Then, two terms of Ronald Reagan plus another term of George H.W. Bush gave Americans what they wanted: 12 years of conservatism. Mr. Bush was denied a second term mostly because Ross Perot siphoned off his votes. Without Perot, there would have been no Clinton ascendancy.
But even President Clinton's two terms did little to halt liberalism's demise. Indeed, he was complicitous in the conservative effort to peel away the last layers of the New Deal and the Great Society.
Today, some take hope in the popularity of Democratic contender Barack Obama. He is, after all, the most liberal member of the Senate, according to a National Journal ranking.
But today, that distinction seems as quaint as an Amish buggy poking down a Pennsylvania country road.