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The Center-Right Nation Exits Stage Left

Today's Democrats may well overreach in much the same way that Republicans did after they won their congressional majority in 1994, when they took the "center" out of center-right. If so, Democratic hubris will create opportunities for the GOP to get a hearing.

And so far, center-left government is largely an abstraction for the country. People like the sound of it, especially against the backdrop of a financial crisis and recession. In these center-left times, voters are receptive -- or rather, it is their receptiveness that makes these times center-left. But whether they will like the new Obama tilt in practice remains to be seen.

So Republicans should not despair. They will have plenty of time to work up a critique of Obama's policies as they unfold. But Republicans should not count on Democratic failure -- and they certainly should not regard it as inevitable because of a conservatism they impute to an electorate that has, shall we say, moved on.

Tod Lindberg is a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and the editor of Policy Review. He was an informal foreign policy adviser to the McCain campaign.

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