Michael Barone offers Democrats some advice: “We’re Not in 2006 Anymore“:
Things are not working out as Democratic congressional leaders expected. For the first eight months of this year, they struggled to find some way to shut down the American military effort in Iraq.
They took it for granted that we were stuck in a quagmire in Iraq, with continuous high casualties and very little to show for them. They pressed hard to get the Republican votes they needed to block a filibuster in the Senate and were cheered when some Republicans, like John Warner, seemed to lean their way. They worked hard over the August recess to pressure Republican House members to break ranks and vote with them.
But the Republicans mostly held fast. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell skillfully parried their thrusts in the Senate. House Minority Leader John Boehner persuaded most House Republicans to hang on. Then, over the summer, the news out of Iraq started to get better.
The Democrats took back control of both houses last November by running some remarkably centrist–and even hawkish–sounding candidates in the south and midwest, Red States where the Democrats’ normal far left views constantly get trounced. And in remarkably blue Connecticut, after a hiccup in the primaries, Joe Lieberman won re-election by also remaining strong on Iraq.
The problem is that the Democrats’ nascent Congressional leadership then resumed their usual course tacking left, and the predictably disastrous results occurred right on cue when they completely ignored their party’s rhetoric last November.