Reason editor Matt Welch has a long essay noting that the oppositional stance of center-left opinion journalism, embodied by the New Republic and the Washington Monthly, has disappeared. Those magazines once critiqued Democrats from the right, advocating a policy loosely called "neoliberalism," and now stand in general ideological concord.
Why? I'd say it's because the neoliberal project succeeded in weaning the Democrats of the wrong turn they took during the 1960s and 1970s. The Democrats under Bill Clinton -- and Obama, whose domestic policy is crafted almost entirely by Clinton veterans -- has internalized the neoliberal critique.
Welch never entertains this possibility. To a doctrinaire libertarian like Welch, it's self-evidently true that the Democrats are as left wing as ever, and that the lack of a critique from the right by liberal writers proves they have moved left. But the examples he holds up -- TNR writers endorsing universal health care, gun control, and updating the minimum wage to keep pace with inflation -- disprove his case. TNR and the Monthly always supported those things.
Ironically, there is a good example of TNR moving left: foreign policy, where it really does advocate a less interventionist worldview than it did a decade ago. But Welch holds even more anti-interventionist views, so while he mentions the change, he can't use it.
Readers of Reason will think it's obviously true that extremist Barack Obama is plunging the United States toward socialism, and will nod their head at Welch's lament that "neoliberal economic ideas" are "currently out of ." Meanwhile, the Democratic president keeps begging Republicans to accept entitlement spending cuts in return for tax reform, and figures like Robert Rubin keep offering domestic plans to the left of his.