I've noticed that a lot of people bemoan the Republicans being "taken over" by the far-right. They think the Tea Party is far-right. They think every idea Republicans have is far-right. The term almost doesn't mean anything since so many people conclude it to mean "everything". Ever notice how nobody talks about the far-left? I don't even think most liberals think such a thing exists outside of a few pot-smoking hippies. It's not that the right-wing is extremist or that the Republican party has been hijacked by these extremists. It's that the right-wing has an ideology that goes beyond the next election to speak of, and liberals are only concerned with looking good, tearing down the boogey men on the right, never being blamed for anything. In fact, notice how liberals manage to reject any attempt to saddle them with an ideology. Socialism. Keynesian economics. The principles of Obama's early mentor, Saul Alinsky. Even speaking of "liberalism" in an ideological sense is rejected as harsh language. It's seen as extremism by the far-right crazies to question what so many on the left assume is conventional wisdom. Like the notion that we needed a 2nd round of stimulus spending. Ok why? Why didn't Obama ask for it if it was needed? The HCR bill needed a public option. How are we going to pay for it? Why didn't he refuse to sign a bill that didn't have one? Democrats haven't taken a single hard budgetary vote in the last three years...but it's the far-right wackos who said we shouldn't spend so much that need to be squashed.