Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

What it all means

I think that Charles Krauthammer has it about right. A few snippets:

[T]he great Democratic wave of 2006 is nothing remotely like the great structural change some are trumpeting. It was an event-driven election that produced the shift of power one would expect when a finely balanced electorate swings mildly one way or the other.

This is not realignment. As has been the case for decades, American politics continues to be fought between the 40-yard lines. The Europeans fight goal line to goal line, from socialist left to the ultranationalist right. On the American political spectrum, these extremes are negligible. American elections are fought on much narrower ideological grounds. In this election, the Democrats carried the ball from their own 45-yard line to the Republican 45-yard line.


[B]oth parties have moved to the right. The Republicans have shed the last vestiges of their centrist past, the Rockefeller Republican. And the Democrats have widened their tent to bring in a new crop of blue-dog conservatives.


The public’s views on what we ought to do with the war remain mixed, as do its general ideological inclinations. What happened on Tuesday? The electorate threw the bums out in disgust with corruption and in deep dissatisfaction with current Iraq policy. Reading much more into this election is a symptom of either Republican depression or Democratic wishful thinking.

Read the whole thing.


Discussions - 7 Comments


Glen Greenwald points this out here, Greenwald on Krauthammer, but it’s worth repeating: this is in some tension with what he said about Bush’s supposedly resounding victory in ’04. Sure would have been nice to hear him say something like this then, when the margin was smaller and the vote totals larger.

I think it was close then and it was close now, but there are certain instutional constraints on majority will that now happen to be favoring Republicans (like the Senate).

Thanks, Joe. I was hoping someone would post this...of all the columns I’ve read, Krauthammer’s relieved the gloom the best. This is a serious situation, but it must be put in perspective.

Now let’s keep our eyes on good ol’ boy Webb in VA. I’m guessing he’ll create quite a number of headaches for the new "ruling party."

I fail to see how the Democratic party has moved to the right. This perception comes from tired minds and wishful thinkers. Knowing they needed some votes from people who had previously voted Republican, they ran a few candidates in some areas who were not completely out of line with conservative sentiments. But let’s see how they vote in Congress, and let’s see what kind of impact they have on the party. I expect little on either score, especially the latter, which is what really counts.

David, I don’t think Krauthammer has a "tired mind" or engages in much wishful thinking. Perhaps these new people will vote in lock-step with Pelosi and Reid, but if they do they will lose reelection. Montana is not a "liberal" state, nor is most of Virginia.

Krauthammer is certainly a bright guy, but everyone is tired sometimes, and everyone is guilty of wishful thinking at times.

John Tester’s conservative agenda:

Supporting renewable and alternative energy sources (biofuels, bitches!)

Raising automobile mileage


Protecting public lands

Country of origin labels for food imports

Affordable health care

Enforcing immigration laws for immigrants and employers

gun rights

A plan to end the war in Iraq

Increasing the minimum wage

Repealing the Patriot Act

Changing Medicare D to allow price negotiation with drug companies

No to social security privatization

Pro stem cell research

Middle class tax relief

And some of this we agree with, and he will have "bipartisan" support for those bits of his agenda (gun rights, tax relief). The rest (cutting and running in Iraq, repealing the Patriot Act)...won’t happen. And in the meantime we’ll be training someone to take his place...bitches! :)

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