This post is a must-read: “THANK GOD FOR TALK RADIO!”
So: Politics 101. Stake out an ultra-extreme position so that when the rest of your party endorses a merely extreme position it looks like it’s a moderate compromise.
Question: why don’t liberals do this? The stock answer is that we’re wimps, but I don’t think that’s it. At least, not always. I think the answer is talk radio. Our extremists don’t succeed in redefining the playing field because there’s no institutional infrastructure behind them that converts lunacy into political pressure.
Yes, progressives need to develop an infrastructure to get their message out to the public. The progressive movement needs infrastructure organizations to research and develop ideas and articulate these ideas in ways that resonate with the public- thereby creating demand for progressive policies and candidates.
Go read more about progressive infrastructure here and here. And here is Seeing the Forest’s collection of posts on the subject of progressive infrastructure.