Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Democrats Winning with Centrist Voices

If the Democrats retake Congress, it will be on the backs of men like Jim Webb in Virginia, John Tester in Montana, Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, Larry Grant in Idaho and a goodly number of other centrist-style Democrats. The DailyKos/John Kerry/Nancy Pelosi wing of the party might be salivating at the chance to reclaim Congress, but it’s not their tired liberalism that is making this election competitive.

Those who fear a takeover by the out-of-touch left should realize that it’s not liberal candidates who are doing well. Instead, Democrats will be welcoming in junior members who are not ideological automatons and will add much needed gravity to the party’s right flank. In fact, once the leftwingers finish celebrating their victory (assuming there is a victory to celebrate), they’ll wake up and realize their party just brought in a bunch of dreaded moderates and centrists.

The left has worked hard to purge the Democrats of anything but lockstep leftists. Not only have those efforts failed, but the voters are poised to fill the party with even more centrist politicians, minimizing the leftists’ influence and authority. What will likely be a clear loss for the Republicans may ironically be the beginning of the end for the leftists as well.

This is why I can feel comfortable rooting for a Democratic victory—because, if it goes well, it could also be a centrist victory. The Democrats would be a much stronger and far more effective party if they could just turn towards the political middle. This election could put them on that path.


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