Mencius Moldbug: Most of progressivism's power is a consequence of its ability to manage public opinion. It can do this because it controls the educational system--schools, universities, and press. There are no elections for teachers, professors or journalists. They will be the same individuals whether the new president in 2009 is Barack Obama, John McCain, David Duke or Jeremiah Wright. The same is true of progressivism's other power base, the permanent civil service, which is also untouchable by "politics," i.e., democracy. Civil servants are nominally employees of the President, but that doesn't mean the White House can actually manage them. Typically the best it can do is frustrate them and make them ineffective, and this produces bad press, which harms the administration.
This is how Washington has worked since the 1930s. It is a machine designed to be immune to electoral politics. (It is also immune to reality, from which it steadily grows more detached.) But it is also designed to work in the presence of political opposition, which it belittles and denigrates at every turn.