The 90s were a delightfully wonky era when serious center-left political types spent lots of time debating lots of things.
Funny, I don't remember it that way. But then I suppose it depends on what he means by "center-left".
A lot of that "debate" was Clinton and the technocrat-centrists doing their triangulation schemes, the grassroots left busting them on it, and then the Clintonoids telling them to STFU.
Sorry, but a policy debate between the Washington Monthly crowd and the American Prospect bunch isn't much of a debate. Centrists aren't bad because they are centrists; they suck because they present themselves as the only "serious" liberals out there. And what this does is plays directly into the hands of the wingnuts, who are actually far-far-rightwing; the average centrist engages a wingnut, legitimates the wingnut position.