11.13.2006

SWEEP'D

You may have heard something about the Democrats taking the House and Senate last week. Here are my quick thoughts:

- The Republicans' loss was due to a number of factors that converged to form a "perfect storm". The Republican's compromised governance here and in Iraq was a major factor. Even at the beginning of this year, the polls demonstrated that the public had zero confidence in the Republican leadership. This was part of the national dialogue and was certain to become a major factor during an election year.

- The Democrats effectively used the shared distrust of Republicans to create an underlying national campaign against the incumbent party. The Dems didn't oversell this point by attacking the war and the administration. The Dems didn't run a campaign on "I Told You So" or "Let's Impeach The President".

- The Democrats ran good candidates that could generate support in their states. People like Tester, McCaskill, and Ellsworth are good candidates for their constituents.

- The Democrats will be challenged to reconcile the differences that exist in a "large tent" party. We are witnessing a grandmother from San Francisco ascend to House Speaker... and she is supporting a hawkish grandfather from Pennsylvania to be her direct successor. This is a good start and I think the diversity of the party sets an excellent standard for this nation.

- The Republican base has been provoked. They are going to go after Pelosi and her House. They will be vicious. Vicious. The Democrat's media machine needs to kick into high gear right now and hit back at these attacks on Pelosi's record and character. She is not "ultra liberal" or a "leftist". She's a common sense representative of the people of California, and I doubt that her "values" are very different than other grandmothers her age in California, Maryland, or Kansas. The Dems need to push back against the Republican message about Pelosi's character, and they HAVE to respond appropriately to the impending attacks.

The Democrats have a great opportunity to start rebuilding the infrastructure of this country. It's not the most glorious of jobs, but it is rewarding. I believe this country will respond to the Democrats if they govern with a Populist philosophy by investing in our society.

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