Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Blue Dog Democrats

On the local news, Jim Matheson, my congressman, declined to celebrate with the rest of his party. He called himself a blue dog democrat and suggested that the new house majority doesn't mean a liberal majority.

One thing that surprised me is the talk about how Democrats have been out of power for so long they won't know how to wield power. They've been out for 12 years, but they were the majority for as long as I can remember before that. I never did have the feeling that the Republicans really were accustomed to being the majority. I said early on that they were mistaken to run away from Bush. Basically, I saw the problem as 6 years of pounding by the news media more partisan and negative than I have ever seen them. The war has been portrayed so consistently as a disaster for us, that I can't imagine that there will ever be a war we can win. By undercutting support here, the media have handed the terrorists a huge victory they could never have won in the field.

I don't know any Republican who has talked about this election without admitting that they probably didn't deserve to win, but electign Democrats doesn't make any sense either. I think that's still the feeling among most people, but they felt that the Republicans need to be smacked hard. Too much scandal. Too much lobbying. Too many pictures of Tom Delay. Too much criticism of the war from the media, despite the protests from those who are there that it wasn't being reported fairly.

I've never quite understood what it is that changes the national mood like this, but it's pretty clear that there are so many narrow elections that they can just as easily swing back to Republican as they did to Democrat.

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