Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Next Democratic Majority

Actually, it'd be nigh on near the only one in my lifetime. Now The Atlantic offers some interesting analysis of what the Democrats and Obama are doing right this year and what the Republicans have done wrong.

First, the exciting implications:
Though few Democrats will say so out loud, the party could come within striking distance of a filibuster-proof majority this November. In the House, Democrats have won a string of special elections in profoundly hostile territory -- in Denny Hastert's old district, a sprawling mix of Republican-friendly exurbs and rural areas in northern Illinois; in Baton Rouge and its environs; and, perhaps most remarkably, in a deep-red district in Mississippi. Assuming Barack Obama is the Democratic presidential nominee, he will likely endanger literally dozens of Republican seats, as Nicholas Beaudrot has suggested.
Here's what the Democrats are doing well. To me, the analysis strikes me as dead on:
The Democrats, shrewdly, have sworn off ideological coherence in favor of a more decentralized strategy. In the Deep South, they've run as economic nationalists opposed to the Iraq War, mass immigration, and free trade. In affluent suburbia, they've run as pragmatic cultural liberals staunchly opposed to the cruel vagaries of the Alternative Minimum Tax. Obama has managed to bridge this still-emerging divide, by drawing on the language of anti-war Midwestern populists as well as the soothing tones of the foreign policy establishment. This balancing act is what makes Obama a political virtuoso. But these divisions and contradictions, similar in some sense to those that divided the Democrats at their political zenith, will prove difficult to manage once something tangible is at stake. If, as looks increasingly likely, increased minority turnout and youth turnout contribute to a sweeping Democratic win, we will see newer generational and cultural tensions that will undoubtedly shape the future of American involvement in Iraq and the welfare state.
Now to read how the Republicans have mis-stepped read the full comment.

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