Mitch Berg notes something rather interesting about this election — the Republicans who ran to the “center” tended to be the ones who lost. In Minnesota, Gil Gutknecht tried to burnish his centrist street cred on Iraq and ended up getting beat by the anti-war Tim Walz. Yet in the Sixth, Michelle Bachmann, who’s as unabashedly conservative as they come, managed to spank Patty Wetterling in a tough climate.
At the same time, the Democrats ran a whole host of center-right candidates. Jon Tester and James Webb almost certainly have more in common with the GOP than they do with a liberal like Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats won a political victory, but it wasn’t an ideological victory. If this really was an election in which the left is ascendant, why did left-wing candidate Ned Lamont get beat in Smurf-ass-blue Massachusetts?
The reality is that America is not a liberal country. Conservatives outnumber liberal by 2-1. The Republicans lost because they tried to run away from who they were. There’s a lesson in that. Republicans win when they’re not running from the Reaganite agenda of small government, strong national defense, and family values.
After all, if what voters are going to get are basically Democrats, why wouldn’t they choose the real thing?