The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

At long last, (Netroots) love.

I'll say one thing about the elections-- it's nice for the usual navel-gazing to be about ascribing the credit instead of the blame. It's doubly nice to find that some people are coming right out and saying that the strategy of fielding conservative Democrats wasn't the answer. Earlier I linked to a couple of pieces from the American Prospect (here and here) making the case, and now there's a piece up on TNR with a similar angle.

Unfortunately, the list of talking heads pushing the inaccurate 'only conservatives can win' line are the ones making the rounds of cable news.

The Democrats have won back the House. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), nearly tripped over himself on the way to the microphone to claim the credit. In fact, while the tidal wave in the House looks like a bit of strategic genius by Emanuel--and pundits are starting to call it that way (Howard Fineman on MSNBC noted that the Democrats even picked up a seat in Kentucky, where the 3rd District candidate was John Yarmuth--"Emanuel's fourth choice!" Fineman exclaimed, as if in awe of the power possessed by Emanuel's mere table scraps)--in race after race, it actually represents the apotheosis of forces Emanuel has doubted all long: the netroots.

In two competitive House races in the Bluegrass State, Emanuel's first choices lost by eleven and nine points. (. . .) It was a pattern repeated across the country.

All three stories make for very interesting reading.

UPDATE: Salon's Andrew Leonard joins the chorus with this piece. Also worth reading.

If anything, the Northeast, with the possible exception of new Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, is sending a more solid block of liberal Democrats to Congress than has been seen in generations, if ever. New Hampshire's utter transformation into the bluest of blue states has nothing to do with any purported rise of social conservatism. And even in Pennsylvania, it's hard not to look at the humiliating annihilation of the Senate's third most powerful leader, Rick Santorum, as anything other than a triumph over the most backward, homophobic, caveman-style conservativism this country has to offer.

But what isn't getting mentioned is the rank absurdity of even suggesting that the emergence of a handful of Southern conservative Democrats represents anything new or surprising under the sun. White Southern Democrats, by and large, have always been conservative.