Right IdeaThis all ties in to the fact that the National Democratic Party needs new leadership. The current leadership is failing the party and has let the Republicans run roughshod over them. Democrats have made gains at the state level, so that indicates that there is support for the Democrats, and that there are capable organizers and leaders at those levels. Many people have pointed to Montana's Democratic Governor-elect Brian Schweitzer (David Sirota has an article in Washington Monthly on the election) as proof that there is more to the Donkey than meets the eye.
Josh Marshall has the right idea. Well funded primary challengers to right wing Democrats will beat them, even if they don't eventually win elected office. There are some issues about which I understand how geography dictates certain positions. Social Security is not one of them. And, frankly, who gives a shit if we lose a couple more seats.
The social security issue comes down to this: The Democrats should be able not only to beat the Republicans on this, but also to beat them over the heads with it. It needs to be the cornerstone of the identity of the Democratic party…
…I overheard someone in a restaurant the other day saying something along the lines of "Bush captured the center by running to the Right." I'm not be sure how true this is, but the idea was that by running to the Right, Bush proved he stood for "something" and voters approve of that, even if they don't approve of the policies themselves. I don't know how much this matters, but I do know a party has to stand for something.
While it is true the Democratic party is far more diverse and capable than many give it credit for, Democrats can not afford to lie back on the surprise successes of today and expect it to carry them through what I am sure many Democrats believe to be merely a "dark period" for the party.
Democrats can not simply hang their hats on folks like Obama and Schweitzer and expect to make it through. Every victory for the Democrats, for the foreseeable future is going to have to be fought for tooth and nail.