"This Week's Shellacking Was A Bit Lacking"
In USA Today, Jonah Goldberg places the midterms into perspective:
Now that the midterm elections are over, and the GOP has lost the House and possibly the Senate, the Republicans like the referendum spin after all. This was just a year to throw the bums out, they say, and a few scandal-plagued bad apples cost the barrel a whole bunch. Meanwhile, the Democrats insist that voters made a bold "choice for change," whereas before, change merely meant "not Bush."I'm not at all positive that this is merely a two-year timeout, particularly in the Senate, where, as I understand it, far more Republicans are up for re-election in 2008 than Democrats. But on the other hand, immediate post-election actions such as this and this make it sound like it's back to the radical chic 1970s for Democrats, and not towards the center, where the bulk of the electorate seem to be.
Update: More here:
Sen. Evan Bayh, a veteran Indiana Democrat, said Tuesday’s election was a vote against the status quo and not an affirmation of his party’s agenda.Gee, you think?
Another Update: Charles Krauthammer adds, "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 ultra-nationalist 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.Not surprisingly, I agree with that last paragraph. But Betsy Newmark is quick to add that while that sounds good on paper, it's probably not going to work out anywhere near as smoothly in real life:
This may all be quite true. But that doesn't mean that the liberals who are in the leadership of the Democratic Party won't be in control and they certainly aren't going to suddenly become moderates just because the victory was narrow. Can you see John Conyers or Charlie Rangel holding back on all that they have wanted to do for the past 12 years just because of a narrow victory? That would be the biggest surprise of all from this election.Nancy Pelosi has her work cut out for her, but unlike the last 12 years, as Speaker of the House, she'll be given lots and lots of room for error by the legacy media.
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