Let's leave the TV non-thinking heads aside, and our criticism of them. Truth is, they aren't much worth noting, even though I'm still in the habit of watching them. Party line stuff that doesn't even come up to the level of good propaganda, says nothing teaches nothing. And I include my side in this. No wonder young people don't watch any of this, and ever fewer older ones do, as the ratings reveal.
The two questions are: What does VA and NJ (and NY23) mean for Obama and/or the Democratic progressive agenda, and what does this mean for the GOP both substantively and electorally over the next few election cycles? The second question can't be answered without taking a shot at the first. Michael Barone
makes some assembled numbers meaningful. And Jonah Goldberg
opines that even though Obama remains personally popular, his agenda is not (Rush Limbaugh needs to understand this perfectly honest tension within the American electorate's soul; they like the chief but not his policies; this is not the first time this has happened). So this is certainly the end of cap and trade and probably of health care reform. Furthermore, if the Dems don't pass some kind of health care reform, they are likely to lose at least the House in 2010 because they will have revealed that they cannot govern, even with super-majorities in Congress. Because the Dems now know this, they are likely to try to push and shove health care reform (any kind of health care reform, public option, no public option, abortion, no abortion) through within the next few weeks. So this could be very messy. And ironically, the GOP will have very little to do with it. In other words, the so-called moderate Dems (especially in the House) will either decide to stop it or not. And their decision will be based either on principle or self-preservation in 2010 election, or both. Sometimes justice is the same as self-interest. This will be fun to watch.