Moderate or Liberal?
Anyway, DM was using this to downplay thoughts that Webb may be a moderate or even a conservative in the Senate. He pointed out that usually liberals are the ones pointing to class warfare, etc as a political issue.
I have had the same opinion as he about these "moderate" candidates who the dems ran this time around. Everyone is talking about how the democratic party will be changed due to all these new moderate members. First off, it is unclear how moderate they will stay once they arrive in Washington. Second, even if they are; with Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid they will have a tough time getting anywhere without some serious changes to their beliefs.
This leads into my question about how long the dem majority can last. I am a firm believer in local politics over national ones; but there is a correlation. More and more I think the parties will use divisive members of the opposite party to showcase why you should vote for them (i.e. saying Jim Webb is ok but a vote for him is a vote for Ted Kennedy; and you don't want that). I expected more of that this cycle, especially in the Montana race, but it didn't happen.
Some of these "moderate/conservative" dems who were elected this year, especially in the House, will have big targets on their backs to see how they perform in their first 2 years. I think some of these seats will be lost anyway as a result of the presidential race having coattail effects in deep red districts like the IN-8, FL-16 and TX-22. Various others may be surrendered by the dems b/c the people don't live up to what they said, or that they just end up being more liberal than the voters thought.
Don't forget folks, most dems this year were elected on a "GOP sucks" mantra; not a plan for anything. I think we could see a 1994 for the GOP again in 2008 due to the base realizing what a mistake was made in the past and being able to turn it around.
I'm not saying the GOP will do this, but I think they will have the opportunity. They have to seize upon it in 2008; or we may find ourselves out of power for the next 40 years.