Monday, December 04, 2006

The Center's Love Affair with the Dems

Looking over the blogs lately, it's pretty clear that what has been talked about in the newspapers is pretty true:centrists and independents left the GOP in droves and voted Democratic. Without going into a whole lot of detail, that includes myself. The centrist blogs seem to be in love with the coming Democratic majority in Congress and that's understandable: let's face it, the GOP messed up big time and George W. Bush will be blamed for ending the conservative hegemony which began with the election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980.

Andrew Sullivan, who five years ago in the wake of 9/11 was calling the Left in America a "Fifth Column," (which I thought was apalling)now gushes about the Dems and thinks conservatives and libertarians have a home there. Paul Silver cites that with the election of moderate Democrats to Congress, moderate Republicans should pledge to work with them. While I do agree that moderate Republicans should try to work with Dems where possible, I am not one that is ready to hastily greet the Dems and I'm not saying that soley as a partisan.

I think it's a little to early to start thinking that the Democrats are going to reach towards the center because of this election. Maybe that could happen, but I'm not holding my breath. Why? Let's go back to 2000.

George Bush campaigned saying he would be a "different kind of Republican." When he took office, I had hoped that because the closeness of the election, he would steer a more moderate path. Instead, he veered right and followed a formula that pleased the ones that "brought him" to the dance. What we learned from that was that the far right had control in the party and Bush was their handmaiden.

In the last few years, we have seen the decline of Clintonism and the rise of the old liberal base in the Democratic party. This year, the "Kos wing" of the party was more or less silent, but I'm curious to see what happens once the Democrats take office in January. Will they steer a centrist path, or listen to the base? Will they do attainable things like a raise in the minimum wage and allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies under Medicare, or will they go for things like impeachment hearings on the President? I do hope they go centrist, but I know the push for any politician in either party is to please the base and the Dems listen to the base as much as the GOP.

So, I'm not going to go gaga over the Dems, not because they are Dems, but because I've been here before. Best to just watch and see what happens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too am not really sure I would want Hillary Clinton to run. Of course, I wouldn't want Jeb Bush to run either. I think that America needs to get away from the political dynasty formation based on family name. I do think that it would give the Republican party a very good chance to once again control the White House.

Though, I do love the fear in the eyes of Conservatives and Republicans when I tell them that the one thing that helps me sleep at night is thinking about all that consolidated power that VP Cheney has battled for being in the hands of President Hillary Clinton.

It saddens me to see how little of history, or how short the forsight of Americans have. They believe, really believe that the party in power will always be in power. Even with the changing of the congressional districts they pushed through, the Repubs lost both houses.

35 Rep. seats went to the Dems... 0 Dem. seats went to Reps. The feeding trough is offically closed... until the hubris that comes with "respecting the office" takes over and the Dems get too used to being courted.