Obviously, the story of tomorrow’s election can’t be told yet. Tomorrow will tell us whether the Congress is run by Reid and Pelosi, or McConnell and Pelosi, or even other permutations. Who knows what will happen?
But there is one aspect of this election that I think we already talk about as fait accompli. The death of checklist liberalism.
NARAL is busy lying in Connecticut for Liebermann, who weasel voted against Alito, but also against cloture.
The Sierra Club never bothered to pull its endorsement of Linc Chaffee in Rhode Island.
The Democratic party as conceived in the mind of your average Fox News viewer is some combination of unions, women’s groups, environmental groups, minorities, and people in cities with too much education. And they’ve been right for too long. Of course, all of these groups sprouted to push the mission of the Democratic party as the party of the little guy. But some of these groups are no longer “little guys” and can be overreaching and at cross-purposes with other important Democratic platforms.
And I also know that some of these groups drop their final, vestigial diaphanous facades of non-partisanship at their own peril, and, so, I will not argue on the basis that they are so unsophisticated as to not understand that a vote for Chaffee is a vote for Frist or Mcconnell as majority leader, and, therefore, a vote for Bush’s agenda unchecked. They might have been able to get away with this once in 2002, but it was already clear in 04 and it’s incontrovertible now that this is the case. (They might have reasonably expected Congress, while partisan, to still be a check on the executive.)
Americans seems to reject the idea of voting for lists or parties directly the way they do in other countries, but it’s the reality now here. The only dissenting Republicans were just for show. At the end of the day, Bush always got what he wanted–look at the giants he has trompled to do so: Alan Greenspan, Colin Powell, and the post-Room 101 John McCain, suddenly a partisan Republican thrall again.
DLC Democrats fought these groups due to actual policy disagreements (they were more conservative) and also on political reasons (Americans won’t elect someone that liberal etc.). Today’s Democrats will fight these groups on the evidence of this election not because they don’t agree with their overall policies, but because they are self-defeating, which is even worse than being wrong.