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The Not-So-Democratic Revolution
There was no Democratic victory on November 7th, as far as I am concerned. And no, this isn't about to become some crazy conservative rant about how the election was either rigged or un-representative of the American people. In fact, the problem is, ultimately, it is very representative of the American people, just not in a way most Democrats either realize or want to realize. People hate a party pooper, a downer, but the truth is the places where Democrats gained ground on Red States, they gained at the loss of what is the Democratic Party in much any definition of what is a fairly loose knit group of people.
Let me explain. One of the big 'triumphs' of this election was in Montana, where a Democrat pulled off a D-Day landing on Fortress Bush. Or at least that's the idea. The problem is he's a Democrat who's pro-gun, anti-abortion, which if you look at the stereotype of "what is a Democrat" would make him a Republican. Now, a lot of people would argue that this shows the Democrats being more "progressive" in the getting elected sense. More would argue that while big name issues, neither are core Democratic values so much as side cars, which have weighed them down in recent years. I would, to an extent, even agree with that assessment, especially with regards to an abortion, which consumes far to much of the public's discourse on politics for it's trivial impact on the world (by that I mean the percentage of kids who cease to be through it, and yes, all they would ever accomplish). In the end, however, that's not the point, because their are only two things this election shows, and neither of them are "Wee, America isn't insanely right wing".
Situation one is if these elections succeeded out of, primarily, disgust with the Republican party. If the only kind of Democrat who could be elected in 'non-core' territory is the kind who simply says, "I have all the values of a Republican, but I wasn't in control when Mark Folly texted boys", then nothing has really changed. It took 6 years of blatant corruption and lies to get the Republicans to lose the majority (more if you count all the time they were in control under Clinton), but in the end, the American people will forget. They always do. And once they forget, if the nation is just as far right (or further right) as before, the Republicans are back in control. This election, by all measures, seems to be a lot more "reminding the Republicans they are fucking up by electing the other guy" than the "grand re-awakening of the American spirit" or whatever some observers are taking it to be. For America to actually have swung left, you'd have to see signs like a pro-woman's rights, pro-gun control Democrat getting elected in Montana, or Lieberman losing in Connecticut instead of winning on the obvious strong third party "Lieberman for Lieberman" ticket. Instead, the background noise to the Democrats taking back Congress was more states holding referendums on right wing policies like anti-gay marriage and the death penalty, with both passing with flying colors. And not even in red state strongholds, but barely blue states like Wisconsin.
I mean, if that's not a clear indicator of what's going on, take a look at the Ted "Speed Queen" Haggard incident. Ted finally got caught with a cock in his mouth and meth on the brain, so to speak, but instead of being dragged out of town chained a pickup (like most gays in the West are), he gets to have a blatantly lie filled apology and goes away with crying church members praying for his forgiveness. Remember, that's a church of stereotypical Republican voters, so let's apply their reaction to the national level. Replace the Speed Queen with the GOP and look at it this way, they might be mad enough to send 'em away, but not for good. Hell, pundits on the Democrats side were pointing out the victory could very well have been because the Evangelical vote didn't turn out, thanks mostly to the rash of pedophilia going around Congress.
So, from that angle the Democrats lose the House when Evangelicals show back up in the polls, which would be...2008. I can't honestly imagine them sleeping through a presidential election, especially if their Own Personal Anti-Christ Hillary Clinton ran for the office. Or Obama. Fucking darkie. They haven't gone away since the movement started, and in the classical Panadora's Box sense, once you let them into politics, they don't leave (for further evidence see: Iraq). This is all, of course, assuming the Democrats don't continue doing what some did this year, in ditching any trait which might hurt their electability.
That is to say that the only way in which Democrats aren't going away in 2 years is if they truly stick to what our Montana example did, ditching the traits that make them unappealing to the "majority". If they don't, they disappear like I already outlined, victims of the "vote against who you hate, not vote for who you like" syndrome. The other thing our nation's Democrat victory could show is Democrats have given up, conceded that America's 'moderate majority center' is un-reversibly farther right than ever before, and decided to sell out to it so as to get elected. This, needless to say, would be a disaster far worse than riding Foley's pedophile coattails into Congress as he went out. If the Democratic party sells out and tries to take the majority by truly moving farther into the moderate right for votes then the only voice the left has is lost, and ideas like national healthcare and women's rights are irreversibly lost (for the immediate future) in the heap of ideas deemed 'too socialist' for America.
Dropping causes doesn't help the Democrats pursue core values, it just shows the only thing they are fighting for is enough of a majority to bribed by big business, instead of the Republicans. Further it means America will only slip farther right, allowing more than ever the Religious Right to pilot this nation's majority down a path of backwardness and progressively trivial position on the world stage. Democrats should take a page from the eXile, when it suggested America's left live it up, being educated and in well paid positions, instead of squabbling and worrying over not being in power, like Russia's left does today. Eventually the nation will swing left when, say, the economy implodes in another Great Depression, or national debt forces Bush to sell Nebraska to the Chinese. It's all irrelevant in the end, because time is the deciding factor. A bunch of yokels elects McCain next presidential race, so what? As long as the right's in control its only a countdown to disaster, and there's no point in compromising to that.