3.5. Every other GOP contender was to the right of the mean, except Jon Huntsman, who hit the ideological bull’s-eye. But even Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann came closer to the middle than Obama did.
Of course, the election is not a popularity contest[…]