Friday, November 10, 2006

Congress has moved ... to the right or Say Hello to more Blue Dogs

Tuesday was a fascinating day.

Myself, I had no role in the congressional change. In our district Ben Chandler, a Blue Dog Democrat (That's not a slam, the Blue Dog Democrats are the Moderate/Conservative caucus of democrats in the house.) had no opponant except a lone libertarian who stood no chance of winning. Because of long lines at the polls I opted to skip all the options where only one person was running for a post. Hey, I was in a hurry!

It looks like there are more Blue Dogs in the House and their equivlant in the Senate. Though not true in every race, in a number of places old time Rockefeller/Country Club/Blue Blood Republicans were voted out and Moderate/Conservative Democrats were voted in. Look at Jim Webb in Virginia. The guy is a right winger. He is against the war in Iraq, not because he thinks it is immoral or unjust but because it was a strategic error. This guy resigned as Secretary of the Navy because he wanted to spend more on defense than his boss Ronald Reagan. My guess is that Webb will not be at home at meetings. (I probably would have voted for the guy -- I like and respect him alot!)

Ah, the irony of politics. The democrats won and in doing so, the congress the right.
Of course the leadership -- Reid/Pelosi--is anything but moderate or conservative. So the question will be this. Will the liberal leadership misread this election as a mandate for a liberal move or will they clearly see it as a vote against Bush and the Iraq policy?

It looks to me like mostly independents swung to the democrats -- the same independents who voted republican in 2004. If I am generally correct about this, then the democratic leadership will blow this win if they swing to the left. So far the rhetoric coming from Reid/Pelosi is about bipartisanship. This sounds wise to me and probably good. We shall see.

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