At least in economic policy, progressives like Barack Obama are deeply conservative. They want industries, jobs, real earnings, and class positions to be stable and predictable. No one ever believes me when I say this, but look at the policies. Trade protectionism protects current industry incumbents and workers, at the cost of poorer future performance due to lack of competition. Unions attempt to lock in current jobs through numerous controls on work rules, slow or stop changes in technology and work processes that have the effect of eventually castrating the company (think GM). Socialized medicine tries to lock in the current standard of care for everyone, while reducing the possibility of future improvements. Redistribution attempts to lock in the current standard of living for everyone while reducing the possibility of future improvements. I discussed this more European model last week.
I like how Shannon Love summarized it in the context of Obama:
Obama has no concept of business as a creative and experimental endeavor. On some deep unconscious level, he assumes that material wealth is something akin to a natural phenomenon for which no group of humans can take credit. Therefore, he sees distribution as the only serious economic issue and ignores how politics interferes with the actual process of wealth creation.
I always laughed at Democrats that tried to woo me to their party. Now I laugh at Republicans too. MoveOn may get mileage out of attacking Bush, but he has done more for the left/liberal cause than Clinton. Clinton had NAFTA, welfare reform, and (moderated by an aggresive Republican Congress) fiscal sanity.