Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Middle Rises?

The Bull Moose (among many others) suggests today that the election results should be seen as a statement by the "immoderate middle" that, in effect, "We're mad as hell, and we're NOT gonna take it anymore!"

"Perhaps the President's greatest mistake was to fail to forge a new politics after 9/11 and unite the country for the long haul in the war against terror. Instead, in the 2002 midterms, he chose the Rovian politics of the base - and in 2006 that polarizing model cost Republicans control over Congress.

Democrats should not make the same mistake. That means actually working with the White House to achieve big things such as comprehensive immigration reform, energy independence and expansion of the military.

Democrats are no longer just an opposition party. Soon they will control the Legislative Branch. That means that they, unlike the Bush Administration, must have a occupation plan. Progress must be stressed over partisanship. Democrats must make alliances with Republicans to pass legislation to send to the President.

Ideologues of the right and the left take note - the center is inflamed and will not be denied. The immoderate moderates are not wedded to either party. They reward and punish regardless of party affiliation."

Read his whole post. He's right. While we lost some centrist voices, we have gained others, and I suspect the overall effect of this election will be to shift the balance of political power back toward the middle of the ideological spectrum. Whether that effect will be the same within the GOP remains very much to be seen (I'm not overly positive, let's put it that way).

The center is strong, and we made our voices heard loud and clear on Tuesday night. Together, we granted the Democrats a chance to govern as the Republicans have not done - with pragmatism and progress, not partisan and personal gain, as the ultimate goal. I hope the party's leadership will not squander this chance to lead.


At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JBD - You are right about the gift of getting elected as carrying Dem responsibility. Ironically, a number of Republicans who will be gone in 2007 were moderate Republicans. Lincoln Chaffee comes to mind. Those looking for moderates to join for 60 votes will have to look around for new allies to join Olympia Snowe, et al.

At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Tory said...

I've been a Republican for about a dozen years now, but I'm about ready to go independent. I used to call myself a conservative, but now the word means something different from what it used to mean. And the true conservatives like Andrew Sullivan aren't welcome there anymore. Wonder if Ronald Reagan would be.

So from now on I'm an immoderate centrist, because "conservative" has come to mean big governnment religionist. And it's going to get worse. Have you looked at the House GOP freshmen? I was researching them today and most if not all are religious nuts. It's insane. And these are the foot soldiers of tomorrow.

I'm giving the GOP one more chance. If they can nominate McCain or Giuliani, there's a chance we'll return to what the Republican Party used to be. Secular, fiscally responsible, pro-business, pro-freedom, and pro-common sense. Though even if we do get a President McCain or Giuliani, it's more likely that we'll blow up the GOP than anything else. I can't imagine the religious nuts just going away.

In short, I'll probably be an independent within a few years, if not sooner. Thank Rove for chasing this once straight ticket Republican voter out of the party.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger JBD said...

Tory, I'm at about the same point you are, to be honest. The GOP and I have pretty much reached the breaking point, and it won't take much more for me to "declare my independence" either.


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