As I did with my post for the day after the 2004 presidential election, I am writing this post before I know the outcome. I do this because I don't want my thoughts to be clouded by gloating or by bitterness and anger...
Many Republicans were feeling disgruntled going into this election and even more-so the hard-core Reagan Conservatives that feel unrepresented in the current Congress. I had quite a few people say to me [Let the Democrats win and let the country see they will only make it worse, and maybe the loss will be a wakeup call to the GOP that we want real conservatives in office].
I have to credit the DNC and their Rovian tactics in catering to this sentiment when picking candidates this time around --they ignored the far left'o'sphere and groups like Moveon.org and went for socially conservative Democrats. The decision proved to be an advantageous one.
Casey, here in PA, is very pro-life (like his father who was subsequently shunned by the party and excluded from speaking at Democratic National Conventions because of his pro-life stance), Harold Ford is an outspoken born-again Christian, North Carolina's Heath Shuler is an evangelical Christian, Jim Webb in VA is a very conservative Democrat...and the list goes on.
That means these losses (regardless of how many constitute the final tally) aren't indicative of a progressive shift in the country's thinking, but what I perceive as a protest vote against spend-happy Republicans in the Congress and anger at the President.
This can be seen clearly in Virginia and Tennessee (and six other states) where there were no-gay-marriage amendments on the ballot. The proposals easily won -even among the Democratic voters. It can be seen in the fact that the far left of the Democratic Party (i.e. Nancy Pelosi) were stowed away in undisclosed locations for the last two weeks of the campaigning. And it can be seen in that fact that Joe Lieberman won his seat as an Independent even though Ned Lamont had the full support of the party's left and the lefty bloggers.
So, if this turns out to be a blue win in the House, Senate or both...is it actually a win for the ideology of the party? Have they gained any real ground by winning with Republican-esque candidates? Will the wins help or hurt them in 2008?
I still maintain that most of the country (regardless of the perceived split) is closer to the middle of the aisle than to the far right or left. I believe that most Americans love America, want it terror and Sharia free, want our children safe from predators and activist courts that would free them and want the partisan bickering to end so that actual progress can be made... Unfortunately, it seems in a world of 24 hour news cycles and a group-think media...this may be a waning aspiration.
One last thing...I have to wonder what the hell is wrong with West Virginia voters and their constant voting for Robert KKK Byrd? I will never understand that. Also, Massachusetts voters and Teddy KGB Kennedy? These two scurrilous men win and the young, sober, lucid Harold Ford Jr. loses? *sigh* (Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment).