It took more than half a decade, countless American and Iraqi deaths in a war based on lies, a sinking economy and the drowning of an American city to finally kill Bush-Cheney-Rove's dream of a conservative realignment.Howie P.S.: Add Ed Schultz to the list of those subscribing to theory #2.
Democrats, controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, have managed to kill their own dream of dominance in 12 months.
How did it happen?
Theories abound, but two diametrically opposed narratives have taken hold:
The first, promulgated by conservatives, is that the new administration has moved too far to the left and alienated a large swath of independent and moderate voters.
The second, pushed by progressive activists and bloggers, is that the administration hasn't been true enough to fundamental Democratic principles, has embraced some of Bush's worst excesses on civil liberties, and has ditched popular ideas (like the public option) in favor of watered down centrist policies, thus looking weak and ineffectual.That summed up how I felt at the time. I got a lot of heat when I wrote it, but I stand by every word.
Progressive bloggers have been jumping up and down, yelling at their Democratic leaders that the path of compromise and pragmatism only goes so far. The limit is when you start compromising away your core values.
I sincerely hope that's the lesson learned today.