writes claims
This passage from his article surprised me: This veneration of centrism created an atmosphere in which Democratic unity was impossible. Democrats who unequivocally opposed the Bush administration's agenda were not, by definition, "centrists." And so, during the early Bush years, Democrats eager to preserve their standing as moderates often found themselves acquiescing to a conservative agenda that, not long before, would have been considered far outside the mainstream. Chait wrote something rather different in 2003: The fallacy underlying Dean's argument is that Democrats in Washington have gone along with Bush's policies rather than resist them. . . . Most congressional Democrats have held fast in opposition to Bush's conservative agenda. On postEnron reforms, the patients' bill of rights, campaign finance reform, homeland security spending, judicial nominations, oil-drilling in Alaska, and other issues, they have formed a fairly unified bloc. . . . Why, then, do so many Democrats believe their party has acceded to Bush's policies? It sounds as though his perspective on the early Bush years has changed, although I'm not sure why it would have.
Jonathan Chait